“I REMEMBER THAT I FORGOT"- about supporting children's memory

Memory researchers show that person can remember experiences even when he was still in his mother's belly - newborns prefer mother's voice to the voices of other women, and they definitely prefer to listen to their mother’s rather than a foreign language. Knowing the impressive possibilities of human memory does not make it easier to understand why our seven-year-old needs two hours to learn ten English words. What is worth knowing about the child's memory to help the child manage it effectively?

Do not ask an eight-year-old to remember

A child in the name of a higher value (or play) launches memory processes and can easily recite the principles of a playground game or arrangements for playing at home. At the same time, he cannot cope with the task in which he was asked to remember a series of pictures or words. This is because in case of younger children the involuntary memory is the most effective, i.e. the one that creates memory traces during non-concentrated activity on memorizing. It is not until around the age of 10 that any memory, i.e. one that can be started "on demand", dominates. What is the conclusion for the youngest students? Tasks that require memorization are worth organizing in a way indirectly related to learning by heart. Instead, you can suggest playing with the material to be remembered.

Trust the schoolboy, check the preschooler

Show preschooler a collection of pictures, and he will take a look at them and ensure that he remembers all. Children of this age are not yet able to assess their own memory competences, overestimate their abilities. If the circumstances require a four-year-old to remember certain content, it is worth organizing the activity that facilitates memorizing and then checking the acquisition of the material. When asked about "Remembering?" preschooler, regardless of the actual state of his knowledge, will probably answer "yes".

Shape the strategy as far as possible

The teenager will remember more content than the preschooler, because he will use more sophisticated methods of memorizing. For example, from elaboration, that is, creating associations between passwords. The use of a complex strategy is conditioned by the appropriate stage of development - up to the age of 7 children do not use any memory strategies. Even if they know the names of the objects they want to remember, they do not call them and they do not repeat them - despite having resources, they cannot use them yet. Memory strategies appear gradually - seven-year-olds begin to repeat, ten-year-olds organize content, teenagers enjoy the benefits of associations. It is important to fit the technique to the possibilities. For a child who can already name objects, we can suggest repeating, but do not expect to use more demanding methods. Therefore, it is worth creating new learning methods based on the current capabilities of the child. It is worth remembering that the development of strategy is accompanied by increasingly better effects in memorizing. Monitoring and supporting this process can bring many benefits - educational and not only.



Jagodzińska, M. (2013). Psychologia pamięci: badania, teorie, zastosowania. Gliwice: Wydawnictwo Helion