Practical Memory

Develop Practical Memory Skills

Ian is doing his English homework and he just remembered something. He has homework in math too. The problem is he left his book at school.   Yesterday he forgot his Spanish book — but that wasn’t his fault, Senora Gonzales doesn’t usually give them the kind of homework where you need to use your book. It’s a good thing his best friend, Max, lives so close. He can run over and copy the math problems out of Max’s book.

Boy on floor doing homework

It’s a good think Max remember to bring his books home. Max also knows which problems they have to do. And when Ian forgets to bring his lunch, he shares with Ian. But Ian shouldn’t keep depending on Max to remember things for him. How can Ian improve his memory?

Middle and High School Students forget many things. Which of these do you have problems with.

1.  When it’s time for school, they can’t find their cell phone or history notebook, or the math homework they did the night before.

2. They get to school and realize they forgot their gym clothes, their lunch, or an overdue library book.

3. They can’t remember where they put their jacket, or their book bag, or the magazine they were reading.  Is that jacket in the locker at school or did they wear it home? He must have brought his book bag home, but it isn’t on the floor by the front door where he usually puts it.

4. Ian sometimes wants to go to a movie with friends or out to get some pizza, but then, just before it’s time to go, he starts hunting for his wallet. Why can’t he remember where he put it?  He laughs when his mother forgets where she parked the car at the mall, but if he doesn’t do something to improve his memory, he will soon have the same problem.

Three secrets for improving your memory

1. Make a firm decision to remember. If you don’t decide to remember, you probably won’t. When Ian comes into the home with his book bag, he needs to think, “OK, I need to remember where I am putting my book bag. I’m putting it on the kitchen table.

2. To remember where you put things, the solution is simple. Have a place for everything and be sure to put everything in its place. Dropping his book bag on the floor by the front door isn’t really a good idea. Ian probably shouldn’t make a habit of using the kitchen table. He probably was hungry when he got home and put his book bag on the table while he got a snack. The best place might be on or next to his desk. If, however, his bedroom is upstairs and he always studies downstairs he needs to find a good location near the place where he studies.

Spend 10 minutes planning where things belong and 3 minutes a day making sure everything is back in place. This will save hours of frantic searching. It reduces stress and makes your life easier.

3. Create a plan that will help you remember and follow through on your plan. Ian definitely needs as assignment notebook. As he is told what problems to do in math, what pages to read for history, what the topic is for his English essay, how long it should be, and when it is due, he should write the information in his notebook. At the bottom of the page, he can add a list of materials to take home. When Ian writes what problems to do in math, he will write bath book on the items to take home.

If Ian keeps his book bag, books, and other material next to his desk or the place where he studies, he should finish studying by putting the book and homework problems back in his book bag. It would be helpful to have a folder inside your binder just for homework.  Work to do, such as worksheets or unfinished homework should go on one side. Completed homework should go on the opposite side. Then, when it’s time to turn in homework, Ian will know the paper isn’t inside his math book, in a side pocket of his book bag, or in his back pocket.

He should also have a list of things to pack in his book bag. A permanent list might include:

1. Lunch Monday – Thursday and lunch money on Fridays (when they serve pizza.).
2. Gym clothes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
3. Name tag (if school uses them)
4. Wallet with library card or ID card, or whatever you might need.
5. Enough paper and pens that work to make it through the day.
6. Calculator

In addition there should be spaces for added items, as the signed permission slip for a field trip, the signed report card, homework, library books, etc. If Ian will put everything in his book bag the night before except lunch, he will not have any problems in the morning.

Remember your friends and the great times you had

It’s a great idea to keep a MEMORY BOOK of your time in Middle School and High School. Twenty, thirty or fifty years from now, when you wish you could remember who yor fifth grade teacher was, some of the funny things you did with your friends, and what you all looked like, you’ll be so glad to have a record of your earlier days.

You don’t need to take a lot of time with this project.

1. Start with any pictures you have from elementary school. List your teachers and a few memories from each grade. List your best friends from elementary school and include their pictures. You might include a few family photos and memories too.

2. You might add comments and pictures monthly or yearly. It’s up to you. Some people use only one page a year while others might enjoy added a page a month. However you create your Memory Book, you are certain to enjoy looking at in years to come.

Rote Memory and Mnemonics
Remember with Senses
Relational Memory
Regular Scheduled Reviews.

Learn and use several strategies that work best for you.

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