Making it Memorable - Helps Learning STICK

Memory is key for learning.

‘How can I help my child remember their spellings?’ Is a question I’m often asked.

Helping your child learn their spellings can seem tricky, especially when they are trying hard, but the information doesn’t appear to ‘stick’.

Using the senses can help your child attach meaning to new information so they can remember it more easily. Multisensory strategies for learning, involve using more than one sense to help remember information. This can help strengthen the memory and the ability to retrieve it. Auditory (sound), Visual (looking) and Kinaesthetic (touch/doing) are three key multisensory strategies.

What does your child find easy to remember? Can they easily recall song lyrics, dance routines, the names of sports stars, adverts on the TV or journeys (whether on foot or in the car)? Start there!

If you child can easily remember song lyrics, and verbal information they may find it easier to learn using auditory strategies. If they can easily remember pictures, colours or patterns, they may find it easier to remember using visual strategies. If they can easily remember routines and like learning through ‘doing’, they may find it easier to remember using kinaesthetic strategies.

Ways to help your child learn their spellings:

For Auditory learners use sound. Listen for similar sounds in words (word families). Sound out words. Use songs & rhymes. One favourite way to remember how to spell ‘because’ is to use the rhyme Bunnies Eat Carrots And Uncle Sam’s Ears. It’s an unusual rhyme which helps children remember it.

For Visual learners use pictures, colour and shapes to learn spellings.  

For Kinaesthetic learners, practical activities like writing words out, tracing words out in sand, making letter shapes from clay or pipe cleaners to build words can help.

Using a mini white board to write on/rub off spellings can help children try their ideas out without ‘fear of making a mess’.

You can combine different strategies. How about chalking spellings on the patio using different colours to highlight spelling patterns, using ‘bath crayons’ to write on tiles during bath time or using icing pens to pipe words on cakes or biscuits (with the added reward that children can read them back and eat them).

Remember your child may not learn in the same way that you did. Where possible try and use a method that your child enjoys and keep it fun to aid memory. If a method clearly isn’t working, try another one. It’s OK to experiment with different ways to remember information so your child can discover and use the ones that suit them best.

Make it Memorable – if it’s fun – it’s more likely to be remembered.

sue hallComment