This question of memory is essential if you really want to be able to help your child in his learning. Indeed, this memory escapes us all sometimes, between this word that we have on the tip of the tongue or this first name of a former comrade that we cannot remember. Failing that, let’s try to understand how memory works so that you can help your child learn.
Have you always been told that you have an excellent memory and yet you are unable to remember the slightest joke? This is indeed normal because precisely the memory (generic term to designate a set of processes) is complex. Indeed, there is a plurality of memories. As a result, memory requires the activation of different areas in the brain, with bridges being created between lived experiences or acquired notions and our needs in the present.
The Three Main Functions Of Our Memory Are:
- encode: ie integrate information so that it leaves a trace in our brain. On this memory feature, you have an outlet to help your child learn. Mental maps, mnemonic devices, cards, summaries, keywords. Also, you should know that the most effective way is to help the child to associate this that he learns what he already knows, for a more lasting memory trace.
- storing information: This function is more mysterious for neurosciences but we know that it is directly linked to the general processing of information in our brain. Therefore, this storage is done consciously or unconsciously. So, in the same way, we don’t always have access to what we are looking for when we want it.
- retrieve information: When the information is known and well acquired, it is easy to restore it if requested (our address, our date of birth, etc.). On the other hand, in the case of new learning, restitution requires an effort. Indeed, this effort is created by linking the new element to other already known elements. Thus the frequent retrieval of information activates a process that consolidates memory, this anchors the memory.
Knowing The Different Memories Is An Asset To Help Your Child Learn
If these memories are indeed an integral part of the so-called perceptual memory, they are not the only memory channels.
It happens unconsciously. It is this memory that allows us to locate ourselves on a known route, to recognize a face we have already seen. Thanks to it, we can recognize known smells or even the taste of our favorite foods.
It’s sort of our processor. This working memory processes information associates it, gives it meaning, and makes connections with what is already known. For example, it is easier to remember a set of numbers by grouping them in pairs and referring to what you already know (department number for example, etc.). Working memory improves by creating habits of organization, categorization, links with the multiple knowledge already acquired. This working memory, yet absolutely essential at school, can sometimes fail due to lack of personal interest, lack of attention, emotions, sleep…it will be the subject of an entire article because it is really interesting and complex.
Long Term Memory
It is the memory of knowledge, in a conceptual and universal dimension. Thus, we all know what prehistory, magic, or even the moon is. The representations that we have been modified according to our readings, the contributions of new knowledge.
Indeed, it is this memory that allows us to have knowledge related to episodes that we have experienced. This requires a strong self-awareness, which is why young children do not yet have it.
Finally, procedural memory corresponds to acquired automatisms. Ice skating or tying your shoes correspond to automatisms that must be acquired (often during childhood). Later, we apply these gestures without even being aware of them. In adulthood, too, we still have to work on this procedural memory: the acquisition of driving is a good example. At work too, we learn to automate certain tasks when they are repetitive.
Of course, these different memories do not work without each other. Indeed, it is an incessant collaboration that takes place in a cerebral organization that involves different areas. Either way, distinguishing between these different types of memory can help you identify what’s causing trouble in helping your child learn. Indeed, your child may have difficulty memorizing multiplication tables but not memorizing automatic calculations such as multiplications or divisions.