Memory Problems With School Children – The Parent Factor
It can be really frustrating to watch your lad struggle with learning in school because he or she soon forgets what they are taught in school. You cut down on their play time, fix them in evening classes, hire private tutors, shield them from the screen and even have them meet education psychologist etc yet, it get worst as they come back from school with poorer results. I know of a parent who kept changing schools for their lads- blaming the authorities and everyone else but themselves. However, most parents will just conclude that the lad in question is just being unserious with their studies. Though this could be true in some cases, researches have proved that a child is more likely not to learn in school because of an inability to recall what he or she is taught than because they are unserious. Whatever the case is with your child there are little sacrifices you could make that may change the life of your child positively and set him or her in the path of academic excellence and boost their confidence amongst their peers.
Firstly, according to Dr Mel Levine, bestselling Author of “All kinds of mind”, “Understanding + Remembering = Learning”. The best a Teacher can offer is to make your child understand what is taught in class. However, some good teachers could go the extra mile to imprint the knowledge; kids soon forget what they are taught when they leave the school premises believing that “what is of how many seconds in a day school is of school”. Then, they look up to all the fun awaiting them at home and long before they get home all about school is left behind; except for issues they intend to report to parents. Sometimes they even forget important messages to their parents from their school authorities- I used to have this problem in school then. Often, such lads are helpless; deep within them they are willing to perform better in school and pride around like the smart ones- just that they are unable to find a way around their forgetfulness.
I was once hired to teach core mathematics to a child whom everybody, including her parents, believed was dumb and “not inclined” like her mum described her once. Within the first month of private lessons with her, I observed that she was very fast with basic operations however each time I tried to revise the previous lessons she withdraws. She would provide answers to my questions in class as I teach, only to turn up in the next class without the slightest idea of what she learnt in the last lesson. So I decided to try out something: I would give her assignments and ask her parents to make sure she attends to them a few hours before my lessons with her- not earlier. The first few weeks were magical; I would ask her to remind me of our last lessons and she would do that without stress. When I saw she was doing fine with that, I introduced something else. Each day I sent a summary of our lessons to her parents and ask them to make sure she discusses what she was taught with them early the next morning before going to school. Her parents were cooperative; they didn’t mind the discomfort and with every hand on deck, before three months, Gold became a very bright girl.
There are many things that could be responsible for a child’s inability to recall, retain hence learn what he or she is taught in school. It might interest you to know that sometimes parents are the cause- I’m not talking about inherited impediments here. I will explain; you see children have a pleasure responsive and sensitive memory. Ie, they find it easier to store up activities that are pleasurable to them. Now, some parents let their lads engage in so many fun-filled activities that offer experiences that are too memorable to be given up for math jargons and science theories. I’m not saying we should bar our children from fun; in fact, recreational activities have a way of developing learning skills. However, over indulgence should be discouraged. How would a parent know when is enough? Simple: establish a percentage allowable time for play (fun) as a ratio of time spent on academic exercises. For instance, if academics take up 10 hrs of your lad’s time during school days, you can allot about 20% of that time for pleasurable activities. If possible, you should find a way to make studying pleasurable to him or her.
We also have parents that are too busy to be cooperative; they work all through the clock and leave the school alone to check their lad’s learning. Unfortunately, parents have the bulk role to play in improving the memory skills of their lads. By just making sure your children discuss, briefly, what they learnt in school each day you can improve their memory by over 70% and also you will help them develop sound self-expression skills. You don’t have to hire someone to do this- it might not be as effective. Children are always trying to impress their parents especially if they don’t have the opportunity to impress their teachers in school. They will try to put up their best if you are to do the assessment. It was difficult learning to memorize the states and capital of my country as a child. My Dad knew I was not dumb; so he set up a challenged for me to impress him and my senior brothers. He called my Eldest brother to recite the 30 states and their capitals (we had 30 then) but he had already told him to pretend not to know it. He knew I always wanted to prove myself and would try to show I was better than anybody. D-Day came and as planned, he couldn’t recite them; so Dad told my immediate elder and I to prepare that our turns will come after the other within the next one week. I was so obsessed with impressing him and my elder ones that I went on to work on my skills- I memorized and recited for days and when it was my turn I churned out the stuff like I was singing a popular hymn. Thinking about it now; I don’t think I was fooled- I just admire the creativity of the old man.
Honestly, I have observed that most kids that are believed to be dumb are not; in fact some of them have great learning potentials. Unfortunately, they been told over time that they are “good-for-nothings” and treated that way both in school and home. This has crash their self-esteem and folded them into themselves. I have met children like that; they would surprise you with their reasoning. I once chanced upon a dairy belonging to one of my students and out of bad habit I went through it when I got home. I read the agony of an innocent child. He wrote so much about how the world saw him and how wrong everybody was about him. He even promised to surprise (probably impress) his mum and one of his teachers who was always punishing him for performing poorly in class. He wondered why most people, especially his loved ones, were in a haste to embarrass him. As I read further, I felt a drop of tears role down my cheeks and sipped into my singlet. If you are a parent who is used to scolding your kids about their performance in school you may want to be careful the way you do it otherwise you might be making it more difficult for your child.