Five Strategies to Improve Working Memory in Kids

How to Improve Working Memory in Kids?

Working memory is short term memory. Bright kids who bewilder their parents because they struggle to follow instructions, have difficulty with mental maths and seem slow in processing information may simply have a poor working memory.

Five Strategies to Improve Working Memory in KidsA recent study in poor working memory showed teachers picked up early warning signs only 25% of the time.

Working memory is important because kids need to hold information while they mentally engage in other activities. Things like writing a sentence while trying to spell new words., adding two digit numbers while remembering the math rules are tasks for working memory. It is the ability to keep information in your mind and apply it to the task you are doing.


What are the signs my child needs help with working memory?

There are three signs of a poor working memory.

1. The first is not paying attention. The teacher may give three instructions, put away your pencils, hand your books in and sit in a circle. A child whose working memory can only hold two instructions cannot remember to follow three instructions. They forget details.

2. The second is they forget what they have been told frequently. This is not deliberate. Often kids try really hard but easily forget what they have been told.

3. They have troubles completing work. They aren’t being lazy or difficult they just need more time to process information. Often teachers think these kids aren’t motivated.

The reality is they have forgotten the instructions before the task has been completed. They often lose their place in complicated tasks, forget content, and are considered to have short attention spans and are easily distracted. Working memory easily gets overloaded and they struggle to hold the information they need to complete a task.

How Parents can help Kids with Poor Working Memory

Working memory can be improved with memory strategies and memory games. These help kids sequence information, use cues to remember and ask questions to clarify instructions. Here are five tips to use if you think your child has a poor working memory.

1. Break down tasks and instructions. Have regular reminders.

2. Get older kids to make lists that sequence what they need to do.

3. Encourage them to ask questions.

4. Use memory strategies and memorization techniques to help your child with school.

5. Have them write down processes and steps with studying and homework so they have more time to memorize processes.

Working memory doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence but it affects how kids learn, how they perform on tests and their confidence in school.


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