When we use the word “memorize,” we are using a term for remembering something that does not change, like math facts.  In professional circles, memorization is called rote memory and includes all information we remember that stays the same.  A subset of rote memory is sequential memory  (everything we remember that required us to remember the information in a sequence) – like phone numbers or spelling words.

New research shows memorizing rote information like math facts helps children use their hippocampus as a stepping stone to a more complex neocortex system. The act of learning how to memorize static facts (phone numbers, zip codes, math times tables, math adding tables, spelling) enhances the ability for more complex and internal problem solving. Memorization or rote memory can be body memory (like memorizing a dance routine), or hearing/listening with verbal lists, or visual using flash cards or lists of times tables.

Some other activities you can do are play list games, “I like ice cream, cake and ___,” (keep adding words to the list) or spelling word lists – where you spell the word and then say the word. For more fun, make a family play and have your children memorize their lines. Let you children know that memory practice is good!

If you know your child has trouble remembering lists for following directions, then use the EFSAP Memory Expansion Program  a complete memory program that teaches you how to teach focus, attention, and memory to your children, the skills needed for academic success.

Read the research here.