google-site-verification: Learn reading, spelling and Mathematics skills faster by making connections. The more connections (or memory pathways) your child makes, the better they will remember new information when learning to read, spell, or do Mathematics. The new memory pathways your child is making need their full attention and the support of already existing pathways to grow strong. You can help your child learn reading and spelling words and Mathematics facts much faster by:
When teaching them reading, spelling and Mathematics facts:
- Connect new ideas with reading, spelling or Mathematics facts your child already knows.
- Use as many of your child’s senses as possible. E.g. Explain and discuss (aural), show them how (visual), then they write (kinaesthetic).
- Make the spelling, reading, or Mathematics facts shocking/interesting/surprising/exciting.
- Only learn new reading and spelling words or Mathematics facts for a brief period of time (10 minutes), then take a break and learn something else.
- Test and retest new spelling and reading words and Mathematics facts over some weeks.
For example when learning spelling words:
- Ask your child to write the word and at the same moment to say the word out aloud, speaking it very slowly as they write each letter, so your child’s ears hear the sound of each letter as the hand writes it.
- Help your child connect the new spelling word with other words or parts of words they already know how to spell or read so their new spelling memory pathway is further supported.
- Make their learning of spelling words somehow shocking/interesting/surprising/exciting, especially if the spelling word doesn’t follow any phonics rule you know of. Phonics is the relationship between letters and their associated sounds. Learning new spelling words is easier when it is connected with an emotion.
- Only learn five to seven new spelling words a day. Research on the memory has shown that five to seven new spelling, reading, or Mathematics facts is enough to remember at any one time.
- When learning spelling words, keep it short and simple. Your child will stay more focused then, and focus is crucial to remember new facts. Do the following five times. Write the spelling word and say the word as you write it. Check it is spelt correctly then cover the word. In other words, teach them to ‘write and say, then check and cover’ each new spelling word they are learning five times for between five to ten minutes.
I suggest you:
- Set up a simple system of learning spelling and reading words and Mathematics facts, where you can easily test their recall within 24 hours then again in a few days and again within a month. Regular testing of spelling and reading words and Mathematics facts enables new facts to develop strong memory pathways.
- Create a simple way to retest spelling, reading, or Mathematics facts so you revise regularly. E.g. you can use a notebook page for each week or for each subject and write all their new reading, spelling, and Mathematics facts there.
Your child will remember new reading, spelling, or Mathematics facts when they pay full attention for a short time and revise, revise, revise.