How to make learning and remembering new skills and information easier
Most of us have found that learning new skills and information, then remembering those same skills and information, a slow and difficult process. Learning and then remembering what we have learnt has taken up too much of our time and energy in the past, and so we think it has to be a long, tiring, and difficult experience for our children as well. It doesn’t. We made some simple mistakes when learning new knowledge and skills and then committing them into our memory. Our children don’t have to make those mistakes.
There are 3 key reasons why people find it difficult, time consuming, and tiring to learn and remember new information and skills.
- We don’t actively spend time thinking about how to relate this new learning to other information and skills we already have learnt.
- We don’t relate it to the senses by seeing it, talking out loud about it, hearing someone else explain it, and doing something with it in some way (e.g. writing, drawing, making, moving it around).
- We don’t focus most of our attention when learning and remembering. Instead we ‘mindlessly’ repeat the new learning over and over, believing that then we will learn and remember it. How can learning and remembering happen easily and fast when our mind is absent? When we are distracted? How often have you been listening to the noises outside, feeling hungry, or worrying about someone, while spending time attempting to learn something new?
You will find it difficult to learn and remember new information and skills when you make no connections to what you already know, you aren’t involving your senses, and you don’t pay close attention to what you are learning.
How does making connections with what you already know help us learn and remember?
The neurons or memory pathways need to find ways to keep communicating for their new relationship or learning to become permanent. “Use it or lose it” takes on a deeper meaning when viewed from this perspective. This is why repetition and drills don’t work on their own. Check out this lovely explanation about how connections are created in our brain.
We learn best and remember better when we make connections. We learn much faster and more easily when we associate information and skills we already know, with the new information and skills we are learning about. This is because our existing memory pathways which we created when we learnt to ‘do’ a similar skill or parts of the new skill, connect to the new memory pathways we are forming, helping them stay strong and stable.
“Learning is the new relationship created between neurons, and remembering is keeping that relationship socially alive.” P. 185 Dispenza, J. 2007.
If your child is having trouble learning and remembering basic Mathematics or reading and spelling skills, they might not have enough brain pathway connections to known facts and skills. I have often experienced the joy and discovery in a child’s eyes when they have one of those eureka moments when a brain pathway makes a new connection to something already known and they suddenly understand a skill or fact they had never been able to understand before. Check out my easy to use guide on how to help your child make connections.
My next post continues to give you information on how to help your child learn and remember new skills and knowledge more easily and much faster. Our powerful brain is an exciting place to explore. I hope that you give me feedback about this post.