How To Improve Your Child ‘s Reading Skills and How Memory Helps

Knowing how to improve your child ‘s reading skills and how memory can helps is a rewarding skill for any parent. Good reading skills, comprehension and reading speed will enable one to better learn and excel in the academic, professional, and personal life. For this to happen, each individual, be it child or grown-up, must be able to first store a fresh piece of information in its short termmemory in order to be able to recall it later. It is this ability to remember, or to recall from memory, that makes learning of all kind possible.

Although the word “memory” implies an “all-or-nothing” process, it is clear that there are different types of memory, each to some extent independent of the other. In the reading process alone there are seven types of memory that play a vital role: working memory, iconic memory, auditory memory, visual memory, sort-term memory, long-term memory, sensory memory.

1. Working Memory

Working memory means recalling details of a task in a specific order.

In series such as the days of the week, months of the year, a telephone number, the alphabet and counting, the order of the elements is crucial. Since each word consists of letters in a specific order, working memory is undoubtedly important in the reading process. To be able to read, to skim, one must observe the letters in order, and also remember which word is represented by that group-letters order. By simply changing the order of the letters in words, a term can become mane or amen.

How to improve your working memory:

  • Reduce multi-tasking;
  • Break big chunks of information into small, manageable chunks;
  • Use checklists;
  • Develop routines;
  • Practice your working memory;
  • Experiment with various ways to remember things;
  • Avoid digital distractions;
  • Stick to what works for you.
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2. Iconic Memory

Iconic memory is the visual sensory memory stored after the image has disappeared.

If a line of text is flashed in front of you for a fraction of a second, all the letters you visualize for a brief moment afterwards will represent the work of your iconic memory.

Your iconic memory, along with your ability to discriminate between foreground and background, determines your eye span. Eye-span is crucial in reading speed as a reader’s eyes do not move continuously along the text line, but rather perform a series of quick, jerking movements.

Reading speed can be slowed if the eyes (of the reader) have to stop often along the line or if they have to move to the left, to read again certain words that were already covered. A weak reader will tend to pause more often for fixations, and the duration of each fixation is usually longer than for a normal reader. The poor reader is also prone to more regressions than other readers.

Regardless of how long visual stimulus is displayed iconic memory has a fairly set duration. Most often the duration of iconic memory is less than one second. Iconic memory is extremely brief.

3. Auditory memory

Auditory memory is the ability to process, store and recall information presented orally, by a teacher, while listening to a recording, or during reading aloud. Poor auditory short-term memory can often inhibit a child’s inability to learn to read because one needs to first listen to the sound of the word that appears on paper, before one can sound it (read it) himself sound method. For this reason, the readiness of a child’s auditory memory can be tested – as well as practiced and improved upon.

How to test the short-term auditory memory (and practice it)

To test a child’s short-term auditory memory say a series of four numbers (under 10) slowly and in a flat voice. Say, for example, 3-1-8-6 and then ask the child repeat it. If she can, then say another pattern, different and with one extra digit, for example 2-4-7-9-5. Ideally, the child should be able to recall correctly, and within the first attempt, a series of four digits in three out of four attempts (75 percent of the time) to have a four-digits attention span. Ideally, for a child to be able to grasp reading a six-digits attention span is required.

While auditory memory is important in initiating reading, when trying to teach the sounds associated with a letter or group of letters visual memory is also important in turning beginner readers into good readers.

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4. Visual memory

Visual memory is the ability to store something seen and recall it later, when the first sighting is no longer available. This means that the person must be able to form a clear image of the image, for example a word, in her mind’s eye, so that when the word is no longer visible, she can still see it clearly in her mind. A good visual memory is indispensable for building a visual “dictionary” in the brain. Good readers can recognize words at the speed of light when they read them. Our brains don’t sound the words every time we see them.

A team of researchers from GUMC, Georgetown University Medical Center, tested the word recognition using fMRI scans. They discovered that in the human brain, one area sees familiar words as pictures, another sounds out words. Also, words that are different but sound the same (like “suffer” and “lead”) activate different neurons. If the sounds of the word had an influence, the same or similar neurons would have been activated, but this was not the case (“suffering” and “suffering” could just as well have been “suffering” and “soup”). “This indicates that, once we know a word, the visual information is all we use and not the sounds,” says lead researcher Laurie Glezer. A child with poor visual memory will therefore have great difficulty learning sight words.

How to improve your visual memory (or that of tour child’s)

  • Meditate;
  • Try to recall your dreams;
  • Try to recall all you did in a day;
  • Disable spell-check and try to remember how to spell words correctly;
  • Try to describe something using words you wouldn’t normally use;
  • Look at an image and try to recall as much detail as you can;
  • Learn rhymes.

5. Short-term memory

Storing information for periods of a few seconds to a maximum of one minute is called short-term memory.

A practical example of short-term memory is looking up and remembering a phone number (at least when we still used to do it). It was stored in our short-term memory through a passive mechanism. The reason why we forget the telephone number shortly after using it is that the content of short-term memory must be constantly repeated, otherwise it is lost. If someone were to talk to you while you were preserving the phone number in this way, you would ignore the speaker. If you don’t, you will forget the telephone number instead.

Wile short-term memory is crucial in learning to read, in this case is sued in combination with long-term memory, namely practicing to remember that information after a longer period of time, processing it.

How to improve short-term memory

  • Exercise daily – it increases blood flow to your brain;
  • Have a healthy diet;
  • Sleep well;
  • De-clutter;
  • Be organized;
  • Socialize;
  • Avoid digital distractions;
  • Meditate.
Die Mahem and the Legend of the African Crowned Crane, babadiertjies van Afrika
The African Crane wears his head feathers like a crown. Photo by Peter Neumann, Unsplash

6. Long-term memory

If short-term memory only holds information in the mind for a few seconds while it is being processed, processed information is then permanently stored in the long-term memory for minutes, weeks, even years.

The working memory system acts as an active intermediary in the information processing area of ​​the brain; it is an important memory system and most of us use it every day. Research shows that people with reading difficulties also struggle with working memory. An important and continuous finding is that a poorly working memory impairs reading comprehension.

Reading is a complex skill that requires the simultaneous activation of many different brain processes. When reading a word, the reader must recognize the shapes of the letters as well as the order of the letters. Understanding sentences requires many more skills. The reader must not only decode the words, but also understand the syntax, remember the order of the words, use contextual directions and integrate it with existing knowledge. All of this must happen simultaneously in order to understand sentences.

At the same time, sentences must be kept in working memory and integrated with each other. Each sentence is read, understood, associated and integrated with the previous one, and so on. Finally, the reader has read the entire paragraph, and then moves on to the next one. By the end of the chapter, both the details and the main idea must be stored in working memory, otherwise the reader may remember isolated facts but not remember the sequence of events or understand the main idea.

How to help your child improve her Improve long-term memory:

  • Learn the days of the week;
  • Learn the months of the year
  • Learn the alphabet -and even backwards;
  • Learn pi digits: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950….
  • Learn the nine planets of our Solar system (in order from the sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, (Pluto);
  • Learn new things each day – and practice them;
  • Practice note-taking;
  • Read.
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7. Sensory Memory (and a writer’s best friend)

Sensory memory holds sensory information for very brief periods of time, usually 1 second or less. The processing of memories and other information begins in this type of memory.

Some examples of sensory memory include: sounds one would encounter during a walk, scents, something that came only briefly in our field of view.

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Maramures legends folklore in Dreamland book Patricia Furstenberg

How To Improve Your Child ‘s Reading Skills and How Memory Helps

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