Aug 022013

Return to Questions

Q: How do you help your child if she has severe problems with memory and information recall? How can I teach my child how to memorize?


Our neuropsychologist recommended using a ‘self-regulating’ memory system. It has worked very well for teaching our child how to memorize facts.

Basically, you put the information (facts) to be remembered into a question/answer format on index cards.

You will write the question or problem on one side of the card. Then write the answer on the other side. In our case, we had a math problem on one side, and the answer on the other side. If you need math cards, you can buy ready-made math fact flash cards on Amazon for teaching your child how to memorize.

In this method, your child first looks at the question and tries to recall the answer. If she can’t remember the answer, she turns the card over, reads the answer, then puts the card at the back of the deck.

If your child can recall the answer, she lays the card aside in her “I know it” pile.

By starting with a few cards, the cards will cycle through fast enough that your child will eventually be able to remember some of what she JUST read.

As she eliminates fact cards, each review comes up more rapidly. Your child may be able to remember the answer with the shorter time between each visit to the card.

Eventually your child will have one card in her hand. She can read the question, then see the answer, then flip the card back over. Your child can read the question, then hopefully answer it because there will be virtually NO delay from just looking at the answer on the card.

This system worked extremely well for our child who also has memory deficits. The process taught him how to memorize facts and information.

By letting your child work through the cards himself.. HE can:

  1. take responsibility for his own learning.
  2. regulate how much time he gives himself to think of the answer.
  3. review if he doesn’t know the answer.
    Plus, as time goes on, your child will develop his own internal means of figuring out how to memorize things, which is the BIG key to long-term success.

In addition to drilling with flash cards, using special programs can be of great help.

Times Tales If your child needs to work on multiplication facts, the Times Tales program is a great program for visual learners or students who learn better through narratives (stories).  The program gives the child entertaining associations for each multiplication fact, which really helps the child remember and recall the facts. They have an informational video you can watch to determine if you think the program would be a good match for your child’s needs ~ Watch the Times Tales DVD 90 Second Introduction Video

A great option for drilling math facts on the computer is Reflex Math. Most kids really like the program and it is specifically designed to help children obtain mastery of and fluency with math facts.

For a fun app to help your child practice and improve short-term working memory skills, Memory Magic  is a game offered by  This app helps a child develop better memory and observation skills.  The game is leveled, so a child is encouraged to work to the next level, which also adds more challenge to strengthen your child’s memory skills in progression, over time.

There are Memory training to memorize and cognitive skills programs which can be used to help build your child’s memory skills over time.  Research shows that direct instruction provided in ADDITION to a computer-based practice program will bring about the best results when it comes to academic skills like reading, spelling, and math facts.

Using a drill program right before bed will produce the best learning progress.  Since brains keep processing during the early stages of sleep, whatever your child learns right before bed is most likely to continue to be processed.

I recommend using a program during the summer and winter holiday breaks from school if your child is in a traditional school. You can use such programs as part of your typical school day if you are homeschooling.

Hopefully this will help you teach your child how to memorize. 😉
It worked great for us!

Return to Questions