Excerpts from the book ‘Your Child is Your Parent’ by Manoj J Lekhi (Amrut Vivek).
All of us parents want our children to be intelligent and have amazing memory power, but what do we do to make this possible? A tremendous awareness will occur regarding the truth about memory power when we understand exactly why and how memory increases.
In the mind, there is something called chitta, where memory is stored. Memory is of three types, the sensory memory, the short-term memory and the long-term memory.
Whatever you learn first goes into your sensory memory, where it stays for about a few seconds to a few hours. Depending upon how you relate to the information, it travels into your short-term memory, where it stays from about a few hours to a few days, and then into your long term memory where it remains for life. Presently we shall talk only about the long-term memory.
A given piece of information will pass from our short-term memory into our long-term memory if we are able to associate it with something more obvious, if the piece of information by itself is outstanding, or if the information is repeated to us again and again.
Thus, the three main steps to convert anything into long-term memory are as follows:
- a) Association
- b) Outstanding information
- c) Repetition
- a) Association happens when we link information with certain things that we find easier to remember. For example, we often link the names of the nine planets, in their particular order, to a statement which goes ‘My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets’, where the first alphabet of each word denotes the names of the planets, which are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto , respectively. Similarly, the colours of the rainbow form the acronym ‘VIBGYOR’ to help us remember the exact order of their sequence.
- b) Outstanding is used to describe something that is strikingly different or far from the normal. Such a piece of information automatically creates a niche in your brain, thus allowing you to remember it for life. For example, those of us who experienced the disastrous rains and flooding that hit Mumbai on 26th July 2005 will never forget it. Personally, I will never forget an almost fatal fall I had from a cliff, or a similar fall I had from a boat into the water. Such outstanding things remain engraved in our memory forever and go deep down into the long-term memory pocket. Disasters like earthquakes, bomb blasts etc. as well as exciting events like cricket matches which end in a photo-finish (e.g., India winning the 1983 world cup or the 2010 world cup) are always etched in our memory. This feature too can be creatively used to help a child memorize more effectively.
- c) Repetition is the revision of a particular topic at regular intervals. This is the base of academic learning and involves a very systematic approach for 100% effectiveness. Whatever your child learns should be reaffirmed after the first 10 minutes, then after 24 hours or 1 day, then after a week, then after 1 month and, finally, after about 3 months to 6 months. This will ensure that the particular information gets embedded in his long-term memory, guaranteeing excellent results.
Students of our school of grade 7 and above finish their entire year’s portion within 30 days using the concept of 100% memory education, which you will find later in this book (see Sec.VII, Chap.2, ‘After the age of twelve’).