Ask Dr. Blank: How can you improve reading skills in your children by improving their memory?

Did you know that one of the best ways to improve reading skills in your children is to help them improve their memory skills?

Good visual memory is central to effective reading. Visual memory is the ability to look at a word and know immediately what it says.

So how do you help your children improve their visual memory?

If a child asks you how a word is spelled, don’t tell them the letters and have them write it down. This is an automatic response that serves the immediate purpose but it does not do anything to encourage better spelling, or even retention of the word that you just spelled out.

  • Instead, write the word down on a sheet of paper and show it to your child without labeling any of the letters.
  • Then, turn the word over and have your child write it from memory.
  • This technique is even more effective if you place the word in a short sentence (of four to five words)
  • Then, have your child write the entire sentence from memory.
    For example, if the word in question was “pretty,” the sentence you create might be “the girl was pretty.”

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