How to Help Your Dyslexic Child Remember their Learning
One of the key problems that your dyslexic child faces is not being able to remember their learning. Often, it seems that they forget more than they learn and as a parent this is a worrying aspect of dyslexia. However, there is an effective way for your child to remember which this post looks at.
It was way back in 1885 that Ebbinghaus found that we start forgetting what we have learnt as soon as the lesson finishes. This is true for all students - not just those with dyslexia. We also know that if you space out the students learning ie you revisit ideas and concepts over a period of time, then you minimise the amount of forgetting that a student does.
What does this mean?
This means that for your dyslexic child to remember what they have learnt, they have to revisit what they are learning over a wide period of time.
If they are learning a particular spelling pattern ( perhaps how silent 'e' changes the vowel sound from short to long), then doing this once or twice will not allow your child to remember it. Learning it on day 1,2 and 3; revisiting it then on day 5, day 7 and then day 14 if the pattern is remembered throughout will help your child store the learning in their long term memory. If they forget part of the way through, then go back to day 1 and repeat. It may mean that learning is fairly slow, but at least it will be learnt rather than forgotten.
Any learning programme should take spaced learning into account. I always do this with my students - revisiting the areas we have covered after allowing periods of time to pass.
Why does my child forget their learning?
As stated above, we already know that everyone forgets what they have been taught as soon as the lesson finishes. Therefore, a dyslexic child is not particularly different to others. Where they do differ, is that other children may only need to revisit the learning a couple of times for it stick, whereas your child will need to repeat the learning in many ways and revisit it over long periods of time for their learning to be effective.
The key reason for this is that your child will have a weak working memory. Working memory is the way learning is stored in long term memory, so a weakness here means that it is more difficult for your child to get their learning into long term memory.
My online programme ' How to Learn with Dyslexia' teaches effective strategies to help a dyslexic student make their learning stick. It teaches spaced learning together with other effective strategies which will make the memory stronger for your child. It is suitable for students aged 8 plus, including older students who have yet to find an effective revision method to deliver the results they know they can achieve. You can book your place here.
In summary, we know that students forget a lot of their learning as soon as the lesson finishes. The way around this is to ensure that the learning is reviewed over a wide period of time. Your dyslexic child will also need to put in many repetitions - preferably using their learning strength but also using multi-sensory methods. I have suggested a way of spacing their learning above to make their learning more effective.