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No Summer “Brain Drain” With These Fun & Effective Memory Strategies!

Hello, PATH Parents!

Summer is here, and with school vacation upon us, we parents are typically racking our brains for ways to help our teens avoid the summer “brain drain” of no classes. One of the best things we can do is to use summer to set our students up to win in the fall, to help them gain habits and new learning strategies NOW, before they are under pressure to actually use them consistently once school resumes.

Recently, I came across a fascinating book, which I hope you’re able to check out this summer as a fun pick for my parents’ summer reading list: Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and Be More Productive. That’s a mouthful of a title, but a great read all the same! The author, Kevin Horsley, shares the power of learning and remembering (instead of learning and forgetting, like so many of us do).

For example, how many of us parents can, from memory, produce 50 words specifically from our high school world language classes (in which we no doubt learned between 300-1200 words)? Well, Kevin Horsley can definitely top that. He shares his journey to becoming a Memory Master who, among other things, was awarded the title “International Grandmaster of Memory” by the Brain Trust and broke a world record by memorizing the first 10,000 digits of Pi (which, if you recall from Math class, is random and has no known limit of digits).

That is impressive (bordering on unbelievable) in and of itself, but when you understand that Kevin Horsley significantly struggled academically for years with Dyslexia (his terminology), the accomplishment is quite amazing! By studying the brain, mind, and memory, including memory methods and techniques, Kevin Horsley overcame all of his dyslexic issues and equipped himself to read, on average, four books a week, plus achieve the honors I highlighted above.

In his book, Mr. Horsley maintains that “…our memory is just a habit, and habits can be improved with the right kind of training and practice” (Unlimited Memory, p 6). He then explains various (and, might I add, fun and entertaining) memory techniques for taking advantage of the amazing brains we have! By the way, this isn’t about using any spooky or weird mind games; it’s about simply organizing the material needed to be memorized and then mentally storing it by using our imagination. I will make a video soon that illustrates one of these methods, but for now, just know that these methods are fun ones that students can learn to utilize for memorizing even the most boring of information.

Summer is about a break from the ordinary and even trying new things, so I encourage you to take a look at this resource and then have fun seeing your teens’ amazed faces when the methods actually work!

Parenting along with you,
Lisa Raftery