In Homeschooling Today Magazine there was a very interesting article that discussed how people store information learned. A great quote, which I have always believed was this; “The ability to remember depends less on how much you have stored in your memory than it does on how you stored it”. It discussed how to teach memorization and why you should. I have always been under the impression that to remember something you need to think about it in an exponential fashion and if in doubt of your memory, review it. For instance in my unprofessional opinion, you should read or study something and then recall it or think about it.
After studying you should think about it in 30 minutes, then in an hour, then in two hours, then in four hours, then in eight hours, then in sixteen hours, then in 32 hours, then in 64 hours, then in 5 days, then in ten days, then in 20 days, then in 40 days, then in 80 days, then in 5 months, then in ten months. While this may seem like a hard thing to do it really is not. Simply let your mind review the day many times during the day, when you go to sleep, then the next night you go to sleep think about today’s and yesterdays learning, then once a week go over the two previous weeks stuff. Have articles, books and things around to remind you to remember these things. Another good way to do this is to write down major events in a day planner and review it in sequence, keeping four-month worth of pages in the day planner. When you take out the first month and replace it with the current months pages, rewrite those important things into the pages of the current month. Forcing you to write them down and think about them again. Also attempt to discuss various things with different kinds of people and practice your recall.
I can actually remember many whole passages to Shakespeare from High School, events and inane facts and figures, which still come in handy at times. When I refer to the old data, I find my recall almost perfect, but if not, you can correct yourself and start again, figure out why you made the mistake and what else you crossed the information with in your memory. If a fact is only of medium importance then you should read the fact or article or data and then re read it the next day, write it down in two days, think of it in four days. This way you skip the before going to sleep phase, and use time before you conk out for important issues. You will find that much of the information that you thought was important is not important at all, and do not bother worrying about the data. Now other techniques are discussed in the article such as Mnemonics, but even this article was careful to state that these do not replace basic learning principles. I agree. Stories, video, and beta states can help too. Rhythm, song. They discuss multi-sensory learning techniques; audio tapes, documentaries on video, and typing or writing.
Rob Eastaway wrote a book mentioned called “The Real Good Memory Book.” Another set of audio tapes I have reviewed called “Mega Memory” a few years ago had helped a bit too. Finding patterns in data is most important. I believe the article correctly points this out along with some other interesting theories such as the emphasis on organization, creating associations (especially good with names and dates I have found), and relating the newest information with a current event or in a particular discussion at the nearest possible time. It contained information on the use of acronyms, alliteration, rhymes. I believe to that the advice to remember by way of using multiple senses is most valuable when teaching children or even adults to remember.
The brain is thought to store different senses and experiences with those senses in different parts of the brain. If we are going to continue to get people to remember things, then we ought to do it right. This was a good attempt in a few pages of explaining how to remember, recall and use the knowledge in advanced thinking or high stakes problem solving under extreme stress. The higher the stress the harder to remember and therefore it is important for you to be able store the information in such a way that it is impossible to forget, since if it is that important to know that you spend time learning it, then you should spend the time in such a way as to never forget it. I find an excellent memory allows people to never fool you very easily, because you are always ready recall a conversation, fact or piece of data, that was disclosed to you, read, heard, seen, felt, smelled or tasted. Learn how to use your brain, it is a lot stronger than you think.