How To Improve Your Child’s Retention Ability

"We are not making peace signs. We have the right answer and it is 2."

Children have a tremendous ability to absorb new information. But, no matter how sponge-like your child is, there will be facts, formulas, and concepts that they have difficulty retaining.

Thankfully, there are ways to increase your child’s ability to retain and recall information. And, these retention-boosting strategies are not only easy to use, but they are also a great deal of fun.

By integrating these methods into your child’s study routine, you will likely see markedly improved results.


Mnemonics are handy memory devices that help learners not only remember items in a list, but keep them in their proper order as well. In fact, many of us still rely on these devices well into adulthood. BEDMAS (the order of mathematical operations), Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (musical notes), “I” Before “E” Except After “C”, and Roy G. Biv (the colors of the rainbow) are merely a few examples of the mnemonics that played a role in many childhoods.

Flash Cards

While flash cards have long been a perennial favorite memory device, children can grow weary of them quickly. “7 Proven Ways to Help Kids Learn Math and Remember What They Learn” recommends, instead, having children make up their own flash cards as creating them will help them learn and they will be more likely to use them when they are completed.


Song lyrics are surprisingly easy to remember. A person can go years without hearing an old favorite tune, but the minute it pops up on the radio, they are able to sing along without missing a single word. Tricia Ferrara, creator of theParenting in the 21st Century audio series, tells Parents that music is a powerful sticking agent, a pre-language learning tool, and as research shows, a powerful memory booster. By incorporating information into a song, kids will be better able to retain and recall it.

Switch Roles

Another novel approach involves switching roles with your child and inviting them to teach you the concept at hand. By requiring them to explain how to solve a mathematic problem, for instance–and adopt the role of the teacher–they will develop a deeper understanding of each step involved in reaching a solution and by articulating it, they will find it easier to recall later.


Incorporating color into the learning process can be highly beneficial. AsPsychology Today explains, a filter in the low brain only lets a small amount of the sensory information around us get in, but color is something that gets through the filter especially well. By inviting children to color maps and charts or color-code information, they will experience improved retention and recall.

Create Relevance

Let’s face it. It’s hard to get excited about learning information that seems irrelevant to one’s life–and boredom is a sure-fire way to kill retention. If you want your child to absorb new facts and concepts, you need to make them relevant and personally meaningful to them. By linking information to events in your child’s life, interests or hobbies, or their pets or favorite toys, they will be more likely to pay attention, understand, and file it away in their memory stores.

“Ha! Who’s the most sponge-like now?”

By adopting some fun and creative study techniques, you can help your child master new concepts and retain them for future use. You can help them to become an extra absorbent human sponge–without all the water retention, dripping, and weight gain, of course.

What study techniques have proven most useful with your children?