As amazing as modern computers are they are nothing compared to the human brain. Kids can learn and sort and recall and categorize and connect information in ways no mere machine could hope to duplicate. But having good recall takes work.
Memory work is good for kids (and adults) whether it’s a poem, the U.S. states, or the times tables, working the brain in this particular function will pay off later on when studying the nomenclature in zoology class, when recalling potential clients or contacts from a business meeting, or staying up to date on the myriad of drugs that might help a patient’s ailments. Having a good memory is a lifelong skill and it’s a learned one. No one just has a good memory, like people are just born with brown eyes. Good recall skills are created.
One method I like to work on memorizing material is to create a CD using my computer. You need a microphone. Most newer computers come with them and if yours doesn’t have one then you can pick one up for $10. You don’t need anything fancy. If your computer doesn’t come with recording software, you can download Audacity, a simple and easy to use program, for free.
What should you memorize? You can skip count starting with every number from 2 to 12, this will help kids with their times tables. You can include poetry, nursery rhymes, Aesop’s fables, the months of the year, the planets in order, the continents and oceans, countries, and much more. Look over the information you’ll be covering in your studies for the next term or year and choose some info you’d like the kids to learn.
To keep the CD fun and something they’ll actually want to listen to, vary the information. Have a poem follow skip counting and include children’s songs and favorite stories for fun mixed in with the target memory work. This would be a great project for a teacher, a parent, or a homeschooling family to work on together, including the children’s voices as well as the adult’s.