Memory Workshop for Homeschool Parents

Several weeks ago I led a workshop for homeschool parents of students with learning challenges. I focused on creative approaches to memory, including the use of stories to cement facts to long-term memory. I shared an example from Josh Foer’s book, Moonwalking with Einstein, in which he uses a story to remember a name – Edward Bedford. Here’s the story.
Edward is standing on a mattress, paddling like crazy with a paddle in order to ford across the river. He’s motivated to paddle quickly because, well, he’s on a mattress, which is not such a great floatation device. To make matters worse Edward Scissorhand is standing beside him slashing away at the mattress. Cotton ticking flies into the air then falls like snow into the water.
Why it works: The story is unique, and extraordinary. Important story elements are logically linked to the first and last name. Not everything about the story need be logical, just the links to the subject.
I had assigned each workshop participant to bring in a name they wanted to remember. After hearing the story of Edward Bedford, they proceeded to create their own stories. It worked quickly and very effectively.
This is a great memory strategy for anyone who is trying to add tools to their study skills tool kit.
Try it out with your family as a family game. With practice you will find that you can create quick stories for all sorts of information.