Doodles on Index Cards Are the Super Hero of MemorizationSuzanne Broadhurst
Employ one of childhood’s favorite tools of distraction — many adults use it, too! — to develop memorization skills: the delightful distraction of doodling.
Biology Meet Physics, or Life Meet Resistance
Have your children met formal (or semi-formal) subjects like higher level science? The number of terms to memorize can be daunting!
Add an absence of interest, and you and your child may face, shall we say, a digression from attitudinal positivity.
Enter the Hero: Index Cards
When it comes to real life learning, index cards are our heroes.
In fact, as I type this post, I have a rubber-banded stack of lined heroes on my desk in front of me along with the hot pink index card box I bought many homeschool moons ago. Sniffle. Memories.
Making Memories to Memorize
That sniffle wasn’t as much a digression as a segue.
Index cards help us make memories. And memories are what becomes of information we memorize.
When we use our imagination to understand concepts beyond our scope (and sometimes so tiny they can only be seen by a ‘scope), something happens to our brains: We remember.
Carving Deeper Memory Grooves
I don’t know all the science behind it, but I describe it like a record player. Each time we play the record (ol’ timey records with physical grooves and a physical needle) we carve a little deeper groove in our brains.
If we like the figurative music – especially if we have created the music – we remember it all the better.
That’s what index card doodling can do for us: help us remember.
How to Use Index Cards to Memorize
No matter your children’s age, introduce index card doodling. The more they develop the skill, the more they will feel confident using it without prompting.
To show them you are on board the learning curve, follow these steps with something you’d like to remember:
- Ponder the concept.
- Create an image of the concept — a doodle — on an index card.
- On the back write key words, the definition, or process.
- Put the index card aside for a day.
- Pull out the index card and look at your image.
- Can you remember the concept?
- If not, look at the back, ponder details you missed, add to the doodle and set aside for another day.
When you’ve got it down pat, share your memorizing skills with your children and tell them about your new secret super hero, Captain Index Card!
Name a Subject, Use an Index Card
This process can be used for pretty much any subject: Bible, writing, math, science – a less than popular subject in our home until we met the Christian Kids Explore Science series – and history.
In fact, The Mystery of History is a perfect history curriculum to use memorization doodling.
Long-Term Benefits of Doodling
Turning the distraction of doodling into a memory tool has long-term benefits.
For one, you’ll have great doodles to keep in your homeschool portfolio/scrapbook. I recently came across my son’s early doodle of symbiosis: a lion eating a zebra. With a note that said, “Not symbiosis.”
He remembers the term and the concept, and I got to keep the artwork.
Is that symbiosis?