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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Regular Revision

Trying to remember if you have done all of your preparations for Christmas day uses your memory. No doubt some cooks will try to remember if all the ingredients for Christmas Lunch have been purchased by trying to visual the various recipes.

Some `Christmas Cooks’ will even make lists. If you are really well organised you will even be able to look again at the organisation of the various Christmas lists. The early lists will have a very different composition to the final memory aids. How do you ensure that you have left nothing off the final list? Quite simply it is called review. You revise and alter the lists to your current needs.

Over a hundred years ago Ebbinghaus, who was a German experimental psychologist, studied learning and memory experimentally. He used lists of nonsense syllables to examine how well we were able to remember.

His experiments demonstrated that most forgetting happens immediately after learning. If you have painstakingly spent fifteen minutes discussing how to do long division you may not be heartened to know that almost half of what you have said will be forgotten within twenty minutes. Seventy five percent of will lost within six days.

Ebbinhaus worked that `over learning’ helped. Regular review is also essential. When should you help your ten year old to revise?
First Review : Immediately
Second Review : Twenty Four Hours
Third Review : One week later
Fourth Review : One month later
Fifth Review : Three months later.

What you are trying to do is shift what your ten year old has learnt from his or her short term memory to long term memory. So as the last brussels sprout rolls across the carpet under the piano - only to be unearthed in the New Year - remember to help your loved one to revise on a regular basis.

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