The “Waiting Room” of the Mind

In schools, teachers focus on repetition. That’s like sending the info back into the “waiting room” over and over and over – without ever moving it into long-term memory through natural processes.

Once information goes into our long-term memory, it will wait there to be used and applied to our lives. Most people need to use that information 7 times to create strong pathways to the knowledge. If we don’t use the information stored in the long-term memory it will get dumped into the “trash”. And the child will have to learn it again… every year.

I try to build the “natural learning process” into all the activities I design in my books. The spelling books present the information in a very natural setting, and the child will learn to spell in a pleasant and natural way. Using my methods the information will be stored in long-term memory more quickly and will become retrievable.

If your child isn’t interested in the drawing and coloring activities, let them play with Legos, run around outside, or wash dishes.

I’ve also found that the children remember what they learn when we do one learning activity and BREAK for play, work, and quiet time.

If we follow a new learning activity with entertainment or another learning activity, then the first learning activity gets “lost”. For example, I told my son to watch 3 Ted Talks everyday. HE LOVES THIS! So he would watch 3, and then move on to entertaining YouTube videos about scooter tricks, for a half hour or so. He was SO interested in the TED Talks, but he couldn’t remember ANYTHING but the jokes. WHY? Because the Ted Talks were piling up in “The Waiting Room”, and before any of them were pondered and processed he was watching the scooter trick videos.

The next thing he would do after watching the videos is grab the scooter and go try the new tricks. He would REMEMBER the scooter tricks, and try them, and get creative, and talk about them…but forget the TED Talks!

So we changed the way we watch the TED Talks. He now watches TED Talks until one video REALLY sparks his interest. Then after that one is over he has to STOP watching videos, and go wash dishes or take a break. Next he goes back and watches another TED Talk about a related topic. Then he takes a break. Next he does his reading, math and science – with drawing activities built in. He loves to draw, so drawing about the things he is learning helps him remember and ponder. He doesn’t enjoy coloring, so he draws and sometimes paints.

So, to answer the question, the coloring in many of my books is designed to create that down-time needed to process the new information, and clear out the “waiting room”!

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