Working Memory and Reading: What Parents Need to Know

Reading and memory go hand in hand. From earning phonetics and knowing how to decode text, to understanding grammar and building vocabulary, reading requires us to recall relevant information committed to memory, and put it too use as we absorb text, sound out words and form meaning from sentences.

The ability to remember and use relevant information while in the middle of an activity isn’t easy for many kids — especially when reading — and issues with Working Memory skills can easily translate into problems with reading comprehension.

However, there is convincing research demonstrating that early training in thinking, executive, and learning skills improves long-term academic performance, and that the choice to teach thinking skills to early learners can result in improved performance in reading. Kids with underdeveloped Working Memory skills may only remember the first or last part of a paragraph, have difficulty following complicated text, and fail to fully absorb important information while studying. So what can parents do to help improve reading and memory skills in their kids?

First off, parents of children facing considerable setbacks in their capacity for Working Memory may benefit form implementing an at-home training program like Cogmed Working Memory Training, which has been shown to yield considerable improvements in memory. It’s also a good idea to build your child’s spelling and vocabulary skills using fun games and apps such as Miss Spell’s Class, The Opposites, and even casual games like  Words With Friends. For more information on Working Memory and how to improve it, download or free Working Memory e-book, or head on over to our Working Memory page for more recommended games and apps.

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