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Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Alexis Ralphs Sep 09 • 7 min read

Did you cram for your exams? Did you stay up late the night before trying to learn it all in one heroic push? How much of that subject-matter do you remember now?

That's because laying down memories doesn't work that way.

Our brains remember best through repeated exposure. It's called spaced repetition, and the idea is that you revisit a topic several times over a period of months.

Preschoolers thankfully don't have to sit exams, but there's still plenty for them to learn. Letters, numbers and colours, for example. However, I'm not advocating flashcards or rote memorisation. At this age, it's all done through play. The trick is to offer regular opportunities to practice.

For example, if I wanted to help my daughter recognise the first letter in her name, we could try the following:

- Roll out long strips of play-dough and curl it into the shape of a 'C'
- Potato print 'C'
- Set up a pretend doctor's surgery and call out patient names from the appointment list (guessing from the initial letter)
- Label objects in the house that begin with 'c'
- Fish for the letter 'C' using a magnetic fishing rod and magnetic letters
- Eat alphabet spaghetti

Not all these are play-focused, perhaps, but I hope you can see that repeated exposure doesn't have to mean repetitive. Just make sure you revisit the topic regularly.

Keep it fun and the learning will be effortless.

Here's the rest of the series:


Day 1 - Theories of Development

Day 2 - Stages of Play

Day 3 - Play is Multisensory

Day 4 - Gender-Neutral Toys

Day 5 - The Zone of Proximal Development

Day 6 - Heuristic Play

Day 7 - Spot the Difference

Day 8 - Sorting

Day 9 - Schemas

Day 10 - Ask good questions

Day 11 - Conservation

Day 12 - Seriation

Day 13 - Observation

Day 14 - Set a good example

Day 15 - Fewer toys = more focus

Day 16 - The Hundred Languages of Children

Day 17 - Plan-do-review

Day 18 - Practical life

Day 19 - Free-flow play

Day 20 - Executive functions

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 22 - Independent play

Day 23 - Project-based Learning

Day 24 - The Environment As The Third Teacher

Day 25 - Start With The Child

Day 26 - Symbolic Play

Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 29 - Outdoor Learning

Day 30 - Play

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