Here at the Kessler house, we tend to follow an eclectic interest-led style of homeschooling. Especially for my older kiddos, I like them to have some say in what they will study for the year.
My oldest is fascinated by chemistry, and wants to play around with sulfuric acid. Since I’m not quite ready for that yet, we’re starting with something a bit simpler…
I received complimentary access to the Memorize the Periodic Table video courses and was compensated for my time to help facilitate this review. All thoughts are mine, and I only share things that work for my family and my readers. You’re going to love this program – I promise!
Trevor likes to wow friends and family, so tricks and tips for remembering random facts from documentaries, books, and conversations are super cool to him right now. The Memorize the Periodic Table video course is right up his alley.
In fact, I thought it was pretty amazing myself.
Using mnemonic devices to remember facts, formulas, and even grocery lists is nothing new. But it is a strategy that is often horribly underutilized. And, honestly, it’s fun to come up with stories and pictures and acrostics to remember things you need to know.
One of my favorite little 8 year olds – my friend Jayme’s daughter – came up with the mnemonic Dumb Kids Playing Chess On Freeways Get Squashed to remember the order of the taxonomy of living things (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species).
Isn’t that fabulous? I won’t forget it now. Will you?
Mnemonic devices work because our brains code and interpret complex stimuli to make sense of our world. Think about the last great vacation you took with your family. You can likely pull up smells, sounds, colors, and patterns. I know that when I think about our last trip to Kalahari, I remember my toddler being so tired out that he nodded off holding his Dippin’ Dots, a dribble of vanilla trailing its way down his chin while the water bucket dumped gallons on squealing children a few feet away. Sights, sounds, pictures, imagery… it’s how we think.
But it’s not how information is thrown at us.
Kids (and adults) are expected to read and remember, to listen and remember. More and more, education is a passive thing.
I much prefer using humor to get through to my kiddos, coupled with games and hands-on activities – especially for the wiggly ones.
Memorize the Periodic Table video courses are perfect because they’re funny, quirky, and taps perfectly into the way our brains are wired.
It pulls together funny stories full of symbols, colors, and vivid imagery designed to make you remember the elements in order. Check out this interview with my son after just one viewing of the first lesson – which you can check out for free:
Pretty cool, huh?
But what’s the point? Some people just don’t believe (or care to believe) in the value of memorization of facts. Here’s the thing, though… I’ll bet that even the most vocal opponent of memorizing facts would agree that remembering details is important. That remembering grocery lists, to-dos, coworkers’ names, and so many other day-to-day things is an important skill to have.
I think memorizing the periodic table is a great thing for kids to learn. In fact, now that we’ve been introduced to this course, our entire family from the 3 year old on up to the adults (my husband and I) are making our way through the lessons. It’s fun, it’s science, and it brings a bit of a wow factor to conversations.
But more importantly, Memorize the Periodic Table is teaching my kids, my husband, and me to use our memories more effectively. My 8 year old remembered a 20-item Target list the other day. I asked her how she did it, and she told me that while we drove there she made up a story about the items on the list and recited it to herself while we were in the store.
She didn’t miss a thing.
That, right there friends, is why learning memory tricks and techniques – especially those that tap into what the brain is already good at – is such a great idea.
Head over to the site right now and watch the introductory video – all about how it works – and the first lesson where you’ll learn elements 1-20 free. If you’re still not convinced, you can download another lesson, covering elements 1-50 for only a dollar. But, since the whole course is only $19.95, it’s worth buying the whole thing. Your kids will have the fun of memorizing the periodic table and learn valuable memory training techniques that will have implications far beyond this one topic.
I love it. My kids love it. My husband (who, incidentally, bought a memory training program off of an infomercial years and years ago when we were dating, and has been fascinated by brain research ever since) loves it. It’s a total winner here at our house.
Do you use mnemonic devices in your #homeschool lessons? My chemistry lover here was just introduced to a video course (for under $20) that uses silly stories and mnemonics to help him memorize the periodic table quickly and easily. We’re all hooked, and the kids are applying this memory technique elsewhere. You can read our whole review and see some more videos on my site ⚗▶️RaisingLifelongLearners.com◀️⚗
And, next time you see us out and about, ask my three year old about the “pewriodic table.” He just might be able to rattle off a few elements himself.
Stay tuned because we’re diving into a full-blown chemistry unit study around here using great books, games, and subscription chemistry sets. This fun and cool video course is just the beginning for us. I’m following the Memorize the Periodic Table Facebook page for fun ideas and articles to share with my kids – you should, too.