There are only 3 ways that humans can effectively acquire & learn information: urgency, association or repetition.
Urgency requires the release of stress hormones which strengthens the connection between neurons in our brain. This is why we have such strong memories for highly stressful or traumatic events in our lives. This however, it not a good way for every day learning of information.
Association is the ability for information to be added on top of something you’re already familiar with. For example, if I asked you to remember 10 random numbers, it could be a bit tricky. However, if the first 9 numbers were your phone number, it would be very easy for you to remember the 10th number.
Children aren’t able to use this strategy as much as adults are, simply because they have less experience to attach any newly learned information to. Which is why the strategy children almost exclusively use is…
🔁 Repetition 🔁
Repetition is a common and obvious learning tool. Repetition creates long term memory by creating strong chemical reactions within your neural connections. Countless studies have shown that repetition is hugely important for the development of language, memory, and learning more generally.
Through repetition synaptic connections (the links between brain cells) are strengthened. This facilitates greater neural connectivity, making a child’s brain more efficient at learning new information. Learning is most effective when it occurs again and again and again and again.
Children aren’t silly, and because they have so much to learn in such a short time (e.g. walking, talking & more) they find pleasurable ways to practice the same activities over and over again. They choose to learn through play.
This is why your child always wants “more!” or to play “again!”. They are learning! Practice makes perfect and according to Dr Maria Montessori “repetition is the secret to perfection”.
References: Nagel 2012; Horst, Parsons & Bryan 2011; Hintzman 1976; Schwab & Lew-Williams 2016; Karpicke & Roediger 2008; Schmelzer 2015