I like physical resources. I’m also a fan of mnemonics*. Memory Joggers has combined the two – and it’s a winning combination! I was so excited when I had the chance to work on a Memory Joggers review with my kids. I’ve been eyeing their products for almost a year and I finally had the chance to take a deep dive. I am so glad I did!
Memory Joggers teaches math (and other subjects) using rhymes, stories, pictures, and picture associations coupled with fun activities. The stories and characters in the Memory Joggers system are age appropriate and provide children with associations that are easily identifiable to them. Simple mnemonic rhymes and repetition are integral parts of each learning experience. And two things that are amazing (in my opinion) – 1) Memory Joggers includes visualization exercises, which teach students how to visualize on their own. (Teaching children how to “see” the picture in their mind is an important facet of the Memory Joggers system.) 2) The repetition isn’t boring – it’s actually fun!
What I really like, is that Memory Joggers has both add/subtract and multiplication/division learning systems and the mnemonic techniques are different enough that kids don’t get them confused. Naturally, children need to understand the basic concepts before proceeding to the memory techniques (so if your child doesn’t understand adding at all, you need to teach addition basics including fact families before starting the addition learning system). That said, Memory Joggers works well for all kids, pre-schoolers – middle schoolers; teens – adults, special education students, and of course – all types of homeschoolers!
How do you teach addition and subtraction using Memory Joggers? It’s not difficult. I promise!
- You play the CD for the rhyme that is being taught. Listening to the CD helps children learn the cadence and how to clap to the rhyme – kids should clap for each syllable.
- After listening to the rhyme, you stop the CD and have the student try the rhyme on his/her own.
- Using the Rhyming Cards during this time really helps. The picture makes it easy for the visual learner and the clapping and repeating out loud helps the auditory and the kinesthetic learners.
- This is the fun part, you and your child clap out a clapping pattern together while you repeat the rhyme over and over. You make it a game. After repeating and clapping the rhyme several times, the student should remember it.
- The child then uses the Activity Book. The child copies the rhyme, colors the picture and writes the fact family. The Activity Book is a combination of a math workbook, assessment tool, and a coloring book. It’s genius!
- You have the child use the rhyme for/during various activities throughout the day, and of course, you continue using it in the future.
FYI – Here’s the sample lesson for 8 + 9 = 17
Teaching multiplication and division is even easier and more fun!
- Teach the concept of multiplication/division first. I love all the handouts and ideas in the instruction packet.
- Introduce each digit’s character or symbol.
- Show the card (picture side) while you read the story on the back and follow the easy steps to reinforce the story.
- Follow up with the Activity Book where the child can write the story in his/her own words. (Nice writing activity!)
- Teach only 2 cards each day and it is amazing how quickly the kids will remember. I absolutely love the fact that they now know division as well.
Here’s the sample lesson – for 8 X 9 = 72
The key to both the addition and the multiplication sample problems is that the student learns the “fact family”.
In the addition problem, the student makes an association between all three numbers – 8, 9 and 17.
This happens again in the multiplication lesson when the student makes an association between 8, 9, and 72.
FYI – there are two Memory Joggers Math books that you’ll want to look into–
- No More Counting on Fingers is super – my daughter loves it! The book is for kids to read, color and memorize addition and subtraction facts, and it’s divided into three sections – counting by 1, counting by 2, and addition all the way through 9 + 9.
- Memory Tips for Math –Memorization and Learning Styles: The Successful Way to Teach K-5 Math is for you, the parent. It’s 136 pages, and covers everything from The Why’s and How’s of Memory through Algebra Basics, and even includes resources in the back such as the Counting to Ten Book, Counting to Twenty Book and more. I recommend this gem – as you will probably benefit from knowing the secrets to teaching measurement successfully; simplifying geometry and algebra terms with memory tips, etc.
I really like the Memory Joggers products. Specifically, I appreciate that:
- The mnemonics* system works! The math products (addition & subtraction and multiplication & division) geography, and writing products have all been classroom tested. On a personal note, my little guy was struggling with multiplication – and the rhymes and stories truly helped. He knows his times tables now, and he really feels good about himself – as he conquered something that was difficult for him.
- The Memory Joggers technique is unique. I have to admit, I wouldn’t have thought of it!
- All kids love rhymes. You’ll be teaching this to your elementary kids, and your pre-schoolers will be learning the rhymes as well!
- Memory Joggers teaches to all three learning styles – Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic. This means it will work with all learners. In homeschooling, that’s important, as it’s likely your kids have a variety of learning styles. And they might differ from yours entirely! (I have Visual and Kinesthetic learners and I’m an Auditory learner – I have to make a special effort to teach to my Visual and Kinesthetic kids).
- The Parent/Teacher Guide helps a lot. It has a ton of helpful hints, such as begin math after reading, as the mind and memory are more receptive at this time; explain that this is a game (kids love games and will be more eager to learn), etc.
- There are LOTS of products – including learning systems (packages), individual activity books, journals, rhyming cards, CDs, and more. Because of this, the products can grow with your children which I appreciate. First addition and subtraction…..then multiplication and division. Throw a little geography and journaling into the mix, and you’re using lots of Memory Joggers products (I love when I can stick with one company and use lots of their products – when I like their products that much)!
- The products are of good quality, with nice bindings and covers that can be wiped clean (peanut butter and jelly on them – no problem!).
- The prices are GREAT – most packages are $49.95 and under. Homeschoolers appreciate low price points (especially if coupled with quality and a product that works!). The Super Achiever package pictured below includes all math products and is just $79.95 (best value).
- The website offers a handy product comparison page, to help you pick exactly what you need – although again, I think you should check out the Super Achiever package first – it’s such a deal.
- The website also has great blog posts and this page contains lots of helpful info. You can even sign up for free memory tips.
- Memory Joggers products come with an unconditional 30-day money back guarantee. I always appreciate that, don’t you?
The Super Achiever Package includes both the Math Learning Systems (Addition & Subtraction as well as Multiplication & Division), plus their most popular book Memory Tips for Math. As I stated above, I highly recommend this package. Especially if you are homeschooling multiple children at the same time.
If your kids already have their math facts down, you might want to give the Memory Joggers Journals a look as they are FANTASTIC!
- Thought for the Day – 365 Journal Writing Prompts to Challenge Students to Write with Purpose & Meaning contains prompts that are thought-provoking – and each month has a character-building theme. I have spent a lot of time thinking about character education over the last year and I really enjoyed this product a lot. The Daily Challenge pages are great for homeschooling, and the idea of parent and student journaling – answering the same questions and sharing, is absolutely wonderful. My daughter and I had a blast doing this. I’m excited to do this with my son as well.
Example of a prompt : “Cheerful people are like sunshine on a rainy day.” What can you do to be cheerful and bring sunshine into someone’s life?
- Kids Writing Journal – Writing Prompts to Stimulate the Imagination! includes positive quotes, proverbs, and character building sayings as prompts – and they’re excellent tools for opening discussions regarding life values.
Example of a prompt :”Forget injuries, never forget kindness.” (Aesop)
This saying means you should forget the people who say bad things to you but remember people who are kind to you. Write about the kindest person you know.
Another Memory Jogger product? The States & Capitals includes 50 state cards, and uses the mnemonics approach. If your kids respond to the math products (and I’m sure they will), they’ll totally enjoy States & Capitals as well. Honestly, we just went on a road trip and used this book in the car. It was a total blast and the whole family enjoyed it.
There are SO many curriculum options to choose from and I highly suggest you check them out. Products like these make it so much easier to homeschool and I am thankful that they exist.
*Defined in broad terms, a mnemonic is a device, procedure, or operation that is used to improve memory. Defined in narrow terms – a mnemonic is a specific reconstruction of target content intended to tie new information more closely to the learner’s existing knowledge base and, therefore, facilitate retrieval.
Learn more about Memory Joggers here: https://memoryjoggers.com/
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- Memory Joggers Review
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