Pegging and Memory Tricks for Learning

If we want to increase the rate in which we learn things, or the rate in which our children learn things in school, one valuable tool is the tool of pegging. Pegging has been around for a very long time, but it involves a simple trick – turning data into pictures in our minds. This allows our brains to take snapshots, which are easy to remember and can increase our learning!

This very useful tool can be used for any area where you need to assimilate new information and can be taught to our homeschooled children at a very early age. The reason that it works so well is that it allows you to create a visual image in your brain, a picture if you will, and visual images stick longer in our memory banks. They are easier to recall, and the learning is more long-term with images than words alone. You can probably remember some images and pictures from your mind’s memory from when you were a child. These pictures can be seen just as easily as you can see images from last week. You can probably remember entire billboards that you saw on your last trip in the car, due to the fact that you were taking mental snapshots constantly whether you knew it or not.

If we take something we already know and add new information to it, our brains can quickly adapt. For instance, I can still remember the house number for a friend of mine from when I was twelve years old. I remember it because we made up a rhyme with the numbers one day, and each of those numbers was a picture for us. She doesn’t live there anymore, and I left that neighborhood forty years ago, but I know that number. This is the idea behind pegging.

Let’s look at some specific pegs, and we will stick to the number system since that is easy to understand and apply. If you can create a set of standard visual images that look like the numbers 0-10, you can learn almost anything numerically. Any images will work, and you are free to come up with your own, but here are the ones that I use and why:

0-egg; a zero looks like an egg

1-barber’s pole; again, these are visually compatible

2-shoe; because we have two feet to put shoes on

3-tricycle; three wheels

4-car; four tires

5-glove; five fingers to cover

6-gun; a six-shooter

7-dice; “lucky seven”

8-skate; figure 8’s are skated with skates

9-cat; a cat has “nine lives”

10-bowling pins; a full set is 10 pins

Let me illustrate how I have seen this done before. A group of students that I worked with on one occasion had an afternoon, about 2 hours, to memorize all of the amendments to the Constitution. They decided to use pegging to get them through the list. I overheard their discussion on Amendment 4 to the US Constitution. They were describing how they could imagine themselves in their cars (4 is car, remember), shaking their fingers at a police officer who wanted to search their vehicle. Each of them had their own, very personalized “movie” in their head, complete with visual images.  The Fourth Amendment says that citizens have the right of protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. This conversation was three years ago, and I still remember it, and I might add that the students had all 27 Amendments pegged in less than an hour.

Another very practical application is that often we have to park our cars in large, numbered parking lots, but we forget the number when we try to find our car. If we pegged the lot number, this problem could be eliminated. If you parked in C-3 for example, you could imagine a tricycle (tricycle is 3) sporting a giant gold “C” license plate on the back. The sillier the image, the more likely your brain will “see” it and remember it.

See how easy that is? This trick scores a perfect set of bowling pins!


Mrs. Camille Rodriquez is a wife and mother, with experience as a pastor’s wife for more than a decade and as a homeschool mom for almost 20 years. Visit her website at National Homeschool Academy.

Article Source


Comments are closed