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7 Mnemonics Every Parent Should Know

By Isabel Kallman

I like to work smart and sometimes we need some techniques to help us learn, or just remember things so we can look smarter than our fifth grader.

For a while I have been keeping a running list of my favorite mnemonics and I have shared them below. I’m sure there are more out there so please share in the comment section.

1. Spring Forward, Fall Back

This is the perhaps the most well known of them all. Admit it, you repeat this to yourself twice a year to remember. In case you don’t know this one, you move the clock forward during the Spring from 2am to 3am to begin Daylight Savings Time and you move the clock back in the fall from 2am to 1am to end it.

2. Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey

I can’t believe I was in my thirties when i finally learned this one, especially since my dad is a mechanic. When turning bolts or a knob, you turn them right to tighten (or close) and left to loosen (or open). Yes, you can hear me singing the refrain every time I replace batteries or use the water hose. Photo source

3. Using “b” and “d” for Bread and Drink

How to Remember which is Bread plate and drink glass

You can usually also find me at a well-appointed dinner table making the “b” and “d” with my fingers. Look at the picture above. You get it now, right? You’ll Your kids will always know which bread plate and which drink glasses are theirs. Photo source: Hi Sugar Plum

4. Make an “L” With Your Fingers to Know Your Left Side

Left Hand making an L

When my son was younger I taught him him left from his right by having him make and “L.” It only works directionally with your left hand. Photo Source

5. Remembering How Many Days in Each Month with Your Knuckles

Remembering the number of days in each month

I still do this myself (you too, right?). I need to look at my own knuckles to know which months of the year are 31 days and which are 30. I can only really just remember February, October and December. For the others, I need my knuckles. Photo Source: Quiterly

6. Nines Multiplication Calculated with your Hands

Nines multiplication calculated with your hands

My eight-year old actually taught me this trick to remembering how to multiply by nine. Just use your fingers to help you calculate. Photo source

7. Order of Operation in Math (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally mnemonic)

Order of OPerations in Math Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

I had totally forgotten about Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally until today when I was astonished to learn through some Twitter conversations that so many adults (even an engineer– I do hope he’s using Excel at his day job) can’t remember basic math like multiplying before adding or subtracting in an equation. If you use the Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally mnemonic, you’ll be good if you can’t remember the Order of Operations math rule. Photo source

Can you share any others that we should know?

About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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