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Alexander Residence: Little Legacy 13 Mind Mapping

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Little Legacy 13 Mind Mapping

I am 17, sat at the kitchen table with my Sociology A level folder stuffed with nearly two year's worth of notes.  It is covered in some old Laura Ashley wallpaper, little green flowers are interspersed with cartoons by my friend Dave, and indie band names, carved with devotion, in black biro.  I should be revising, but I have no idea where to start.

Mum is cleaning up after tea, pretending I suspect, to be busy, while keeping a beady eye on my progress. She picks up on my fidgeting, deep sighs and aimless shuffling of paper and takes her cue to sit down with me.  Soon I am bawling at the enormity of the task ahead.

Mum taught me to mind map that evening.  A technique made famous by Tony Buzan, it's like a grown up spider diagram.  You take a central concept and group all the learning to do with it around it, using branches, words, images, symbols and colour. The powerful thing about mind maps is that they mirror the way the brain works, helping it to make connections, rather than feeding it a string of linear notes.

A mind map about Character for my OU Creative Writing Diploma
Neither of us realised at that moment the massive significance of that evening. Mind mapping saw me successfully through A levels, University and post graduate degrees. I passed it on too, mind maps also helped my GCSE and A level students achieve great results.

One evening, one huge legacy.  Thanks Mum.
Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors. Feel free to link up a little legacy you've been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here's the code, and here's more on Little Legacy.


At 6 October 2011 at 09:07 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that is often the simplest things that leave the biggest legacy. I love the way you described your mum pretending to be busy, really reminded me of my mum. x

At 6 October 2011 at 09:41 , Blogger gidders1 said...

Love the way you write!
I too loved the bit about your mum pretending to be busy. What a fab legacy, I'm embarrassed to say I have never used this technique.

At 6 October 2011 at 10:16 , Blogger Kate said...

Wow so cool - shall have to learn and adopt this. Everyone should have a Mum like yours. x

At 6 October 2011 at 19:54 , Anonymous @byebyebirdieuk said...

yay! a fellow mind mapper ... we are a bit mind map mental here in our house. a very clever person taught me how to do it at university and i haven't stopped since. in fact, did one this morning when working on my blog post forward planner :)

At 6 October 2011 at 21:02 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Butwhymummywhy - Ah the tricks mums have up their sleeves, so you've made me realise there's another little legacy within this legacy, like russian dolls. Lovely to hear from you again x
Gidders1 - yay glad you joined us! Thanks. Its worth a try, just like a brainstorm, give it a whirl x
Kate - Aw thanks, that's such a lovely thing to say x
Byebyebirdieuk - Now that is a good idea, I really should use it to plan my blogging. lovely to have you join in x

At 7 October 2011 at 06:50 , Blogger Emma said...

I had never heard of them before, but my 6 year old's teacher must be a big fan as she is constantly drawing them now! Very useful for the future! Emma :)

At 7 October 2011 at 09:19 , Blogger This Mid 30s Life said...

What a lovely post for so many reasons.

I've never heard them described as "mind maps" before, but that's exactly what they are. My school was VERY into them, we used to have lessons on them when we were about 13, with refreshers every year thereafter. It was the expected way to learn and to revise for exams - such a great skill to have.

At 17 October 2011 at 12:18 , Anonymous Emma @mummymummymum said...

Kate, just sent me this link...I am off to create mind maps now. :-)

What a wonderful memory. xxx


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