We memorize a LOT in our homeschool! I have already shared about the recitations we do daily as part of our Memoria Press lesson plans. This is another way we cover memory work each day.
Over the years we have accumulated a horde of poetry, names, dates, and especially Bible verses that we committed to memory at some point in time. Sadly, much that we worked on when my older kids were very little has been forgotten because I didn’t have a good system for review back then. Since that time I have found this system, which is described at simplycharlottemason.com, for constantly reviewing what you have memorized. We have been using it for a year now and I’m very impressed with its effectiveness. One of the great benefits of it is that even if we don’t master a Bible passage during the week/month I have assigned to it, we eventually do get it down because of saying it so often over time.
Here’s how it works. I open our memory box and remind my kids of the date, “Today is Monday, April 4.” Then I ask them whether that date is odd or even (and don’t worry, I still get the wrong answer about a third of the time. It’s a good opportunity to review that even dates end in 0,2,4,6, or 8.) So, we open the first section which is labelled Daily. These are brand new verses for us, or lists that we are just beginning to learn. We just say what is on each card together, sometimes more than once to become familiar with it.
Then we move onto the Odd or Even category, depending on the date. In this case it is the 4th, so we do the cards in ‘Even.’ These are verses that we’ve been learning for a little while now, and just need to practice every other day. After that I pick up the cards behind the day of the week, in this case Monday. We say these verses, which are ones that we know fairly well by now. The last cards we say are behind the number of the date, 4 in this case. These are verses that we know so well we only need to say them once or twice a month as a reminder.
You can see that I actually doubled up my numbered cards. I did this because I didn’t want to purchase more than one set of ABC index cards to begin with. It is plenty for the time being, and as we eventually expand our memory to include more I’ll just add more cards and use the first number on these older ones.
I want to make it clear that I’m not quizzing the kids on these verses. We all say the whole thing in chorus, “Genesis 1:1- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This is a totally stress free method to memorization! If they are fuzzy about what book of the Bible comes after Daniel, they can hear me reading the card and just say the names along with me as best as they can. Eventually it all just rolls off our tongues without even thinking about it!
While we mainly use this system for our Bible verses, I do add some other types of memory work as well. The books of the Bible are in there, along with kings of Rome, and states & capitals. For the states, I wrote the names of 10 states with their capitals on each of 5 index cards, 5 on the front and 5 on the back. Then we just worked on 5 at a time until the kids could rattle them off like nobody’s business. After that, we flip the card over and master the ones on the back. Then, that whole card moves back into the Odd or Even category and a new one takes its place in the Daily.
We do something different with our math, Latin, and other flashcards. Here is our flashcard organizer:
For now this works and holds almost all of our cards for Latin, math, Famous Men of Rome, and Insects (we’re making flashcards for each insect we study). I am going to have to get a second box soon and just let each kid have their own.
How do you do memorization in your home?
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