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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How We Memorize

Shortly before we began homeschooling all our children, I was inspired to add memorization to our day.  A thought came into my mind about my grandmother's house and the artwork on her walls.  I remember many things that hung throughout the house, and many of the words found there are etched on my brain.  I realized that though I had learned those words as a young child, they still stuck with me as an adult.  In fact, they would come to my tongue at interesting times.  In the kitchen hung...

Too many cooks may spoil the broth in some kitchens, but not mine.  I like help.

My mother has the next one memorized as well, at least that's another memory etched in my mind...

My mother says she doesn't care
About the color of my hair
Or if my eyes are blue or brown
Or if my nose turns up or down
It doesn't really matter....

That one keeps going, but you get the idea.  I thought of all the words that could fill my children's minds as they learned to navigate life.  What words did I want to fill their heads?

Taylor Swift's latest hit...
Popular movie quotes...
Junie B. Jones vernacular...

Church hymns
Quotes by good, honest people from history

I am sure you can guess which list I chose.  Oh yes, we still know many things from that first list, but there is rarely a day that something from that second list doesn't pop up in conversation.  So that is how we dove right into memorization, and if you know my children, you know they are pretty serious about it!

How to memorize:

I heard about the Charlotte Mason Memorization Box method so I looked it up.  Basically, you use a index card box and set up dividers for today, odd and even days, days of the week, and days of the month.  Then you write the first thing you want to memorize on an index card.  Practice it daily until you know it, then move it to either odd or even.  Start a new card.  After you memorize something else you continue moving your cards back so that first card makes its way to a day of the week, then finally a day of the month.  Today was Tuesday May 10th so we practiced our daily card, our even card, our Tuesday card, and all the cards behind 10.  I keep extra cards for future memorization in the very back, and things to memorize next in front.  I love how organized this method is!

I've discovered that we can easily learn something new by repeating it in threes.  I will have the children listen to the new card we are memorizing while reading it.  Then we listen to it three times, and try to say any words we remember.  The next day we do it three times again.  By the third day, we've been able to remember a good portion of it, and by the fourth day we've usually got it down.  You'll know you've finally memorized it when it is stuck in your head all day, especially if it's put to music.

We start our day with family scripture study and memorization box on Mom's and Dad's bed.  We used to keep the memorization box at the kitchen table but everyone wanted to eat so we weren't very good at reciting.  Doing it in the morning has become a good routine for us.

Some things we memorize:

  • Scripture Mastery - important scriptures that 9th-12th graders will learn in Seminary, a religious class offered by our church.  These are already printed on cards to download or buy!  We memorize these to music, then my youngest sings them at the top of her lungs when playing outside.
  • Quotes from prophets and apostles
  • Mottoes and similar phrases like the Scout Promise, etc.
  • Phone numbers, address, and anything else important for the youngest ones to know
  • The Living Christ - We memorized this as a family and I was pretty amazed that the kids did it!  They begged to do the next one as soon as we finished.
  • The Family Proclamation -This one was harder to do but we did it!
  • You can find bloggers who have made those last two easy to memorize by creating printables that break them down into sentences and phrases.

I have wanted to add poetry this year and finally found a great way to do that.  Stay tuned to my blog next week to find out how!

I love this collection from American Heritage School.  I'll be printing some items off to add to our box when we need more to memorize.

Memorization is worth every minute!

Memorization takes very little time each day, but it does take some brain power to want to do it.  It is worth it though.  It's so wonderful to listen to talks at church or General Conference* and have your children turn to look at you with wide eyes as they mouth the scripture or quote the speaker is saying.  It's especially exciting when your 3 or 4 year old does it too, or quotes things she's memorized in her daily conversations with you.  Not to mention the benefits to a growing brain, the increased vocabulary, and the mental stimulation, all of which I'll touch a little more on in another memorization post next week.  ETA:  Here is the next post about memorizing poetry!

* A religious meeting broadcast twice a year; anyone can attend, watch, or listen to hear revelations given to the living prophet and apostles that pertain to all people.

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