Monday, August 17, 2015

Memory Work

This year, we are starting a Memory Index!  Over the past two years, the kids have had some memory work, but it has mostly been Bible verses, math facts, spelling facts, Presidents in order, states and capitals, and their catechism.  This year, we are ready for more.  I created a Memory notebook this summer, similar to the Simply Charlotte Mason system, to help us stay organized and regularly review the things we're memorizing.  I couldn't believe it could be as simple as reading each piece everyday, and then reviewing.  But two weeks in, I'm a believer.  Here's how it's working.

First, in the binder are the things we are actively trying to memorize.  For us right now, that is The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7), The Happy Farmer (poem), the first part of the Timeline Song, the Books of the Bible, and our catechism.  We are also memorizing insect facts and Latin vocabulary/conjugations in those subjects, but I'm not keeping them in the Memory notebook.  So each morning during our Morning time, we open up the Memory binder, and read the parable, read the poem, sing the Timeline song, Books of the Bible song (from Slugs and Bugs), and the catechism of the week.  Seriously.  That's it. And after just two weeks, they have the parable AND the poem down.  In addition to seriously hard insect facts and Latin chants.  Honestly, I'm shocked, stunned, super impressed that it was this easy.  And they enjoy it!  They're having fun, and proud of their accomplishment!  So, now we move the Parable sheet to the Monday tab, and review it every Monday, while we move the poem to Tuesdays, etc.  Once we have something mastered, we review it once a week.  And as we master more and more, we move things to a monthly review.  This website has a much more thorough explanation of how to build a memory work binder that helped me a lot!  But it really is super simple!  We shall see how this keeps working, but so far, I'm impressed and pleased with it's ease and simplicity.

I drew a lot of inspiration from Brandy's Memory Index when it came to deciding what to memorize. I would also highly recommend her lecture called "Memorization and the Soul:Why, What, and How".  After reading and listening to this lecture and others about the importance of memory work, I am sold.  I also created notebooks in my Evernote to start collecting ideas of things to memorize each year that relate to our history studies, specifically famous speeches. I also love this list at Ed Snapshots of 100 things to memorize!

Each student has their own binder.  It really helps them to have the words in front of them as they are listening to songs or poems. It makes the memorizing happen more easily.


I've got what we're currently memorizing in page protectors so they can flip back and forth each morning.

Here's a view of their tabs for Monday-Friday.  As they memorizing something, we'll move it back to be reviewed one day each week. Since we're just starting, we don't have anything behind those tabs yet, but we're hoping the binder will be full at the end of the year!

Here's my binder: printed Lessontrek schedule on top, and then in the back are tabs for today's memory work, M-F review, and tabs 1-31 to review on the date.  So each day, we do the daily memory work we're working on, and then review, for example, Monday's tab, and tab 17 today, because it's the 17th.  This way, ALL our memory work is reviewed monthly and stays fresh.  Super easy!  

1 comment:

  1. Oh man! I hadn't see the binder idea. This is perfect. I made a CM memory box for this year but the binders are so much better since it gives the kids the selections right in front of them.
    I let our memory work slip last year around Maria's birth. What we did memorize was random in both topic and timing. As I was planning over the summer, I realized our memory work was one thing I really missed from prior years and such an easy way to make the kids' education better. I had a plan for this year but these links really helped me think about several categories and what will be best for us to memorize.
    I'm really enjoying listening to the kids singing and reciting the memory work we've done already this year. It's going to be a great year.
    Thanks for sharing! It really helps me sharpen what we're doing.

    ReplyDelete