Friday, February 01, 2013

2013 Memory Work

Last February I wrote about our current memory time and I thought that since a year has almost past, it would be a good idea to give an update... The only thing is that as I look back on a year's work, I'm sorely disappointed. The reality is that we were not very consistent with memory time & therefore, didn't get as much memorized as we usually do. Kinda hard to say that aloud but it's real. :( So, I've decided to brush off the dust from our memory work binder (and our brains!) and we're starting afresh next week! This post probably won't have a lot of new content from my last one but it's a good way for me to take stock of where we are at as we start a new year.

Before I get into what we're doing for memory time, let me share why. Classical educators teach that memorization in the grammar stage acts as pegs that will later aid in teaching them they whys of things in the logic stage & then allow them to express themselves in the rhetoric stage. You first have to know what happened to know why & be able to give an opinion of it. So, memory time helps build those pegs!

Any more reasons? First of all, the mere act of sitting for one hour reciting & listening is a great exercise for the children. They learn to pay attention & be patient with each other. That helps with other things like church or social functions. Plus, all of that listening aids them in memorizing. I'm always amazed at how quickly my younger ones learn something and I know that's due in large part from hearing things over and over. And over and over. :) But the main reason we do memory work is twofold: 1) we have way too many littles to teach & not enough time in the day (memory time allows me to cover things with everyone all at once so that later in the day I can skip over that & streamline my teaching) and 2) there's just so much that I want us to commit to memorizing and unless you schedule it, it ain't gonna happen. (Uh em, like this past year!) Of course, little people memorize at crazy speeds & with ease that make us older folks jealous so why not?

How do I do it? The goal is to gather everyone together once a day for one solid hour. Seems like a long time but if I had more time to give, I certainly would! The pace is somewhat fast & furious because there's a lot to cover with lots of littles. But it's nice to keep things moving. iTunes saves the day, allowing me to download all our music & easily access it. Children memorize even faster when there is a jingle or chant, so I try to find music for our memory work. I use a binder to store all of our memory work in one place but I'm the only one who sees it. The children all work orally, though we do use a few cards to give them cures. Before I share pics of my binder & cards, let me share what we cover during memory time.
Here is a list of what we cover during memory time:
(this is the order we cover each day)

- Bible verses
- Creeds, definitions & character qualities
- Songs: hymns, psalms & other sacred music
- Bible cards & timeline
- Catechisms: Catechism for Young ChildrenWestminster Shorter Catechism and Heidelberg Catechism

Poetry & Rhyme:
- Poems & nursery rhymes

- Songs, chants & maxiums
- Apostle's Creed

Geography & US History:
- Mapwork: the children are learning to label a blank map and eventually will learn how to draw the maps freehand.
- U.S. Presidents: names in order (after we get that down, we'll learn their years of term)
- Pledge of Allegiance & National Anthem

- History Sentences
- History cards & timeline

- Science Sentences

- Skip counting & math sentences

- Grammar Jingles
- Literature Definitions

- Personal information including names, birthdays, parent's names, address & phone number



- Operational Definitions of Character Qualities (we got this idea from the Duggars!)
- Trinity Hymnal & Psalter
- Hymns for Kith & Kin provides piano accompaniment for hymns
- Currently, we are using Veritas Press' Genesis through Joshua Bible cards, memorizing the title, Bible reference & date. We plan to go through the entire Bible with the cards from VP. (NOTE: I've had to cover several pictures)
- Holly Duton's music helps us memorize the Shorter Catechism.
- Training Hearts, Teaching Minds is a devotional we use to help us understand catechism.

Poetry & Rhyme:
- Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (I'd recommend both the book and the CDs)
- Various other sources for poems & nursery rhymes

- Sing Song Latin
- Various sources for religious songs, chants & maxiums, including the children's own curriculum

Geography & US History:
- I got the idea for our mapwork from Classical Conversations. I recently bought an old version of their Foundation's manual (3rd ed.) & used much of it along with Map Trek to gather ideas for our mapwork.
- President's Song is from Classical Conversation's OLD audio CDs.
- Geography Songs & States and Capitals Songs from here

- I get our history sentences from Classical Conversation's 3rd edition Foundation's guide. I also use their OLD audio CDs because they put these sentences to music. (I went with the older versions because they use Veritas Press materials which we already own.)
- Currently, we're using Veritas Press' Old Testament/Ancient History Cards. We plan on memorizing all the cards- first we're working on titles in order & then we'll relearn them with dates. Phew! :) (NOTE: I've had to cover several pictures)

- Classical Conversations' Science cards

- Classical Conversation's 3rd edition Foundation's guide

- Shurley English Level 7 Jingles CD
- List of definitions from Susan Wise Bauer (I think it is in her book)

The brain of this whole thing is definitely my memory work binder. I think I'd grab it if we ever had a house fire. (After the children??? Maybe...) I copy and print out everything we memorize. At the beginning of each section, I print a checklist with every one's names so that I can know who is working on what. Little pointer tabs help me know where we left off on for review. Those pointer tabs are very special. Touch 'em and face serious consequences. (just ask the children!) Maybe a few pictures will make this clearer.


Checklist (this is an example of one of the poetry pages):

Lastly, here's a pic of the cards we use- sorry it is sideways. From left to right on the top you have Classical Conversation's science cards, Veritas Press' Bible cards & Veritas Press' History cards. On the bottom, left to right you have US capitals & president cards- I just picked those up at a teacher store. I like to hole punch & use a ring to store the cards we've memorized. I laminate the VP cards (thankfully, CC cards are already laminated). All of the cards we are working on live in a small plastic box with my binder (the children enjoy reading them at quiet time & as long as they remember to put them back, I'm thrilled to let them!):

Okay, so there you have it! :) Now I'm excited for Monday! I'll try to resurrect my weekly posting of what we're working on.
- Heather

1 comment:

dawn said...

I love this post :) It's funny to compare what we do the same and what we do differently LOL