Friday, September 19, 2008

Memory Tips

This post if for the new readers I have. Old-timer's will find it extremely redundant.

We work on memory work almost every day. The most efficient way to learn something for our family really isn't the fastest way to memorize, but it is the easiest to enact in the home. I guess you could call it the "little grains of sand" method. I got the idea from Ruth Beechick years ago. To memorize a piece we just read it out loud every day. That is it. We just read it everyday eventually letting the children fill in missing words, then passages and finally one day we know it.

So as I have explained we have a daily morning meeting which then becomes a longer Morning Time (MT). During that time I read aloud a bible passage that we are memorizing. Right now it is Psalm 33 and it has been since August. Then we review an old passage that we have learned. That is where the former lists I have published come in. We just rotate through the list. In order for memory work to stick, review is neccessary. We review the most recently memorized passages more often than former ones.

So we do a new and review bible passage, poem, document, & hymn every day. It only takes a few minutes each.

I have noticed, especially with bible passages that a mid-length passage is better for retention than either a very short verse or very long passage. We have the worst time with Duet 28, Col 3 and Romans 6. I still haven't picked out anything from James yet because I keep thinking it would be fun to do the whole book.

Another tip for memory work is to read something at different parts of the day since different brain waves are at work during different time periods.

One other efficient way to get the children to memorize something is to plan a recitation night with other families. We have done this often over the years. The first one the kids are a bit reluctant but after seeing everyone recite they usually come back to the next recitation raring to impress. Of course, my dh is always quick to point out it is not a chance to show-off but a chance to display humility.

The nice thing about a recitation is that you can assign a piece and then let the children work on it on their own, unless they are little. I usually set a date about 6 weeks in the future. Then I write down what each of my children are working on so I can keep them accountable. After a couple of recitations it is nice to have a theme. We have tried patriotic, church histroy, humor etc. The children can do skits or play instruments. I have never been to a recitation night that wasn't a success.

There really isn't anything magic about memory work except setting aside a few minutes to do it daily. It isn't a hit and miss sort of thing.

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