You found lots of resources, now it's time to plan memory work, and not just learn about it. You've got to do what's best for your family. Let's work on that together.
Start to plan memory work
There are some things you going to need to know before you get started.
What you're going to do. When and how you'll do it. Plus, you'll also want to know what you're going to work on at any one time.
Will you do one category for a month straight, a semester? Will you work on a different type of item each day? Will you work on 4 different items for one week straight?
Where will you store your memory work materials? How will you use them?
Since we've got lots of questions to answer, let's get started right now!
I've given you 4 days of materials to use quickly and easily. All you need to do is copy each item and paste it into a word document for quick access.
Have them all in one place, separated by category.
If you're using videos for some of your memory work, be sure to write the title and url on the document for quick reference.
This may take you some time up front, but you'll be glad you did it when it comes time to use it.
You can do a whole year's worth all at once, or just do terms, semesters, or months at a time. Do what is going to work best for you.
Do you like to be flexible? Then do a month or two at a time.
Do you like a plan, but not too rigid? Then do it by term or semester.
Do you want to do it once and not have to think about it again? Plan the entire year in one go.
Okay, here's where it might get tricky.
Do you have all your materials together? Are they broken up into categories? Good.
Look through them. How often do you want to cover each category?
Here's the categories from the 4 posts in this series: Scripture, hymns, doctrines, poems, quotes, history, science, math, language arts, and extra materials.
Now, let's decide how you'll go through each category.
Wait, did you pick the categories you want to do? I'm doing all of them, personally.
Do you want to work on one category for a specific amount of time? Work on a few each day? Work on one each day, but of varied categories?
Here's what I mean.
- Sept - Poems
- Oct - Quotes
- Nov - Scriptures
- Dec - History
- Jan - Language Arts
- Feb - Poems
- March - Quotes
- April - Hymns
- May - Math
- June - Science
- July - Doctrine
- Aug - Extra
Multiple a day:
Each day work on:
- Religious (either scripture, hymn, or doctrine)
- a poem
- a quote
- one educational (LA, math, science, history, etc) item
Go through each until they're memorized before adding a new item from each category.
One a day:
- Mon - religious
- Tues - poem
- Wed - quote
- Thurs - educational
- Fri - religious
- continue the pattern
When & how long?
For my family, the ideal time to do memory work is during our Morning Time. We do a lot of our group work together in the morning to set the tone for our day, including memorization.
You can do this during a group work block, during lunch, after lunch, after dinner, or at the end of your school day.
If your schedule is hodge-podged throughout the day, then pick the time that will work WITH your schedule and not when you think you should be doing memory work.
The length of time devoted to memory work is up to you and your schedule. We do at least 5 minutes, or if we're doing multiple items, we devote 5 minutes to each category and then stop when the timer goes off.
We're switching to 5 minutes with new material and 5 minutes of reviewing older material.
If you want longer, do longer. You can start out doing the time you want. Give it a week for everyone to get used to it and then adjust where you see the need. Longer? Shorter?
You'd be surprised. My children love memory work and beg to work on it for longer periods of time, especially songs. I was shocked outside my mind when we started it.
Setting it all up
There's a few different ways you can do this. We'll explore your two options (and you may come up with a different one altogether) before you get started organizing it all.
We started off with index cards.
You get an index card box, dividers, and index cards. We used different colors for different categories.
You can put your items on your index cards like so:
- Hand write each passage to be memorized
- Type it out and print it onto the index cards (can be tricky)
- Type it out, print it on paper, cut and glue onto index cards
You'll label the dividers as DAILY, SUN-SAT (or MON-FRI), EVEN & ODD, 1-31.
You can also skip the index cards and use a memory work binder.
Print out each passage on its own piece of paper.
You'll need a binder, dividers, page protectors (optional), and paper with each printed passage.
Label the dividers: DAILY, MON-FRI (or SUN-SAT), EVEN & ODD, 1-31
OR you can label them like this:
DAILY, POEMS, QUOTES, SCRIPTURES, DOCTRINE, etc of the categories you'll use. You can put the EXTRA as one category, or break it down into math, science, history, etc.
Learn & review
Now, for the DOING part of it all.
If you use the index cards or the binder here is how you learn and review.
Pull out the passage.
Read it aloud, or have a child read it aloud.
Break it up into sections and start with the first. Add the next section. Go until you think that's enough for the day or your time runs out.
We generally set aside 5 minutes to learn a new passage and then 5 minutes to review the old passages.
Now. Add this new passage to the DAILY section.
Pull out the other passages under the DAILY section. Review them for 7 days, or until they're memorized fully (even if it takes longer or shorter).
Once you've reviewed it for 7 days move it to the EVEN or ODD tab (depending on what day it is). If it's January 15th, put it under ODD. If it's the 16th, move it behind EVEN.
Now, on even days, be sure to review those behind the DAILY and EVEN tab and visa versa for odd days.
Once you're done with that for another 7 days of review (7 times with even or 7 days with odd) move it to the day of the week that it is.
Now, you'll review: DAILY, EVEN/ODD, and whatever day of the week it is. You do this for a month.
Then you move the passage behind the number day it is. If it's February 23, put it behind 23. If it's the 2nd, move it behind the 2.
Now you'll review: DAILY, EVEN/ODD, day of the week, and Day #.
You leave the passage behind the number for 12 months (you'll review it 12 times). Then move it out into another box for all the passages you've finished. You can leave them there forever, or review them as you wish to.
If you put it in the binder or index cards with the label DAILY and then categories here's how you do it:
Review under DAILY tab for 7 days (or until it's completely memorized). Then move it behind the category it belongs to.
Each day review one passage from each category. Mark with a bookmark, post it note, or some other method where you left off.
You could also do a varied version of this:
DAILY, EVEN/ODD, and then categories.
This way you'd get a bit more review with each passage before moving it to the category section.
Okay, this is all sounding super complicated, and I apologize. If you're ready to shake me until I take it all back, I don't blame you.
Here's a quick synopsis to hopefully explain it much better and more simply.
Pick a storage system:
A: index cards
B: memory binder (we're switching to the binder)
Pick a schedule system:
A. one focus at a time
B. one category a day
C. each category a day
Pick a "learn & review" method
A. Daily, even/odd, weekly, monthly
B. Daily, 1 from each category (daily)
C. Daily, even/odd, 1 from each category (daily)
Add it all up and you've got your final plan.
Other review methods
We're pretty simple and boring and just do verbal recitation and singing. Nothing fancy. Because of this I'm going to look to some other creative geniuses and send you to them to get even better ideas.
I am planning on adding the popsicle stick review method for sure.
- You write actions and funny voices on each popsicle stick.
- A kid draws a popsicle stick before each passage to be recited.
- You will all do the voice or action on the stick.
So fun! Volcano voice, mouse voice, march in place, etc. I love it. It would be super fun to come up with new ideas every once in a while to add to the collection.
Solagratiamom has a great list of ideas that she's used.
I think my favorite is #12- Emotional Wreck. You have them recite their memory work while they act out an emotion. For instance, sobbing, laughing, surprised, scared, worried, etc.
Another is they get to catch a super squishy toy and squeeze and pull on it while they recite. Great for those that love to be doing things with their hands while they work.
Half a Hundred Acre Wood has a ton of practice ideas.
Including, write it on the dry erase board and erase a word at a time, hand motions, hide and seek and more. She has ideas broken up by category-- even better!
Brandy has even more review games for teams, co-ops, or larger families. They look like so much fun !
Okay, we've been through a lot together these past 5 days. I just want to end with one last thought.
Plan Memory Work time with things that will be of great value and use to your children. Don't memorize things just for the sake of memorization.
Memorize that which teaches, inspires, uplifts, encourages, and is beautiful. Really sit and think about what you want your children to gain and know and work backwards from there.
If there's something they're struggling with start there first.
Always always always make it work FOR you. Do what you need done in your home and not what someone else (including me) tells you to do.
I certainly enjoyed these past 5 days and know our own memory time has vastly improved because of it. I hope it blesses you similarly.
If you haven't already....
Grab the ASL Memory Work packet
and join the challenge!
Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work
Tell me your plans for memory work!!
Click the picture to access the other 5-day posts!