You want to include memory work but aren't sure where to even start.
There's so many possibilities to do it can be overwhelming. I've got a step-by-step guide to lead the way and eliminate the overwhelm.
Is memory work worth all the fuss and hype?
It's so easy to jump on board to the next revolutionary education idea. Let's discuss the benefits of memory work so you can decide if this is worth while for your family.
Get the brain moving
Your brain is working hard to retain and recall the information you're giving it. It's not zoned out, it's not in la-la land, it's not doing menial work.
This is the real deal of brain exercise. You can't be passive when trying to memorize something.
To gain a real, useful education you cannot be passive.
Your memory for everything, not just what you're memorizing improves tremendously. Your ability to retain and recall most information grows by great bounds.
If you memorize something every day for 2 years, it doesn't have to be big, but memorize it and review it regularly for 2 years you will have a photographic memory.
If I had a photographic memory I could tell you where I saw this research. But, since I haven't memorized something for 2 years straight, I can't help you there.
But! When I was in my early 20's I memorized a whole slew of scriptures, about 95 total in a year. At first, it was super hard and I just couldn't get some of those longer verses to stick.
Then, all of a sudden, I hit the point where I could memorize a verse after reading through it 4 or 5 times. It was EASY! I flew through my verses and remembered them for a long long time.
I'm in my early 30's now and while I didn't consistently review those passages and babies, time, and an autoimmune disease has eaten away at my memory, I do recall many of them even now.
I have recently (as in 2 weeks ago) made a goal to memorize a new verse every day for 2 years. My brain needs the workout, it needs the stimulation, and I need to gain my memory back and, honestly, I'd like to prevent further deterioration (especially with my AI disease).
Is it just me that's terrified of Alzheimer's and dementia?
It's been fun so far, I've done pretty good and it's been an added blessing in my life to stop and take some time for me-- and not in just a let's read a book or take a nap, but to better myself in a unique-ish way.
Real connections to materials learning
When I memorize something it really helps me to retain it when I understand it. As I memorize passages my brain is making connections to the words, to the subject matter in various ways.
It's connecting to things I already know about this topic. It's connecting to memories or experiences I've already had.
When my children memorized The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson, they really made a greater connection to that poem when they next went on a swing. They understood what he was saying and meaning. They felt it.
They even quoted it while they were swinging.
Again, you can't be passive when memorizing.
I'm sure you could try, but then, you aren't going to keep it in there for very long. Maybe long enough to pass the test, but not long enough for anything else.
You can do hard things
It shows yourself and your kids that they can do hard things.
These days people don't like to work. They don't like to work hard for things. That's not the case for you.
You didn't take the easy road.
You kept your kids home to teach them yourself. That's hard work. And it's the best hard work you've probably ever done. Well, when I say that I AM including being a mother to those children. Because really, you can't separate homeschooling and mothering/fathering from each other.
When our kids memorize various passages, they have tangible proof that they CAN indeed do hard things. They are smart, they are capable. They can do hard things.
The more hard things we can do, the easier the trying becomes. The safer tripping up and messing up becomes because we know we can do it, eventually, if we just keep plugging away.
That's an incredible gift to give our children.
This is a gift that will serve them far better than learning who Aristotle is or knowing the names of all the planets.
You know how children can be. There's fighting, there's the, "she's not sharing with me," or "she's looking at me,' or "he won't give me back my ball," or "he's better than me and I'm not good at that."
We want our children to love each other. We want them to be friends. We want them to learn how to work together, even if it's just for a little while.
When you memorize a passage together, you're doing it with one another. You're all starting out on the same level.
Now, some may get it faster than others, some may not.
If this is a problem, I'd do a few things.
Address the core issue. I have had this conversation with my children multiple times and I know I'll have it with them for the rest of their days.
Heck, I just learned this finally a couple years back and I'm 33.
Here it is *standing on my soapbox*:
Just because someone is good at something doesn't mean you can't be either.
Just because Johnny is good at math, doesn't mean you're not good at math. Just because Jenny is good at the splits doesn't mean you can't be good at the splits.
Someone being good at something doesn't make us less. Someone else being talented doesn't make us less talented. Someone being an amazing writer when we're trying to be an amazing writer, doesn't mean we can't be an amazing writer also.
Make it a family effort. Make it fun to cheer each other on and be supportive. Make that your family mission during memory work, to help each other.
You could also adjust a bit if it's really hard on someone.
I'd think of different ways to do memory work. Perhaps say we're only going to memorize this part today and work on it bit by bit so that everyone stays at the same level. I wouldn't do this forever, but maybe for a little while until they're all used to the process and it starts getting easier for the ones that struggled before.
But honestly, you don't have to adjust. Just keep at it.
Show off to naysayers
Nah, I'm just joking.
But still... there's a part of me that wishes some naysayer would try to tell me homeschooling is super lame and then BAM! my 4-year-old busts out the entire constitution or the Gettysburg address, or an entire 5-page sonnet or something ultra impressive and then they fall into a puddle of shame-goo, apologize, and whip out a checkbook to send my kids to an Ivy League school as penance.
I'll be satisfied with the shame-goo puddle, or the apology and acknowledgement of them being wrong. I don't need the Ivy League school.
Heck, our kids could get scholarships there anyway! Those schools [wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa]LURV[wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa] homeschool kids. Why? They know how to work, do hard things, use their brains, self-starters, and know how to learn.
5 days of goodness
The next 5 days will give you tons of resources for memory work, printables, and help you to plan your year out.
Bookmark this page so you can come back each day and not miss anything, and you can come back if you forget anything, or when you plan next year's memory work as well.
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Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work
Day 4: Brilliant Memory Work Hacks to Make Morning Time Transformative
Day 5: How to Plan a Year of Memory Work Your Kids Will Love
Day 1 is already up, be sure to start there. If you have any questions, please, ask in the comments and I'd be more than happy to help.
Click the picture to read more amazing 5-day series