ASL

How to Plan a Year of Memory Work Your Kids Will Love

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.

Take all the materials from the past 4 days and put them together to plan memory work that will be effective and your kids will love and look forward to doing! Easy plan, step by step, walks you through to customize for your homeschool.

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!

Gather Materials

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.

Scheduling

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.

Monthly:

  • 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.

Index Cards

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.

Memory Binder

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.

Take all the materials from the past 4 days and put them together to plan memory work that will be effective and your kids will love and look forward to doing! Easy plan, step by step, walks you through to customize for your homeschool.

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.

  1. You write actions and funny voices on each popsicle stick.
  2. A kid draws a popsicle stick before each passage to be recited.
  3. 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 !

 

That's it!

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.

 

Parting gift

If you haven't already....

Grab the ASL Memory Work packet

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and join the challenge!

50 IN 5 challenge

 

Catch up

Main: The Best Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Work

Day 1: Improve Your Child's Relationship to God with Memory Work

Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work

Day 3: Phenomenal Poems to Rock Your Memory Work

Day 4: Brilliant Memory Work Hacks to Make Your Morning Time Transformative

 

Your Turn

Tell me your plans for memory work!!

Mwah

 

 

 

 

 

Click the picture to access the other 5-day posts!

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Can you believe this homeschool year is almost over? This is about that time when so many of us are in desperate need of a homeschool refresh.  

We're tired, sluggish, stuck in a rut, and just looking for that great day when someone says it's finally okay to have BBQs and play in the pool all week long.

Until then... we've got to keep at it, amIright?

(Especially for us poor few that homeschool year round!)

 

We need a reset! A warm, fresh breeze to drift push through the stagnant air of our homeschool rooms. We need a new perspective to refresh our days, our curriculum, our approaches.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

 

The beauty of this day we live in are the incredible amounts of homeschool resources, connections, ideas, and people we can access literally within seconds.

The downside is there's just. so. much. it can make you crazy.

The iHomeschool Network has taken out the hard work of culling through the thicket of information to present us a package of resources we can trust and depend on.

Welcome The Homeschool Omnibus

This year there are 90 resources to inspire you, to refresh your homeschool, to shake it up and do something different, something creative!

  • 90 resources! 
  • Total value: $420
  • Cost is $25 (6% of the actual value)

Holy smoking cow. That's awesome stuff.

These are 90 resources I wouldn't have thought of on my own (well, except one, because that is one I made) and wouldn't have had time to go searching for.

 

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I'm loving these homeschool resources

 

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The Organized Homeschool Life

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Homeschooling with ADHD

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Blueprints For Homeschool Science

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Science and Math: End the Struggle

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Books of History Fine Arts Pages

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Poem Collection 1

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Engineering Unit Study

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You Are Not Alone Collaborative Homeschooling

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Come back over the next 10 days to see exactly how these have refreshed our homeschool life. 

 

If you are a Charlotte Mason-er I'd check these resources out

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

If you are homeschooling high school these are some fantastic finds

 

So often many of the homeschool resources out there are for younger students and our awesome high schoolers are neglected! Well, no more!

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Struggling homeschoolers and New homeschoolers you're not neglected

 

Well, I did neglect you in that I didn't make a pretty picture to show you all the cool goodies there are for you. Sorry, I'm lame.

However, there are many items just for you to ease you into the homeschooling world if you're a newbie.

At your wit's end? Just don't know how to overcome this giant hurdle sitting in your schoolroom? Scared to contemplate what your next move could be? People telling you to just throw in the towel and ship them to the nearest school?

 

Don't despair! Please. First, take a deep breath and know that I feel for you. It's tough and stressful and can be overwhelming when you try to tackle all the issues you may be facing at once. There are some amazing homeschool moms that have been where you are, and many are still overcoming their own hurdles (aren't we all, really) that have offered up some help for you.

 

One of my favorites is Homeschooling with ADHD. This is something that we definitely need in our home. I have it, and I'm pretty sure a few of my kids do as well.

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Want to know more?

Here's an awesome catalog for you to check out each title for yourself. There's a nifty flip book for you to peruse, or just download the catalog if that is easier for you.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Check out the catalog. You can also click the picture to head to the catalog.

 

Over the next few days I'll be highlighting some of my absolute favorite resources and how I'm using them. Make sure to check back to see just what I have planned, and maybe you'll be just as inspired and excited as I am.

 

Full disclosure

I have a book in the Omnibus sale! I know, right!? I'm kind of amazing. ;-)

What is it, you ask? I know you're dying to know!

Master the ASL alphabet Workbook & Videos

Master the ASL Alphabet workbook and videos

Since I have a book in the sale, I get a small commission when you purchase through my link. What does this mean for you? Nothing, except for you're the sweetest, most kindest, lovingest person in the world. What does it mean for me? I get a little bit of money to keep paying for this blog. Spoiler: blogs are expensive to run.

 

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Wait! As my thanks for your kind and loving support I'll be sending you Master the ASL Numbers Workbook for FREE once it is released (end of May 2016)!

AND! I'll send you my ebook: Celebrate Your Homeschool fo' FREE

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How do you get this sweet bonus?

Purchase by clicking THIS link (or any of the pink buttons in this post) and then email me your Omnibus receipt to asldoneright @ gmail . com

 

Things to remember

This sale lasts for 10 days ONLY. There are absolutely no extensions or exceptions. At all. The Omnibus sale lasts from today, April 29th until May 8th (Sunday) at 11;59 PM Pacific time.

Cost is only $25

  • Add a DVD copy of the 90 resources for an additional $9
  • Or add a thumb drive copy (good for computers without a DVD drive) for an additional $11

The DVD and the thumb drive are mailed out May 31st.

The good thing about these two options are to keep your hard drive clear of tons of downloads. You can also set aside those resources you may not need right now (save those high school resources if your kiddos aren't yet there), and can ensure that you have a backup copy should anything happen to your beloved computer (knock on wood)!

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I love iHomeschool Network and the wonderful homeschooling mamas that are a part of it. They know their stuff and are so eager to serve and help any and all homeschool families just like them.

 

This sale is only once a year, and only 10 days. I'd hate for you to miss it!

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What ASL Can Teach Us About Writing

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ASL can teach me about writing?

 

No, I have not been sniffing glue.

 

American Sign Language is a vibrant and engaging language. There is such freedom in the way you use the language to communicate and express yourself.  If you know the rules you can shape the things you say to your liking.

 

I'll show ya.

 

You want to say you're confused. You could:

  • sign the word confuse
  • sign a question mark
  • sign it's over your head
  • sign a question mark at your forehead and look really confused (take your index finger and hook it like a question mark right at the front of your forehead)
  • If you're really really confused you can take all 5 fingers of one hand and sign questions marks with all 5 at your forehead.  Mega confusion!  You add in some crazy facial expressions and they know that you're crazy confused.
  • sign you don't understand and some combination of the signs if you feel so inclined.

 

[video width="640" height="480" wmv="http://rochellebarlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Video_00006.wmv"][/video]

 I threw this video together so you could see what I was talking about.  My toddler was desperate to get on camera so I had to rush it and couldn't redo it.  

When you sign something is large you not only show that with your signs and classifiers you show it with your face.  You puff out your cheeks, you open your mouth to make the CHA sound. You frequently will hear people signing as much as you see them.  When you sign something is tiny you can kind of fold your body in, squint your eyes, pinch your mouth together and get really close to your hands.  Ya know, get small.

 

[video width="640" height="480" wmv="http://rochellebarlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Video_00008.wmv"][/video]

 

When I interpret I often wind up making sound effects.  I'll say it's like you know, CHA, and making explosion sounds, or making my voice baby tiny squeaky.  It makes it more fun that way, right?!

 

You can change the pace: zip through them or slo-o-o-o-w down. You can change the meaning of a sign or emphasize a sign. You can get really big and all up in their grill or small to create mood, show emotion, and convey attitude.

 

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Now how does all this help with writing?

 

[Tweet "Can ASL really help with writing?"]

 

Word choice.

 

There's so many ways to say one thing.  You can take the language we have and shape it to communicate our message.  You can say confused, but there's innumerable ways to say or show confusion.  It's that whole show versus tell thing again.

 

Can you manipulate your words to convey what you want to say in a unique and fun way?  I'm sure you can think of amazing writers that have this gift to bend words into beautiful profound prose.  It doesn't have to be beautiful. You want just enough to blow people's undies off.  In a good way.  Not a creepy-sick way.

 

Sound effects are really effective as well.

 

I like to think of that scene with Mrs White in Clue.  Yes, the flames on the side of her face, but also that part where she says Pfft.  She does a reverse raspberry (I prefer the term zerbert, but I'll conform just for you).  It stands out in the audience's mind and adds an element that otherwise wouldn't have been there.

 

Facial expressions are vital.

 

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You can show confusion with a raised eyebrow, a blank stare, an open mouth, or some kind of combination of all three.  In conversation it is important to have expressions to follow along with.

 

When you are in a conversation with someone what things indicate they are listening to you?  Understanding you?  Interested? Bored? Doubtful?

 

You use these subtle (sometimes not so subtle) cues to guide your conversation.  If they seem like they're not paying attention you start talking crazy:  "I just killed 20 people and ate my own boogers."  They're still not listening?  Kick it up a notch or find someone else to talk to.

 

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They're distracted by someone behind you?  You'll probably turn around to see what it is.  They look doubtful you'll probably start defending yourself or over-explaining.

 

In a story these cues are just as vital to the reader.

 

 

 

Add on to facial expressions with body language.

 

We all use body language to tell our true meaning.  You've heard those studies. We communicate 55% with our bod,y 38% with our tone (or in ASL, your face and hands), and 7% with our words.  Are you keeping true to this in your story?

 

Body language is another engaging way to pull the reader in and to connect with your characters and set the mood.

 

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You can show confidence, irritation, anger, excitement, nervousness, and worry with the body.

 

With ASL you really learn to key in to other people's movements and face even when they're not signing at all.  In writing I think it's important for it to be natural and subtle. Then at other times to be in your reader's face with emotion and attitude.

 

Character Development

 

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Does your character have a tic unique to them?  For instance, when my husband is nervous about something he touches his earlobe.  I have no idea why he does it and he doesn't even know he does it.  {Sorry babe}

 

Does your character show his emotions in a certain way.  I may show nervousness one way, but Johnny shows it differently.  Maybe I'm obvious: shaking voice, wringing and shaking my hands, pacing, and sweaty.  Johnny is more subtle: eyes dart around and he cracks his knuckles.

 

Maybe your character has a weird quirk.  Since I outed my husband it's only fair that I share something embarrassing as well.

 

Whenever I feel any intense emotion: nervous, anger, excitement, sad, or any extreme temperature I get so sweaty.  Just my underarms.  No other place.  It doesn't matter how much deodorant I used.  It doesn't matter if I just got out of the shower (I can sweat in the shower), it doesn't matter that I use prescription deo. I will sweat. It won't be pretty.  I think I can even sweat when I feel extreme boredom.  Thank goodness I'm rarely bored.

 

That was more than you wanted to know about me.  Sorry.

 

Can you still look me in the eyes?  Why did I confess this ridiculous physical issue?  So you'll be my friend out of pity!? Yes! I mean, no. I did it so you can see that these things are important for your characters to be real people.

 

Your other characters will notice these things about each other.  If there's pit stains on a shirt it'll show up.

 

Your character will base their choices around these things.  Do I wear gray shirts?  Not frequently.  If I am going to be in a situation where I know I'll be hot/cold/full of emotion I will make sure my shirt won't show sweat puddles (loose and gauzy).

 

Your character will be aware or even paranoid.  I've had to sign and had sweat issues going on.  I'm going to be moving my arms around all sorts!  What am I going to do?  Go to the bathroom and put squares of paper towels in my underarms to try and soak up sweat and prevent more sweat.   Gross!  Now you really can't look me in the eye.  Don't judge.  Desperate times people, desperate times.

 

ASL can teach us something about writing.  We may have already known these things and that's okay.  ASL has taught us its true importance to include these various elements in our stories and in our characters for a rich story.  Bonus: you learned some weird things about me and some fun things about ASL.

 

P.S. I have a character that is Deaf in my novel. When I have her in dialogue I do not write it out in gloss -- meaning written ASL. Example: I STORE GO I   Yes, it's in all caps.  I do not write it out like I store go I either.  I don't put it in italics as I have seen one author do.  It's not a thought, it's dialogue.  I write it like so, "I'm going to the store." she signed.  If it's a conversation I don't add the dialogue tag she/he signed each time, just as you wouldn't with he/she said.

 

If it's ever good for the story I will show a sign.

 

Writing Prompt

 

Pick one of the pictures in this post and write a scene about it.  Use the above techniques and the other ones you keep in your tool belt.

 

[Tweet " ASL really can teach me how to write richer scenes and characters."]

If you enjoyed the post, please consider sharing it with your writer friends!

 

Question for ya:

Caption one of the photos for fun! Put your awesome caption in the comments below!

 

Did I miss anything?  What element listed here do you think you could implement  in your writing?

 

 

Featured Image Photo Source: Luca Cerabona