This past summer I wrote a series called Early Grammar Stage Focus. In it, I took a close look at the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10 from Trivium Pursuit and challenged myself to do better in the areas that they highlight. It is been a few months, and school is in full swing, so I want to check back in and see how I have done in each of the areas. Each week I will re-visit one of the 10 topics, so come back next week for more!
You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.
This week I am re-visiting the subject of memorization. The first time I talked about it, I confessed that we had let memorization fall to the back burner a bit. We had started the year of good, and really memorized quite a bit, but as the year went on it lost it priority.
Just as a refresher, the article above talks about how memorization sharpens and strengthens a person's mind. They say it is so important for young children because it prepares them for the more rigorous studies they will come to as they get older. They encourage us to memorize many different kinds of things (scripture, poetry, quotes, facts, etc.) and to work on it every days!
Here are the goals I set for myself last time...let's see how we did!
- Set a pattern of practicing our memory work every morning.
- Include other things to memorize (besides the Bible)
- Start including Mackenzie in memory time (even if it is just repeating what Trevor is memorizing)
- Have Trevor practice reciting his memory pieces in front of people (grandparents, homeschool group, etc.)
I am happy to say that we have done very well at each of these things! We start our learning together each day during breakfast time, where we do our memory box and read aloud a bit. Being consistent like this is so helpful. Trevor has always been great at memorizing the particular week's passage, but was struggling at remembering the older ones. This year has been much better because of the consistency in reviewing an older piece every day.
Last year we only did Bible verses. This year we have also added poems from Primary Language Lessons, a few lists (books of the Bible, names of the continents, etc.), and a few facts that relate to what we've been learning. I hope to add more having to do with history as we progress through the year. At first I thought that the poems were silly, but he caught on to them to quickly and has so much fun saying them! Here's Trevor saying one of his poems...
For goal 3, we have definitely included Mackenzie in memory time. She is obviously there for breakfast time, so she hears everything that we learn. She will often say that she wants to try a verse, so I will say one a few words at a time and have her repeat them. Also, she often takes me off guard by helping Trevor when he is having a hard time remembering something, or by chiming in when he is reciting a poem. I never would have thought to teach a two year old long verses or poems, but their brains are so amazing that they can pick it up! Mackenzie's favorite to say is Genesis 1:1-2.
Lastly, Trevor gets lots of practice reciting his memory work for the grandparents. My mom, in particular, loves to hear what he has learned and always asks what new thing he has to share with her when we see her every week. In fact we are heading over there later today and Trevor will sing what he has learned so far of "A Mighty Fortress is our God" that we have been memorizing this week for Reformation Day!
What have you been memorizing this year with your kids? Do you make memorization a priority in your school day?