Are You Memorizing?

 Memory work has taken on a prominent role in our daily routine.   A child's capacity to memorize can sometimes be underestimated by adults.  (I know I have underestimated my children's abilities for the past two years.)  Memorizing stretches a child's mind like nothing else can.

Memory work is often times just plain FUN for children, too. They like to impress others and themselves with their feats of memorization.  If you turn it into a song or chant it's even more fun.

And... guess what else?  Memorization is good for ADULTS, too.   I'm pleased to see my memory getting better and my knowledge of facts expanding through doing this with my children! 

One of my homeschool goals this year is to pack a lot of wonderful information into my children through memorization.

While I draw from many methods and often times feel like we unschool, we do use many elements of The Well Trained Mind each day.   We also use many of Charlotte Mason's recommendations.  Each of these methods advocates MEMORIZATION.  

* You can read Memorization Without Pain and all about Charlotte Mason's Scripture Memory System for some ideas and thoughts. *

Each day in our home begins with devotions, scripture memory work, and some type of memory work that coincides with what we are learning that week. 

For the past two weeks the children have been learning all of the US Presidents in order and the Preamble to the US Constitution.   We put the presidents into chunks of five and memorized them that way.  I would simply say the list OVER AND OVER each day (and sometimes at random points during the day) until they were memorized.  The Preamble was memorized through Schoolhouse Rock (which we LOVE!).

*The iPod Touch is a great aid in memorization for my children.  They can watch Schoolhouse Rock videos and also make a video of themselves reciting something... nothing commits it better to memory than a video of yourself!   I love this picture of Miss B and GMan - they are watching the video of themselves singing the Preamble!

I've found I need to be flexible in how we memorize information.  Sometimes simply chanting with a beat will get the facts memorized, but sometimes a song will do the trick.  Different children have different learning styles, so keep that in mind as you memorize with your own children.

Memory Work in Our Homeschool:
Scripture Memory each morning (This is FIRST and FOREMOST... I will have given my children very little if I haven't given them God's word.)
Memory work based on what we are studying in history.
First Language Lessons memory work (What's not to love about a linking verb chant?  My kids loved that!)
Poetry memorization 
Committing piano pieces and hymns to memory
Memorization of math facts (we LOVE Multiplication Mountain for memorizing facts!)

If something is particularly challenging, I will offer a bribe reward.   This past week it was a Chick Fil-A milkshake on our way to co-op classes.   I thought memorizing all of the presidents and the Preamble called for a treat.
Here's a PERFECT EXAMPLE of why I have my children memorize:  We were talking the other day with another homeschool mom and her children.  For some reason the topic of Presidents during the Great Depression came up, and when it did, the mom asked the children who was President during the Great Depression.  My son (7) replied, "Coolidge and Hoover... I know Coolidge was before Hoover and I know Hoover was in the early 1930s.)

I was BLOWN AWAY.  He had memorized the order of the Presidents, and on the bookmark we were using it had the dates of all the Presidents.   I think I have a visual learner on my hands.

How many adults could have answered that same question?

Do you incorporate memory work into your homeschool day?
Do you have any resources or items for me to add to our "Must Memorize" list??

** I wrote this post entirely on the iPad - links, photos, etc...  using  Blogsy.   It is my first time attempting this.  I wholeheartedly recommend Blogsy! **