The Perfect Way to Process the Grammar of Any Subject

One of the biggest criticisms of Classical education is that it assumes very little of the student... if we simply stuff our children full of facts (the GRAMMAR of a subject), what good does that do? 

I get. I really do. (I haven't always been a Classical homeschooling mom.)

The deeper we dig into Classical education, however, the richer it becomes. 

Leigh Bortins names the 4 Rs:   

Read, Research, Record, and Relate

By following the four Rs the student can begin to process the grammar in the context of the bigger pictures in history and science. The 4 Rs. means students Read about a topic, Research it a little more, and Record what they have learned in a NOTEBOOK. Lastly, Relating the information to someone else proves that the students have truly learned something.
— Foundations Guide, 4th Edition

This method has proven effective in our homeschool. Each week my 10 year old son chooses one area of the memory work to explore, and then we apply the 4Rs. 

I utilize free eBooks, library books, videos, YouTube, and internet articles, along with my membership to Notebooking Pages, and we're all set!

The Perfect Way to Process the Grammar of Any Subject

Read and Research

Let's use this week of memory work as an example. (Cycle 1, Week 4)

I ask my son which area of the memory work he would like to know more about. Sometimes I suggest one of the areas I think would be interesting to him. 

This week he decided the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World sounded interesting. 


We found a free book to download about the 7 Wonders. 


We watched a documentary about the 7 Wonders. 

Record and Relate

I love that Leigh Bortins says "Record what they have learned in a notebook.". 

We are HUGE fans of notebooking. I have made a few videos about the notebooks we keep for certain areas of the memory work. 

To save time hunting notebook pages for many different pieces of grammar, I simply purchase a membership to Notebooking Pages, where almost EVERY SINGLE topic mentioned in our memory work has a page. If there is no page, I simply use one of the generic notebooking pages in the treasury.

It has simplified my life!

Back to this week and the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World: Grant chose the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as his notebooking topic. 

(I try not to make this a time where I correct spelling, grammar, etc... I praise him for his efforts and know he is learning so much through notebooking.)

The Perfect Way to Process the Grammar of Any Subject

I encouraged him to recall what we had learned about the Hanging Gardens and RECORD that on his notebooking page. (Notebooking Pages has a complete 7 Wonders of the Ancient World set, along with an Ancient Times set.)

Ancient Times Notebooking Pages

On our community day he will RELATE this information during his presentation. 

It's really so simple. 

Simple, but very meaningful. 

And that is what I love about Classical Education - and Classical Conversations. 

*By the way - this can be done across ALL AREAS OF THE MEMORY WORK. Your children will surprise and amaze you when you encourage them to keep a notebook of their findings!  I encourage you to give it a try. 

(These images are from Cycle 2 --> we've been notebooking for a long time!)

I'd love to know if your children expand on the memory work during the week?  How do they do that?  Leave me a comment below and let's share ideas!


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