Memorization is part of our daily schoolwork. We memorize all sorts of things.
- nursery rhymes
- famous sayings
- important or meaningful quotes
- speeches, or just important parts of speeches
- lists of things (like the U.S. presidents, states and capitals, kings and queens of England)
When they’re little they begin with nursery rhymes and progress from there. We only spend a minute or two each day, but I’m amazed at all that my kids memorize in that little bit of time when it’s done consistently each day. Once they can recite something perfectly they move on and get a new poem or tidbit to memorize. We keep each of the things they memorize in little memorization books so they can always go back and look over the things they’ve committed to memory.
I’m often asked by people why I include that (say it with a little disdain!) in their schoolwork. It’s not done in public schools. It will never be on one of their tests. They are unlikely to ever NEED to recall one of these things I’ve had them memorize. That isn’t why we do it though. We do it because it’s good exercise. It’s good exercise for the brain!
They are practicing the art of concentrating, focusing, and recalling information. I am convinced that it is these skills that will benefit them, not just the many tidbits they memorize. It makes learning the times tables, recalling historical dates, learning sight words, and preparing for tests all much easier, because they are trained to memorize.