I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I can sing the theme song from nearly every sitcom that aired from 1964 clear through to 1975. Oh. And I can also recite the preamble to the Constitution.
Memorizing (the important stuff) is something that has never come easily to me. When I first considered placing Emme into Classical Conversations, I began researching the benefits of a classical education. And as you all recommended, I’m slowly crawling through Leigh Bortins The Core: teaching your child the foundations of classical education.
I’m plodding through it at the speed of smell, since they thought to use a size TWO font and what with the whole NO PICTURES idea behind publishing a book, well, the child may graduate before I finish.
But, oh my, so far it is eye opening. I’m beginning to grasp the affect of lowered expectations on our school children. Something as a homeschooling mother that I’ve been guilty of in many circumstances.
I can also see the results of countless hours of media on not only the health of our nations children, but also on their ability to concentrate and retain valuable material.
Pianist Howard Richtman who has taught children for many years was interviewed for an article at Mom’s Homeroom with regard to a disturbing trend that he had noticed in recent years, whereas children seemed to lack the ability to memorize their music.
We live in a society which seems to lack patience. Everything is fast paced and served through a drive through window. Our children are glazing over with the constant stimulation that video games and the internet offer. Added to this, our schools in recent decades have not emphasized the importance of memorization in a classroom setting.
This is one of the most important pieces of information that I’m taking away from The Core. The ability of and insistence on memorization is central to classical education. And the earlier that a child begins memorizing, the easier it will be for them to learn in later years. The simple act of memorization is key to strengthening the muscles used in abstract thinking skills.
I am taking all of this information that I’m gleaning and using it within my own home classroom. Because of Classical Conversations, not only is my 7th grader memorizing all of our nation’s states and capitals, but by the end of the school year, she will be able to map out and name all the countries and capitals on our globe.
I’ve done a complete reassessment of my other two home schooled children’s curriculum and am adding a good deal more memorization. They are working right alongside Emme during daily drills.
Because my Jensen suffers from so many physical issues with his atopic dermatitis and his general wigglyness, I was assuming that he could not handle an advanced workload, and I did not expect enough of him. That has changed, and while he may do a good deal of his learning up-side-down, he’s making tremendous strides.
I honestly wished I had been exposed to all of this information much earlier in my children’s education, but it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. The article on the Mom’s Homeroom site also lists some great ideas to help strengthen a child’s ability to memorize.
Okay. Confession. I can still remember my childhood phone number, including area code. What’s the oddest memory trivia tucked away in your cerebrum?
“This blog is part of an incentivized online influencer network for Mom’s Homeroom. Mom’s Homeroom is brought to you by Frosted Mini-Wheats.”