Friday, May 7, 2010

Being consistent with memory work

When I started homeschooling, one of the things I definitely wanted my kids to be doing was memorising verses and poems. The problem with this was how to incorporate into our day in a consistent way that wasn't stressful!

I came across a wonderful idea a few years ago which has worked really well for us. (I can't remember where I stumbled across the idea and so can't acknowledge the creator but will gladly rectify that omission if I can).

We use an Index Card holder as seen above to store all our verses and poems. I usually get them to copy out the verse for the week on index cards or if it is a long poem, I will print it out for them to stick onto their cards. 

On each dividing tab, I have written the following:

Days of the week: Monday to Friday
Days of the month: 1-31 

When I give my girls a new verse or poem, we read it aloud, often create some actions or songs to go with it and then they file it in the Daily tab. Every day, they will review or recite to me whatever verses or poems they have in the Daily tab.

If I think they have mastered it to some extent, they can move their card to either the Odd or Even tab (depending on whether the date is an odd or even date). They will then have to review these cards once every two days.

If they have it down, they get to move their cards up to one of the days of the week, so if it is Monday when they have mastered the verse and I tell them to move it up, they will file the card behind the Monday tab. This will ensure that they review the verse once a week.

Finally, once they know the verses inside out, I will allow them to move it to the days of the month tabs. So for example, if they've learnt the verses on the 22nd day of the month and I've told them to move it up, they will file it behind the 22nd tab. This will mean that they will review this verse once a month.

With this method, they aren't overloaded with too many things to review in one day but it also ensures we don't forget to do it!

After a long holiday, we begin to forget what we've learnt. At that point, when we start back at school, I have them collect all the verses and poems and put it randomly in the days of the week tabs so that they can review them and then pop them back in the monthly tabs if they know them still. If they have trouble remembering the verses, they go back in the Daily tab again.

And that is how we make sure we are consistently learning and reviewing our memory work. Simple but effective.

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