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  1. What are your kids fav things to use when it comes to having to memorize? I am looking at this for my 8-9 year old girls. Thanks!
  2. I want to start some formal, organized memory work with my kids next year. They are going to be in first and second grade. What subjects do you do memory work in? We're using FLL, and I know there are poems in there to memorize, so we'll be doing that for poetry. We're going to be studying US Geography, so I thought we'd memorize the states and their capitols too. We'll be starting SOTW 1. Is there any memory work to go along with that? Is there anything anyone else can think of? If you do memory work with your kids, what do they memorize?
  3. Do you have your kids memorize the same or different pieces? How do you keep track of who is memorizing what? How often do you review? Do you have a separate memory period? Or, do you memorize different things for different subjects and have a memory section for each subject? What curricula do you use or how do you decide what to memorize? Anything else I missed? Thanks, Faithe
  4. Given that younger kids can easily and fairly happily memorize things without being capable of understanding the context. I'm thinking of Latin and math, particularly, but it applies to other subjects, too. And for the purposes of this post, I'm assuming that *both* memorization and conceptual understanding are necessary and desirable for complete mastery of a subject - the question at hand is whether memorization can/should come *before* conceptual understanding, or whether memorization and conceptual understanding ought/must go hand-in-hand. So, my understanding of classical ed (both neo-classical and traditional classical) is that it is largely in favor of getting necessary memory work started in the younger years, and it's ok that they don't understand it right away - get the foundation laid now, and teach them how to use those facts when they are capable of it in later years/stages. Of course, if they *are* capable of it in younger/grammar years, then go ahead and provide the context - but I'm talking about where a given child, at least, just isn't capable of understanding the context/concepts yet, but *is* capable of memorizing the facts that will be necessary in order to use those concepts. Thus the emphasis on math facts and Latin paradigms without worrying overmuch if they can't understand the necessary math or grammar concepts yet - basically, that memorizing without context won't hurt them so long as you *do* bring in the context eventually. And in fact, delaying the memorization *until* they can understand the underlying concepts is actually counterproductive and slows down the overall mastery of the subject. But evidence shows that, in many cases, students just never moved beyond memorization without understanding in math and Latin. Lots of ink has been spilled trying to sort out the problem (part of which is undoubtedly because many of those students were never *taught* anything beyond memorization in the first place :glare:) - and one common answer is that students should *never* memorize without being able to understand the concepts - that once they get in the habit of thinking that all there is to a given subject/skill is rote memorization and all problems are/can be solved by straight regurgitation of memorized facts, it is very hard, and in some cases impossible, to now teach them to *think*, to break the habit of mindlessly regurgitating facts and instead *use* all those memorized facts to learn and apply the underlying concepts. Therefore, you should be training the proper habits of the mind from the start, teaching students to *think* from the start, and thus never have them memorize anything outside of the context in which it will be used. And now, I'm sure, you see shades of the conceptual math debates, and the Latin debates over teaching the language as a logic puzzle versus as a language ;). I've been pretty strongly on the conceptual math side, as well as the Latin-as-a-language side, as a result of my own learning experiences and the end goals espoused by those positions (too many classical types don't seem to realize there is more to math than memorization and the standard school applications, and don't consider reading Latin as Latin to be worthwhile). But as I'm starting to teach my dd4, I'm running headlong into reality ;), which is that she just doesn't get some math concepts, won't even let me show her them (they are apparently things that should not be :tongue_smilie:). And I'm waffling about whether I should stop any formal math until she is more ready, or keep on with the bits she likes, which undoubtedly are going to get into memorizing without understanding, or go whole hog on memorizing, and do lots of chants and such (which she'd like, I'm sure). Also, I've been reading up on Latin teaching - Bennett's "Teaching Latin and Greek in the Secondary School", which is rec'd by Cheryl Lowe, and Distler's "Teach the Latin, I Pray You", which is rec'd by teach-Latin-as-a-language advocates - it's been interesting seeing the similarities and differences b/w the two approaches. I'm mostly in favor of Distler's approach, which is a rigorous, in-favor-of-memorization-and-drill approach (but always and only in context!) to teaching how to read Latin as Latin. But unless one's kids are language/grammar types, you would hit a wall really quickly if you started in the grammar years - a lot of the grammar topics are the sort that seem to require logic-stage thinking (and the book was about teaching high schoolers). So what is better? To stick with context, and thus memorize mostly vocab and a few forms, but you can use them all? Or to just not worry about context, memorize all the forms along with vocab, even though you can't use them yet, relying on memorized prayers/songs/etc to provide enough context to be getting on with until they are ready for real grammar/syntax study? Classical advocates say the former makes the grammar/syntax study more difficult than it needs to be, since you have the memory burden on top of learning how to use all those forms. Reading-Latin-as-Latin advocates say getting in the habit of using the forms out of context makes learning to apply them *in* context much harder than if you'd done it right from the start. (And there's the related issue of whether an early emphasis on translation and otherwise constantly turning the Latin into English at every turn - seemingly inevitable with a memorize-first approach - sabotages later efforts to comprehend Latin without *having* to go through English.) Conceptual math debates tend to go along the same lines - does memorizing without understanding the concepts first inhibit learning the concepts later? And if so, how do you deal with kids who just can't seem to get the concepts at all - is it really best to just drop math entirely until they *are* able to understand? And, just to make things more interesting, classical advocates are all about the necessity of memorizing in context when it comes to teaching reading. Memorizing sight words outside of the context of being able to divide the word into phonemes/syllables and sound it out - phonics - is considered a bad, bad thing. It is better to wait until the child is ready to comprehend phonics than to go ahead and memorize whole words now, figuring you'll go over phonics later, when the child is ready. Why? Because teaching sight words sets up bad habits, habits that take longer to break than just doing phonics from the start. For some kids, *years* longer, it seems. So classical educators *do* acknowledge the issue of out-of-context learning causing bad habits. (And cognitive science has established that we use different parts of our brains when we read via memorized words versus phonically.) But on the other side of the coin, the idea that the best way to teach expert thinking in a subject is to teach those thought processes from the very first - no setting up bad habits of thinking wrongly or not at all - is likewise rejected by cognitive science. Expert thinking requires a *lot* of domain knowledge, and trying to reason like an expert *without* that domain knowledge is futile at best, and establishes its own bad habits at worst. Their findings support the classical idea that it is best to learn facts, lots and lots of facts, before trying to think about them. And certainly reality tells me that my kids are ready to memorize a *lot* earlier than they are ready to logically think through things. But a lot of things can be memorized *with* enough context to be getting by - like history and science stories/sentences and poems and songs - even if the kids don't understand them now, what they've memorized still contains quite a bit of context, that is available to them with no further effort than growing up. But math facts and Latin paradigms aren't quite the same - on their own, they give little-to-no hint of how they will eventually be used (bare lists of history facts or science facts have the same problem). Which isn't a problem if they can be memorized without causing damaging bad habits - but is a *big* problem if the memory-work-without-context *does* build bad habits. (Part 2 in next post; some people might think that hitting the post character limit means you ought to start hacking and slashing ;) - but not me :D.)
  5. Ok, I am considering Classical Conversations for next year. I am curious to know how you think CC affected your child's schooling. If you want to answer a few of the questions, I would LOVE it! :confused: 1. Have they excelled with the memorized material? 2. Did they forget it all? 3. Have they developed a good understanding of latin? 4. How are they doing in high school and college? 5. If you had it to do over again, would you do CC again? 6. Do you think it would be beneficial to use this material at home (just the memory work and some of the curriculum...not the foundations book)? 7. Did the kid's enjoy being apart of CC? 8. What should be my expectations coming into it? 9. How were you able to afford all of the expensive curriculum (other than WTMF)? Thank you for your time! cabreban
  6. We have memorized a few things this year, but I would like a better system. I have read the Living Memory way (basically a tickler file) but I am not 100% sure I 'get it'. Does it require making multiple copies of whatever it is that's being memorized so that a copy can be put under each "tab" that corresponds to when it's being memorized, or does one "move it along" to the next section (sorry if that is unclear!!) Drew Campbell in Living Memory states: "Every day, work through the pieces behind the “Today” tab using one or more of the four language modalities: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Once the student can recite a piece correctly, place it behind the tab for the next day but one, so that the student is reviewing it every other day for at least two weeks. Then place it behind one of the Monday-Friday tabs, where it will stay for one month or four repetitions." It's the bolded part that I'm not understanding. Maybe I'm just tired?
  7. What are you currently memorizing? I just finished reading The Core. It got me thinking and now I'm wondering if I'm covering all the bases I want to be covering.
  8. http://www.egreenway.com/months/index.htm I found it while looking for poems on each month, and I feel like I've hit the jackpot. Hope someone else can use it. :) Any other website's out there like this?
  9. I am starting with the WTM model this year with my DS (1st grade) and I am looking for suggested memory work ideas poerty, history, math etc. If you have any suggestions or ideas I am all ears. Thanks,
  10. Some of you remember that I adapted the Simply Charlotte Mason scripture memory system to function in a binder so it could be used for longer passages. That file was meant for tiny binders and didn't adapt well to larger ones because of the resolution of the images I used. Then my website went down and it was only because of cillakat putting it up on Google Docs that the world at large continues to have access to it. Well, I'm making a second edition that will be full size. I also have some other changes and additions to make. I want to have a page on which we can list all of the verses we hope to memorize that year or all of the verses we have memorized that year. I planned to have it set up like a blank table of contents with Memory Work 2010-11 across the top. But, it occurred to me that some folks don't follow a typical school year and would prefer it to say 2010. Then I thought, maybe it doesn't need to have a year at all. Maybe it could be just a list. One of my kids memorizes much more slowly than the others so it would take us years to fill up a page long list. I need feedback! Which of these options would you prefer to head up the list of memorized stuff? Memory Work Memory Work 2010-11 Memory Work 2010
  11. Okay, supposedly grammar kids thrive on memorizing and reciting facts. Does this include math facts or just the weird stuff? My dd is 8yo and has never shown a natural ability to memorize- though she can solve puzzles and manipulate stuff in her head pretty well. As a result, she still has to pause and think for basic math facts, to spite the fact she multiplies with carrying and divides with remainders. I've never understood how multiplying and dividing comes easier to her than addition and subtraction. We are boarding the classical train in 3rd grade. Memorization of lists and such is a cornerstone. So, any suggestions on helping her with this agonizing task of memorization?
  12. I just ordered Living Memory, the copybook treasure trove, and I can't wait to get it! I know that sometimes I will see something that I would want ds to copy, but I can't count on that or there won't be too much copywork going on! Thank you for making this, Drew! I can't wait to get it in and peruse its pages.
  13. Ok, Cadam and I have talked about what we'd do, if we started a LCC type co-op. Those that strive to use LCC, what kinds of co-ops do you have, and how do you do memory work with individual levels? I can't think outside of what I'm doing in our CC group. Would we have students divided into actual grades? That are doing LCC at home? Do you see us doing Greek and Latin together. I do have the new LCC edition 2 book and the Living Memory Book, too. All your help is welcomed:-) I don't want a Cottage School right now. I just want to meet maybe one day a week. Carrie:confused:
  14. Is there an easy way to memorize all the States by region? Is there any mnemonic I can use?
  15. Hi Everyone, I wanted to see if we could get a Classical Conversations group going on here, so here's the group address: tell me if there's a better way to let people know. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forum...php?groupid=83 Carrie:-)
  16. I was just going through the memory work section of WTM (old edition) and it suggested kids as young as 4th (and possibly 3rd) memorize the whole Declaration of Independence. Does anyone do this, and what are the benefits? We do a lot of poems and Bible memory work, but haven't really memorized anything else. Thanks,
  17. I want to give memory work a "home" in our daily routine...and I want to hear how/when everyone does it. Is it all done at once? Do you do seperate memory work for each subject? Is it mostly independant (and for what ages)? Is it 3x5 cards or a binder.....or something different altogether? Do you use a book like Living Memory? If so, sell me on why it should go on my wishlist.:D
  18. How do you help your kids memorize, what do the assignments look like, do they recite? write? Record and listen to themselves? What length piece do you expect of them? How does it fit in the week? Any great sources? ~Christine in AL
  19. (No, not of water.....) As I mentioned below, my sons are dragging themselves through French, protesting that it's pointless because they "won't remember any of it anyway." Sad, but likely true.... Now, certain subject areas build on previous knowledge/ skills, such as math or writing skills. But what do you do about retention of content-focused subjects--history, geography, even science? Despite our years spent on studies in these areas, I know my sons have little recollection of much of what was in, say, astronomy or biology or Renaissance history. I confess that my great fear is that they will be put on the spot, as it were, by instructors they may encounter beyond homeschool and reveal what will appear to be (and perhaps truly be) their/ my educational failures. It's the rare person, like SWB, who has a photographic memory and just plan remembers everything she reads! But there must be some sort of happy medium--so how do you determine just what degree of retention is reasonable or expected in any given subject area, and to what end?
  20. Some people wanted to see samples of "Living Memory," but I was having a hard time getting Lulu to generate them or accept my upload. Happily, Linda from Adnil Press in Australia is offering the book for sale and has posted some samples on her site, including the table of contents. The scan is not perfect, but you should be able to get some idea of what the book is like. Buyers in the southern hemisphere who are looking for a break on shipping costs can contact Linda. She has said she will provide price quotes to countries other than Australia so you can compare costs. :)
  21. and thought I'd post my questions here about how it works. I'll also post on the High School boards, because I know you check out both spots---just in case I miss you here! ;) The link for the Living Memory Workbook is here, for any others who might be interested. The description mentions ancient memorization techniques. Can you give us a brief description of what those are? Are any of these techniques used today, only rephrased in different terms? For instance, some of the techniques from the progymnasmata are still used today, but are given more modern terminology. (The authors of Classical Writing give some great examples on their website on modern-day examples of the progym.) How much time would the memory work take, on a daily basis? We memorized poetry daily for years, and generally spent only about 10 minutes doing so. This gave us great dividends, though, because the girls were easily able to memorize one poem a month, and so they were able to have at least 10 poems memorized within a year. Is music used as a memory aid, like is used in some other programs? Without giving out too many "spoilers", what are the skills taught to help in memory training? This really looks like a great resource, and the fact that you are incorporating speeches from Cicero and Churchill is a big plus! (As an aside, my dh listened to TCC's "Churchill", taught by Prof. Rufus Fears, and really enjoyed that series. I did not know that Churchill used to have great trouble with public speaking and eventually overcame those problems!) Actually---that leads to another question: is there any evidence that memory work for children, such as memorizing poems, hymns, proverbs, speeches, etc., can help them learn to become better public speakers? Memoria was one of the key building blocks of classical methodology, and it was employed in teaching oratory, wasn't it? Can you explain the connection? How does a child learn to memorize and yet not sound "stiff"? I'm assuming that memorization is intended as a springboard for greater freedom in public speaking. Does that question make sense? Anyway, when you have time, can you post an answer to these questions? Thanks in advance! ETA: A couple of additional questions: is the oral (non-musical) memory work in both English and Latin? In other words, will the student be learning Cicero's speeches in Latin or English? Also, is there a step-by-step progression introduced for memory work, depending upon the student's age/grade/ability? Thanks again!
  22. Hi There, I already posted this in one of the threads about the New Memory Book by Andrew Campbell. But, I wanted to start a thread in case there are already LCC co-ops, that I just don't know about:-) I'm pretty sure that there will be groups that start using this workbook, in a cycle type way, with their students. When this starts happening, let's start to post here, hopefully in the same thread...to share information. I can see groups really using this to have that positive peer pressure to learn all of this important information. Also, are there already LCC co-ops that I don't know about? I'm interested in hearing any information about co-ops that are structured, using LCC. Thanks! Carrie:-)
  23. Hey There, I'd love to have our own Classical Conversations spot on this board; would anyone else be interested? (Or whatever is available here) It'd be a spot where you could give any hints, books that are coinciding with the cycle, anything CC. How Foundations or Essentials is working for you. Feel free to pm me if you have suggestions. Carrie:-)
  24. Ok, so I listened to someone's history memory song that they made up, and can't find it again! I'm also wondering if anyone has a great song that we may want to listen to...I'm all ears! I have a list of dates, that I'd like to add a tune to...and I'm wondering what secrets are out there. Carrie:-)
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