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  1. What in basic school mathematics do you feel is "Need to Memorize" and why? What content, facts, patterns or relationships has your combined insight, experience and education led you to realize is truly useful for students to know as they continue through the continuum of mathematics. Memorized in this context simply means reliably committed to a memory that is easily and reliably accessed and activated when needed. I don't want to get super technical about what it means for something to be "memorized" in this context. Use your best judgement. It can be anything from the scope/sequence of school mathematics. You may quantify your response, such as "Before Grade_, kids benefit from having memorized..." or "To thrive in ____ topic, kids need to have..." One last thing, I know that this question invites a list-style response, but please take the time to explain why something made the list or what it is about it that leads you to feel that it should be memorized. Your justification could provide useful insight for someone else who reads this topic down the line. Please enjoy, 🙂
  2. Is the Classical Conversations memory work (specifically Foundations program) enough for grammar stage kids? I have been going back and forth on this issue for quite some time and need some help being 100% convinced. Yes, I want proof, so to speak. Is it truly effective to have them just memorize all of this information, without much context or additional info? Many people say that if you do CC you don't need to do anything else. Others add in some additional language arts, math, and maybe science. As of right now, instead of CC, I am prepared to use a full Language Arts program (either Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading or Logic of English, Essentials), a History program (History Odyssey along with SOTW), a math program (combination of Singapore & Math Mammoth until I figure out which I like better), a science program (REAL Science Odyssey), and Art (which we will add in as we're able). I have all of this curricula ready to go. I've spent hours and hours selecting them. But I keep coming back to CC. And the idea that maybe all that curricula is not the best use of their brains at this stage. Maybe I really just need to pack in as many facts ("pegs") as possible right now without them needing (or wanting) to understand it right now. I know that they love memorization and excel at it at this age. I guess I want to be 100% sure that the memorization is enough and that it will be of more help to them when they're older (logic and rhetoric stages) than fleshing everything out at this young age. Sorry so long. Can you help?
  3. We're not going to do Classical Conversations anytime soon, but I am very interested in their timeline/cards. I love the idea of memorizing a time line and memory work is definitely something my girls enjoy doing already. I'm considering making the jump on these cards, but would like to hear any pros and cons you can think of for them, as well as other options. Also, how long does it take to memorize it all (like 1 school year, 2, etc.) assuming regular practice for an interested Kindergardener? Here's the link in case you don't know what I'm talking about. :) ETA: I'm bumping my own thread because I had another question that is related. If any of you have done the timeline all the way through (either CC's or the old Veritas Press one), did you find that it helped your children as they went on. I am totally sold on memorization, so it's not really a general memorization worth question, but specifically for timelines. My gut says it can only be good, but I was hoping for some anecdotal evidence to support my gut.
  4. Now that we are settled into Kindergarten a bit (with our 3 R’s) I’d like to start some memory work and some poetry well. I am at the VERY beginning with both of these and ANY advice would be welcome. :) I can’t remember if I read anything about memory work in The Well Trained Mind (we are not at home and didn’t bring my copy). I did do a quick search here and found these two resources: Living Memory, Andrew Campbell: http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/andrew-a-campbell/living-memory/paperback/product-4080865.html Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization: http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/pmb I’m unsure if either would be helpful for us, as we are just starting out. I’m looking for methods and good lists of age-appropriate poetry and memory work ideas. I have a few good Nursery Rhyme books and I think I have a book called, “Sing a Song of Popcorn” at home. I also have the Core Knowledge Books for Preschool and Kindergarten. I’m completely open to reading poetry just for fun, maybe doing a little activity of some sort….any resources, ideas here would be great. I think anything seasonal/holiday would be fun too. DS is an older Kindergartener (he just turned 6 last week). I waited to formally start him because we debated PS for so long and I wanted to keep him with his class. I might want to do the poetry and maybe memory work in the morning with my 3 year old (she loves this type of thing) as some sort of circle time. Any ideas of where I should begin poking my nose for information??? Thanks!! Edit to add: I forgot to ask: I'm also interested in knowing WHY memory work is important to you and your family, learning, school, etc. I'd like to gain a little perspective here...thanks!
  5. Which chapter of the Bible would you want your children to know before they go to college/move out? Just thought this would be an interesting thread.:)
  6. We usually try to memorize a few Bible passages over the year, along with our stuff for history and LA. Last year the boys memorized Psalm 23 and The Lord's Prayer. Any ideas? Favorites? Etc?
  7. We usually try to memorize a few Bible passages over the year, along with our stuff for history and LA. Last year the boys memorized Psalm 23 and The Lord's Prayer. Any ideas? Favorites? Etc?
  8. We have been working on memorizing poetry lately. I bought a small notebook for DS and DD1 and explained to them that as they memorize different poems I will copy each one into their own notebook and they can have a collection of the poems they've memorized. They are SO excited about this that they are very eager to learn each poem quickly so I can write it down for them. But they are learning them really fast. Which is great in one way- it's very cool to see how amazing their minds are, but on the other hand I'm wondering about long term retention. Should I review the poems learned already? How often? What about when we have a whole ton that have been learned? (So far they each have about 3- and they're not short). My main reason for having them memorize is simply to develop good mental habits. I appreciate any ideas. :)
  9. Now that Classical Conversations is done for the year, do you parents of Memory Masters have any tips to share? What were some of the keys to successfully learning all that information?
  10. Anyone use a curriculum that incorporates weekly scripture memorization? We do more of a devotional (read a chapter, pray, discuss) but for next year I want scripture memorization as the focus. I know this is the easiest think in the world to just pick a few verses and make the kids memorize them but I want a more creative and systematic way of attacking this. Left to myself it wouldn't get done. Ideally the curriculum should appeal to middle schoolers and a high schooler.
  11. Ok, I need help from the hive to help me with my memory loss. I am trying to remember the name of a Bible memory program like Awana but more intensive. They meet at churches. I am totally drawing a blank. I think they memorize chapters of the Bible. Help!
  12. DD is in 1st grade in a small, private school. One month in and it is painfully obvious that she needs to be AS in math. The teacher sends home flash cards every night, but DD is clueless and completely guessing. So my question is this: Is learning the match facts simply a matter of memorization or is there some work I can do with DD to help her along? I would love some suggestions of straightforward curriculum we could do together; however, DD is very much a 'do-it-yourselfer' and would do well with computer based learning too. Thanks for any suggestions!
  13. Just wondering... What is your favorite children's poem, and do you incorporate poetry memorization into your school day?
  14. I was thinking of purchasing this book: The Homeschooler's Book of Lists: More Than 250 Lists, Charts, and Facts to Make Planning Easier and Faster to help me come up with some great info for memory work. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or alternative suggestions? thank you!
  15. I could do with some inspiration in this area. :) What have you memorised that you thought was really useful or really enjoyed? What do you consider the most important things to memorise in each subject? I have a feeling I saw a thread about this not too long ago, but I can't find it now.
  16. 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.)
  17. 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? Thank you for your time! :tongue_smilie: cabreban
  18. How should I teach my son to memorize addition and subtraction math facts? When should I start before he starts addition in Singapore math essentials kindergarten B or after? Any programs, cds or mnemonic devices that I should consider? :confused:
  19. I read last night in the sample of The Core the recommendation to learn the multiplication facts up to 20x20. I had already decided to go past 12x12, but had not decided how far and have no idea what the best methods to do this are. I had also decided to learn cubes and square roots and I don't know what else, but most of the things I have identified as slowing me down in upper level Saxon work are listed in the sample pages of The Core. Any tips on memory work for those wanting to complete upper level Saxon quickly and accurately?
  20. I was searching for recommendations on whether the periodic table should be memorized (at least part of it) by atomic number or column/group. Many are of the opinion that this is a waste of time. Is that the general consensus among classical HSers? If so, what are better ideas for science memory? TIA!!
  21. Ok, because I don't understand... what is the big deal about grammar kids learning to memorize so many things? I mean... what is the purpose? I KNOW that kids love to memorize things.. poems, scriptures, nursery rhymes, etc... but even if they like to do it, what is the reason for making sure that they do? This subject has come up often with other homeschoolers {especially more relaxed or unschoolers} who think it's silly of me to require memorization for young children. I see the benefits of memory work that i have done as a kid but I was wondering if there was some long term educational benefit from it that I am unaware. And what if a child does not memorize anything? What then? Will it hamper their education in some way and if so, how? I am not being flippant, I really am just curious... :)
  22. If you had to choose the top 5 passages of Shakespeare to memorize, what would you choose? I'm not looking for one-liner quotes, but longer passages. Eg: Macbeth: To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28 I'm asking because I am thinking about teaching Shakespeare to my middle school kids and having them focus a lot on memory. Because of the adult themes in so much of Shakespeare, I wasn't interested in them memorizing Shakespeare in the grammar stage, but before they get to the stage when they don't want to memorize, I'd like to work some Shakespeare in. I'd love to hear what you think are the most important passages. (You don't have to have 5!)
  23. 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
  24. OK, I'm not sure if we are going to so this yet, but I would like to take the kids for a month-long hike through Lebanon next April. IF we did it, we would try to work ahead so there wouldn't be too much to finish when we got home in May. There would be a lot of "mental down-time" while we are walking, so we will practice our Arabic. What other things could we work on, that wouldn't be hard to prepare for (ie, no big books, supplies, etc)? By next April they would be ages 9, 12, and 13. I was thinking multiplication tables up to 15 for everyone, capitals of states and countries, maybe important ancient/Biblical historical facts, since we are so close to Israel and ancient Mesopotamia? Anyone else have any ideas on what we could memorize or work on? Thanks for you help!
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