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SWB's recommended memorizations for 2-3rd grade


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We've been focusing more on memory work, and up til now had been memorizing mainly poetry. SWB recommends a 2nd grader memorize such things as:




  • rulers of England along with each ruler's family allegiance
  • rulers of Scotland
  • the later holy Roman emperors
  • a shakespearean sonnet
  • a selection from Macbeth.


She recommends for a third grader a list such as the following:




  • The beginning of the Declaration of Independence
  • the first 12 presidents
  • major wars for the period 1600-1850.


What are your thoughts on this? So far, my 3rd grader has memorize some poetry (Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson...), science facts (earth's layers, parts of an atom, Moh's Scale of Hardness, etc.) math facts (times tables, addition facts, squares), and we're moving onto historical and geographical facts (with an emphasis on geographical facts). Do you think I am being remiss in not working more on lists of rulers, wars, etc? What do you require of your elementary student(s) in terms of memory work?

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Alright, I had to search your posts to find out what was up with the name!


Moving along- my ds 2nd grade mostly memorizes facts based upon what we are studying in grammar, math, science and history. In LA I hope this translates to a better understand of grammar that carries into his writing. In math I hope it helps him complete math problems with immediacy. In science I hope to give him little pegs to build on when he sees that subject again in middle school/ high school. In history we are doing a one year fly by, so I hope to give him a sense of the flow of history. His poetry is also based on what we are studying in MCT.


If you are studying the later holy Roman emperors, the rulers of England along with each ruler's family allegiance, and the rulers of Scotland then by all means memorize them. If that is not what you are studying in history, I wouldn't bother. TWTM is making suggestions that coordinate with using SOTW2 in history. If you like TWTM suggestions, then look at the period your ds is studying and use those.


My ds did memorize the witches' chant from Macbeth, because it tied into his MCT poetry. This week he started The Tiger by Blake (also mentioned in MCT poetry). If your children are memorizing poetry based on the poet you are studying or to coordinate with the poetry program that you are using, then I wouldn't switch just for the sake of switching.




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In 3rd grade I had ds memorize the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, first 16 presidents, some state capitals, MCT grammar (parts of speech, subject/object pronouns), some poems, some science definitions and that's about it. I have never had him memorize lists of dates or rulers (other than the presidents). I plan to have him do historical dates when he is older and it will stick a bit better.

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We did similar to Country Mouse.


My 5th grader has been memorizing lots more than the first time around, but then I've always thought the grammar=easy memorization didn't really work for us. So far I've been justified with the ease that my logic stage kid can memorize, much easier than he did a year or two ago.

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We never did dates before, but for third grade, I have some major dates from our American history that we are going over and will memorize.


And we will do the first part of the Declaration, preamble to the Constitution, and plan to learn all the presidents over 3rd and 4th, and possibly the state capitals. We have been doing Bible and poetry memorization, and some grammar memorization, and will continue that. We will probably do the Bill of Rights next year.


I would have liked to do a little more history memorization for first and second grade with lists of rulers, dates of empires, but at the time I wasn't convinced, and with several small children, it was enough to get through what we did. I still probably won't do anything differently for first grade the next time, unless I notice a keen interest for a particular topic.

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