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How valuable is classical conv memory work?


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This is our second year to be part of a CC group. Last year, DD really enjoyed learning the timeline cards and history and math songs. I thought with the information repeated from last year that she could easily be a memory master this year. However, she has no interest in spending any time working on latin, geography, or english. Science is a little easier, but not much.


I'm unsure how much to push practicing those areas. Several moms of older kids rave about the benefits of learning the latin and english memory work. Have you found memorizing those facts to be beneficial to your kids? Do they retain the information over time?


Part of me is tired of wasting time trying to memorize the stuff every day. We only spend about twenty minutes a day... but still, it's time we could spend on something else. I just don't feel that she's retaining anything we practice. Maybe I need some new ideas on getting her to learn?


I just feel that it's an overwhelming amount of stuff. I wish we could spend the whole year learning just timeline cards, math facts to 12, and states and capitols. I feel like that would be a huge accomplishment and achievable for my six year old! I know that four year olds have memorized all the stuff... but my four year old can barely pronounce half of it.


Any suggestions? I'm just starting to feel burned out with memory work...

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My experience mirrors yours - history and geography came alive because they tied in with our read-alouds; math facts were a boon because he basically learned to tell time in one lesson and he loves to apply his skip counting.


English grammar, Latin and science - I never did make the connections, nor did I try very hard. I have heard it said that CC gives a framework - I accepted that with my current circumstances (part-time work + baby), I would use less of the framework, but I would take whatever helped me focus on the 3Rs. I refuse to be stressed by a framework. :tongue_smilie:


FWIW, the 5/6 year olds whom I saw doing Memory Master had strong self-motivation (MM wasn't expected to be the norm). The parent's role was to help with the drills, but not to instill motivation that wasn't already present.

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There's no reason to do memory master unless you are both very interested in it, and it doesn't sound like either of you particularly are. I find that certain pieces of the memory work are extremely valuable, and other parts of it are not what I would have chosen to memorize if I was doing the choosing. We put a lot of focus on the parts that are valuable and readily apply to other studies. CC is there to be a help to you, not a burden. I think it's like anything else in life--you take what you can from it and leave the rest.


(Like you, I don't see a lot of benefit to all the English grammar and Latin. However, I have heard so many moms of children in Essentials say that the Foundations English grammar made a huge difference. So whether you focus a lot on the English may depend on how long you plan to stay in CC.)

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We are doing CC at home, not in a group. Memorizing the timeline that fits with SOTW 1 was very easy and a good review of what we are learning. Past that, he struggles more. We go over the 8 weekly cards three times a day, and the whole set twice on Fridays. He has about 40 down really well. The rest Jrs needs a little prompting. My goal is to really have ot down after 4 years.


On the other work, he loves some of the history songs, others he can't handle listening too. I feel the same way - we are a musical family, so some just don't work for us. He has memorized a few of them. I don't stress about any of it. We will do it all twice. The second time, when he is older, we will learn of better. I want him to be familiar with the material amd memorize what we have expanded on in our other studies.

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We're in our last and 6th year of Foundations, and have never had a Memory Master in our family. Some don't agree with this, but I've always set some subjects that they must master and then let them decide for themselves whether to go for them all. After around age 9 or so, they do most of the drill themselves. I know that mine could have been a Memory Master, but I want them to take ownership. It is a lot of pressure, and I'm fine that they have chosen not to do that.


And yes, I've really seen the benefit, and consider CC to be one of the best things we ever did for homeschooling. It has been well worth the sacrifice of time and money.

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We are in our 5th year of CC. Some years we've done memory master, and some years we were not. Most of that just depended on what "life" was like for us that year and how self motivated my boys were. However, each year we have put consistent time (15-20 minutes most days) into our memory work. I didn't consider MM until my kids were 8. For us, it would have been too much when the kids were younger. I absolutely see the benefits of the memory work.


The best thing to do is use the memory work as a tool. How will it benefit your kids? What do you value?


The history timeline is my favorite piece of memory work. Because all of us know the timeline, we have a 160 point frame of reference. Having the timeline in our minds truly helps us as we encounter events/people in literature and history study.


The math memory work helped both of my boys "get" multiplication. They memorized the skip counting before they knew how to multiply. When we began learning multiplication they would say "4 threes" and skip count. I only let them do this for a very short time. We actually purchased the "Tables, Squares, and Cubes" product from CC and that helped solidify the actual multiplication facts (not just the skip counting). Because they have memorized math facts and formulas, math is less time consuming.


We generally memorize the science. I always read the science snippet or the Classical Science Fact card that goes along with it.


If you plan to study Latin, then I'd encourage you to memorize this! However, don't pressure yourself with kids this young!! You have PLENTY of time to learn the Latin memory work later. When someone if unfamiliar with Latin, I must admit, the Latin component seems like a waste of time. In reality, memorizing the declension endings (cycle 2), conjugation endings (cycle 1), and some basic vocab (cycle 1) is extremely helpful in Latin studies.


We probably would not memorize nearly the same amount of Scripture if it were not for CC. I appreciate the fact that the CC program has a large passage of scripture to memorize each year.


The English Grammar has been VERY useful, especially the weeks that the kids memorize the definition of a part of speech. This year's irregular verb lists are my least favorite. We don't kill ourselves over those! Cycle 2 has kids memorize a list of about 55 prepositions--very helpful!! I'm thankful that my kids KNOW what a verb is, they KNOW what a past participle is, they KNOW what an infinitive is, etc. Believe it or know, some of these things are very helpful in Latin studies, too!


The mapwork is a HUGE hit here. My kids know more about where places are than I did after I graduated from college. I learn right alongside them, so thankfully, I've smartened myself up, too. :D


It is totally okay to study the things that you feel enthused about -- maybe the mapwork, math facts and history. Or maybe some other combo. Introduce the subjects that you are less excited about just for the benefit of exposure, but don't stress about it. If you stick with CC, you'll discover that your dc will remember or at least recall much of the material, making it MUCH easier to memorize it. Once the light bulbs turn on, it will then be a great jumping-off-point for more detailed information.

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This is our first full year of CC (though of course we are only half way through it). We did half a year when my daughter was 5 and at that time I didn't see the benefit of it. But now I realize that I just didn't see the big picture then. Now that we are back at CC and my daughter is 9 I really wish she was doing this memory work for the second time so it would be easier for her. I know that when we do Essentials the grammar will be very useful and we have run across overlap in our Latin program, which is nice. My oldest is my struggling learner and I don't expect her to memorize everything, but we are trying. I am currently working on a system for her to be able to review by herself the things she doesn't have down. I know when she gets to Challenge anything she retains from Foundations will benefit her.


My second child is 7. He has an incredible memory and has memorized everything we've learned so far except for a few of the timeline cards and the math. Next year I think he could definitely try for memory master.


My four year old and three year old are definitely picking up quite a bit and I don't worry about what they don't get yet. They are just having fun. I even have to remind my 4 year old not to hold himself to the standard of my 7 year old. But I bet my 4 year old's retention has been close to that of my 9 year old!


CC is fun for our whole family. Recently my son quizzed my husband on the capitals and beat him by a mile! It was fun for them to do together and my husband is really impressed. I pull from our CC memory work a lot throughout our day....we run into it a lot actually. I think one of the biggest benefits is that I'm memorizing it so I have that store to pull from when I'm teaching them and they will at least be familiar with it.


Also, we are using those Classical Acts and Facts cards and memorizing the phrases from the front of the cards and saying them together. We added in the scientists where they fit. And right now we're learning Apologia Anatomy together. Well, one evening at the dinner table I asked them to tell their daddy what they learned about the skeletal system, which we had been reading about that day in our textbook. But what came out was, "Framework that provides protection and support", which is what they memorized from the CC card. That stuck in their brain better than all that we had read that day.


I really believe CC is valuable. I tried doing it at home and never got around to it. The accountability has really kept our school days consistent as well. Think really hard before giving it up. You might be like me and wish you didn't.



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This is our second year of CC. Last year my best friend's children were both MM at 6 and 8. Her 6 year old was very motivated, her 8 yo not so much. I've certainly felt the pressure to have my oldest do MM this year.




My 9 (almost 10) year old is a smart kid, but he isn't motivated by things like MM. He would find the drill and kill and pressure very unpleasant, and it would be me pushing him. I remember my friend saying that the last few weeks they did little other than memory review, and all of them were starting to hate it. I REALLY don't want that. If my child was extremely motivated on their own...maybe. But I don't want to ruin our relationship. I don't want to give up so much time away from our other studies. I don't want to start to hate the memory work!


I love the geography. I really want my boys to grasp this. And it will be a huge help when they go into Challenge and have to draw the entire world free-hand from memory.


I love the history and science. The boys are naturally into these.


Latin has gone over pretty well with the boys. My oldest gets the Latin quickly and enjoys it.


The skip counting in math has, hands down, been a tremendous blessing to all three of my boys. And the formulas are valuable as well.


I think the timeline is fabulous, and I have mixed feeling of frustration and excitement to try the new timeline coming out. It certainly is making me less motivated to solidify memorizing the current timeline with the boys this year. But memorizing *a* timeline is really important to me, and I can already see the boys light up when they recognize names or events in other studies.


We didn't memorize the Bible passage last year because I prefered the memory work we were doing with the Sing the Word CDs. I'm very excited about learning John 1:1-7 in both English and Latin this year, though.


That leaves English grammar. I can't imagine my boys having all the this memory work (last year's or this year's) down perfectly. What a huge task, and I'm not sure it's worth the struggle. That said, I love that they've been introduced to the pronoun lists and definitions, because *I* use them in our grammar lessons all. the. time. I remind them of the demonstrative pronouns or repeat the definition of a gerund. They've heard them before...many times, so they get the concepts more quickly when they are applied in our lessons. Eventually, it will be second nature to them. But, right now? The pefect memory would be difficult for us.


I would never attempt to do MM with a child under 8, unless said child was extremely self-motivated. And I wouldn't do it with an older child unless it was something they really wanted.


But I love the CC memory work. We spend time working on it at home. I think it has long-term value for myself and my boys (we've already experienced the fruits of that).

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We are half way through our first year of CC and I am so thankful my dd will get the opportunity of completing each cycle twice. I have already seen how the math, history, and geography work have helped her to have a place to "hang" all the other information she comes in contact with. I am planning to use cc as a framework for the material we cover. All that being said, I do not force her to remember everything, we just go over it A LOT and whatever sticks is a-ok by me. I am also a tutor of the abcedarians, I would recommend only going for mm if the student truly wants to and it will be a positive milestone in their life. I wouldn't force it upon a child who is not interested or who is not motivated.

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We are in year two of cc. I pop in the audio of memory work when we are in the car. However, I don't do it every day. I use the science and history as a spring board for our read alouds. I am not concerned that my kids aren't interested in memory masters. I just do what I think works for our family. It is hard not to feel pressure to do what everyone else is.

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