Monday, February 13, 2017

Memory Work

I describe our memory work time in this post. Overall, I have been quite pleased with how this went last school year. A little every day, or most days, helped us learn quite a bit. I think it so valuable that I would challenge all homeschool parents to incorporate a similar tool in their day. Even though it changes as the years and knowledge progresses, the overall form doesn't and that makes it easy once you figure out the form for your school.

This year our memory work time looks a little different as I tweaked and added, deleted and moved things around. Last year I simply had loose-leaf papers which were stored in my binder, I handed to the three kids each day. This year I bought them each their own binder, added the 8 tabs (Daily, Odd, Even, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) and placed those loose-leaf sheets behind the appropriate tab. Each day at Memory Work time, they bring their binders to the table for us to begin.

Daily Work (this is what we recite every day)

Old things we are still working on:

  • Apostles' Creed in Latin
  • Kings and Queens of England Poem
  • History Sentences

New things I've added:

  • The Book of Concord : a sheet with 10 rows and 4 columns. The 10 rows are the 10 things in the Book of Concord (Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Small Catechism, Large Catechism, Augsburg Confession, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Smalcald Articles, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Formula of Concord). The 4 columns include Name (list of those ten things), Date (when it was written), Author, and Summary of that document.

  • Excerpts from the Declaration of Independence: two of my children are working through a government class which required this so I made it a part of memory work time.
  • Capitals of the Eastern and Western Europe: I am using a geography program from Memoria Press and the children are required to learn these and asked me to find a song to help.  I did and it has really helped all of us. The tune is "Turkey in the Straw." The linked blogpost has some errors in the text. I simply copied and pasted them into a new document, corrected the errors, and printed out the sheets for our binders. We then listened to the bookmarked page of the video of Mr. Stark singing linked in the blogpost. Now we often just sing it ourselves since we know how it proceeds.
  • Along with the capitals we are working on the countries of Western Europe and Eastern Europe  with our Geography Songs cd by Larry and Kathy Troxel
  • The Bonding Song - unfortunately I do not see this available anymore as a download on this website. You can still buy the curriculum which includes the song. I had bought it years ago when my oldest two were junior high. At that time it was on a cassette tape. I then upgraded a couple years ago with a mp3 download to my computer. But since two kids are currently working through Wile's Apologia Chemistry course, I thought it valuable to pull this song back out to help instill the differences in covalent, ionic, and metallic bonds.
  • Art Cards: I own Child Size Masterpieces by Aline Wolf. I took some of the most famous ones and hung them on our basement stairwell. Each of my three kids pick one and we try to learn the name and the artist. Once we get those, they pick three more and we repeat.
  • I added the following math sheets which I took from Andrew Campbell's Living Memory text I bought this past summer. I highly recommend it to anyone who is working on creating a Memory Work time for their family. It helped me think through what I wanted to do with my children. The math sheets are: Fraction-Decimal-Percent Equivalents, Properties of Addition and Multiplication, Order of Operations, Common Measurement Equivalents, A 15x15 Multiplication Table, Common Squares and Common Cubes through 15, Prime Numbers
Odd (We only recite these on odd numbered days)

Everything is the same: We review Latin prayers and the conjugations and declensions.

Even (We only recite these on even numbered days)

This is only review of the Small Catechism. Each even day we recite one chief part.  Here is what I added:

First we recite together the following:

"What is Catechesis?" is from Pastor Bender's Lutheran Catechesis  materials.  "What is Faith?" and What is Love?" are two my husband wrote and which he goes over with parents and catechumens. I took all three and formatted them in a document for our use in Memory Work time.

Second we recite together the particular section for the chief part we are doing that day:

This is also taken directly from Pastor Bender's Lutheran Catechesis which I simply formatted for our purposes. The post-it note is my moving bookmark so I remember which Chief Part we are to recite. It resides below the one for that day. Each of the children have this in their binder as well.
Third, we recite together that Chief Part. We each have our hymnals open to the catechism. I ask the question and then we recite together. We try hard to say it from memory, but have the words in front of us to aid when our memory fails, which is more often then we like to admit. But I trust God's Word and know that our reading, hearing, and speaking it will benefit us.

Each day of the week has its own subject review and it hasn't changed much from last year. Anything we learned well last year and only need to review was moved behind the appropriate tab. The only new thing behind one of the tabs is another Math review sheet which has formulas and definitions, which I also took from the book, Living Memory.

Our Memory Work time has been a great benefit to us and I try really hard to meet with them each day. I fail and don't though. However, I am realizing that it is okay and we will get to it tomorrow. The plus of having a binder all ready to go is that we simply pick it up on the next day and begin there. We are not behind, we simply do what needs to be done that day, keeping the time to no more that 30 minutes, and realizing we will get to the rest on another day.

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