Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Simple Memorization File Box....

I read this idea a few months ago, and well one thing lead to another, and I am finally getting around to doing it! You know the ever growing to do list, just never seems to get to do-ed!!

For years now, actually the entire time we have been homeschooling, we have memorized. We started simple with scriptures and then slowly added quotes, then hymns and songs, and more and more. Currently we are memorizing;

Weekly: one Poem {usually one week is all we use on a poem, though it depends on the length and how well we really practiced it} one Scripture, one quote, one educational item {again, usually one week, sometimes more when needed} Songs {one Hymn, one Childrens Hymn, one Educational Song, one Patriotic/American history type song, and usually one Seasonal or just for fun song}

Monthly:one Historical Document.

along with a new history facts memorization we will be throwing in. I never really needed this with A1, he tends to be a fact magnet, or maybe that should say a fact sponge! He loves facts, he has a better timeline of history, of time than me. {though honestly people, that is NOT saying much}

I have always had everyone copy the weekly/monthly memory work in a notebook. Then we moved on, rarely seeing or hearing it again. Ofcourse the scriptures and hymns we do, but the rest not usually.

I have made a few New Year changes to our Memorization Work!

First change, I purchased the older A's a hardbound journal, these will now be our memory work notebooks. I thought it would be nicer to have a nicer notebook, making our memory work, hopefully more important to everyone. I simply took some repositional tabs, and counted number of pages in the book, then divided by three {scripture, thought/quote, and poem and historical documents} Then they will copy and date through their journals. The younger A's I will be covering some elementary composition notebooks with cardstock and letting them decorate the covers. I will write something like "my Memory Notebook" on it.

One tip, I heard years ago... when you are dealing with pre-{independent} writers, write what they need to write in a highlighter first, then they can copy the letters, and it's like a nice copy book, but very easy and fast. We use this for journals, narrations, copywork, letter/name/word practice... everything. It takes Mom a few seconds to write it and they they can copy, copy, copy!

The second change, hence the title to this post, our new memorization recitation/repetition box. {not sure what to call it, exactly} First off I have seen this idea in a few different places online, but here's one from Milestone Academy.

Items you will need:
*1 recipe style file box. Since this will be well used, try to get a nice metal or wood one. I couldn't find one like that, but I found a heavy duty plastic one. {okay so I am re-using one I purchased awhile back, for something!}
*39-42 recipe sized file dividers. These are those small dividers you can put in a recipe box. They are usually colorful. I found some nice heavy plastic ones to use for this too. {again in my stash of stuff}
*tons and tons of file cards!

The basic idea is that you write down all the memory facts, scriptures, poems, quotes whatever on cards and move them through the box. So let's say we are memorizing the Poem, Who has seen the wind? by Christina Rossetti. I would write that poem along with authors name on it's own card. Meaning each week we will be adding around 5 cards {using my system above} All new cards you are working on memorizing, or in our case that weeks memory work, will be after the first divider, labeled current. The next two dividers are labeled odd and even. The next 5 dividers are labeled Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. {I might add two more for Saturday and Sunday? I keep thinking it would be nice to have some structure to our Saturday mornings, and it might be nice to add a few things to our Sunday Family Time} Then the rest of your dividers are labeled 1-31. Then a last one will be labeled cards, if you are planing on storing your recipe cards in your box. I will not, I keep a large stack of these in our learning area, we use them for all kids of things.

So you take your weeks memory work, and you store it in the current divider in your file box. For us, this works great, because we do our school time in our basement family room, where I keep the file box. Then during lunch, and most dinnertimes, and very few but some breakfast times, we recite our memory work from a wipe off board by our dining room table. The memory work is written nicely by the dinning room table, this is usually where the kids go to copy it to their journals, and then we can also recite it in the mornings during our morning family devotionals, from the file box.

The next week, you will write the new weeks memory work on new cards, and take the old weeks and place them back 2 dividers, dividing them evenly. These are the odd and even files. Then every day you will pull out the odd or even cards..sometime during the day. Then the fun begins, you can recite them, or quiz them, or make up fun games re-using them.
a few ideas, might be
* you begin the phrase and stop and let someone try to do it
* simply saying who can recite, Who has seen the wind? by Christian Rossetti
* say it leaving out different words, and see if someone can fill in the blank
* play charades with the cards!!
* write it on the board and let the kids take turns filling in missing words. Ofcourse we would always start with the youngest, and let them pick the easiest words, first!
Get the idea?

Then once the cards from the odds and evens dividers seem to be well memorized, move them back to the 1 slot. This will be their finial home, until you decided to re-start the rounds with younger children!

So over time, you will be filling up your memory box... but the best part is that you will also be filling up your metal memory box, and re-using those things you want the kids to memorize over and over again... making it more meaningful!

This post has been added to Thirsty Thursdays!! Go there for many, many more helpful tips!


  1. This seems like a great way to keep up with memorization assignments. My problem was keeping it all seperated and organized. I think this will give me exactly what I need.
    Thanks for sharing!

    PS- our brood is 7 strong as well. Instead of all of the children's names beginning with the same letter, we purposely chose not to repeat a first letter. No one shares the same first initial. ;)

  2. Wow! Your family does a lot of memorization. We have a full file box for texts and songs, and simply rotate through them for review.

    It's a great idea to put other facts into boxes as well. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Annie Kate


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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6