24 February 2016

Day 56 / 105 - Illustrating History (and some Memory Master tips)

This is not the first year we have illustrated our History sentences.  (Click here for Cycle 2 and Cycle 3.)  Visualizing a picture, then creating it, has helped my daughter (and me!) commit concepts to long term memory.  Classical Conversations History sentences for Cycle 1 are pretty tough.  Many are not sentences but rather short paragraphs.  We sketched many dates and maps to help us remember the key points to each historical fact.

After working on this mural for two days, my daughter can now look at any one of the pictures and sing the History fact even without the prompt.

This will be my sixth, and final, year that I will take one of my children through the Memory Master process.  For older children, I fully believe in this process.  It is a worthwhile accomplishment that builds much confidence at a time when children usually begin to doubt themselves.  If your child truly wants to earn this rank, I believe that it can be a simple, and enjoyable, process.  Here are few tips I've discovered, or picked up from others, through the years.

1.  Take the month of March off from all other schooling and just drill memory work.  The key to this tip, however, is don't worry at all about what is not being accomplished.  Instead, celebrate the learning (and memorizing!) that is happening.  Math text books will still be there come April.  Just so you know how serious I am about this tip, I even suggest it, and follow it myself, regarding Essentials.  

2.  Drill two subjects a day.  Take your child(ren) through all 24 weeks of material for those subjects at this time. Once you've drilled two subjects, or for 45 - 60 minutes, put everything away.  I have learned that if I commit to that, for the month of March, my children were always more than prepared for their proofings.  Once the children know the material, it should take far less than an hour to drill two subjects.  But, if you are still drilling after an hour, no one is enjoying themselves.  Trust me.  Keep it brief to keep it fun!

3.  If your children need to write math facts for their proof, have them practice two or three tables daily.  I try to get my daughter to finish each table under the two minute mark.  Speed isn't necessarily a factor for the proof, but writing out the math facts is the most time consuming aspect of it.  A student needs to stay engaged and focused for this time, and the more you can help them prepare for this, the better.

When my children were younger, we used many sticker charts, passports, etc. to keep them motivated as they memorized the material.  Now that my daughter knows what is expected of her, this spring, she just needs to put in the time and do the work.  This makes the entire process simpler for me.  She will be rewarded with one chosen prize once she earns the title!

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing! I have to say that doing that for a month would put us over the edge, but I do see the value in committing so much to memory. I applaud you and your kids to embracing CC as you do.