I remember being fairly impressed with homeschool kids memorizing many facts as part of "grammar" stage in their version of classical education. These kids, at age 4 or 5, memorized science terms, major events from B.C. to A.D. to modern times, every state and its capital, and so much more. After some thought and a lot of discussion with dear husband, we figured that this way might not be for us.  This is not to say that there is no room for memory work. There is. But the thrust is different. Instead of science terms or the muliplication table, it is more on choosing words that are "living", so to speak. Words that may transform, inspire and may even shape the way of thinking, feeling and doing.
Rightly so, we start memory work with Bible passages, hymns and poetry.
As I mentioned before, I don't force my children to learn passages, hymns and poetry. Nor do I make them memorize by rote. I try to create an atmosphere before I pray, sing, and read, in hopes that they simply join in. I read or sing small chunks at first with simple actions that go with it. Then I slowly add more words throughout the days/weeks. They listen attentively. After a day or two, the living words prompt, both the 5 and 3 year old, to recite or sing with me.


Our family started with Psalm 23, the hymn "Be Present at Our Table, Lord" and the short poem "Wise Old Owl".


The next batch was Psalm 100, the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" and their favorite poem, "The Arrow and the Song".                               

We are presently learning Psalm 121, the hymn "Beautiful Savior" and the poem "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

It has been very encouraging to learn these words with the children;
how these words are now part of our family.


To read more about Memory Work the Charlotte Mason way, read this article here.

{***At first, I actually felt uncomfortable introducing verses and hymns for memory work. I feared the idea of making the Living Word trivial. I dislike feel uneasy with church programs that ask children to memorize verses and in exchange get a sticker or a token of some sort for a job well done. I was hoping that my kids learn to love scripture and maybe even memorize parts of it, not to get a prize, but simply for its sake. Thus, it matters to me how I present these words to them.}

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