Originally Posted by morning glory
I only skimmed the article so forgive me if I get it wrong but I really think that the problem isn't lack of memorization in schools/education today (who didn't have flash cards or have to memorize random map locations or science facts or whatever...). I think its more the dumbing down of education in general. Kids now (and in the past 20 years or so) don't memorize great poems or works of literature because they are not introduced to them til much later in their schooling (jr high or later) rather than right from the get go. And so often when poetry and plays are introduced its in a way that makes the kids enemies with it.
When it comes down to it you can force things into your memory short term but the only way they stay there long term and become cherished is if it was memorized out of love to begin with.
I just skimmed the article, too, but I agree with this. When is there time in a typical school setting to work on memorization for the sake of love of learning, and not for the sake of regurgitating facts for a test? In my area, it seems everything is done towards the goal of looking better on a test (especially since there are failing schools in the district). Perhaps the rare teacher takes additional time to encourage memorization, but I can't see it happening too often in my neck of the woods.
That said, I'm not into memorizing poems and literary works for myself, but I did grow up with my great-grandmother who was well known for reciting poetry that she had memorized. She only had a 5th (possibly 8th) grade education in the segregated South, fwiw. My two older daughters have memorized things on their own because they wanted to, not because I encouraged it, and they have enjoyed it. My oldest memorizes things quickly, so learning poetry might be something she might enjoy, as well...
The only thing about that article....I took offense to the Bill Cosby reference in it, because first of all, it seemed to come from nowhere, and also because there are deeper issues than just memorization that cause the indifference that was described among folks who are just hanging out on a corner not speaking "proper" English. IMO, there isn't anything inherently wrong with speaking slang or a dialect, as the article seemed to suggest, and I don't think poetry is a cure. It's a whole lot deeper than hearing kids speak slang on a street corner and assuming these kids don't know how to properly function in 'mainstream' America.
But that's a whole other ball of wax that doesn't belong in homeschooling.