Is there any benefit to memorization? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess we're eclectic ~ mostly unschoolers w/a mason-ish undertone. However, I purchased a curriculum this year to test it out and see what I thought of a little more structure. Yeah, I know ~ I'm stuck on a fence and it's making my bum hurt!

I really haven't followed the IG other than an "order" to read things in. It suggests a memorization verse for each week. Honestly, I think it's silly and kind of along the lines of what's the point if my kids can't even remember the following week. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone had another POV about whether or not there was a reason to memorizing things???

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#2 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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i thought about doing that with ds..however...i would die if someone made me memorize something i was not interested in..ds will memorize something if he chooses to and if he's interested in it...i feel no need to force him at this point. To me it would be wasted time and energy to get him to memorize something...but that's my child...

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#3 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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It's fun!

I know kids and adults who love to memorize. So for them it would definitely be useful.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#4 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Im sure there was a reason they made me memorize all that stuff at school... it just escapes me right now!

seriously though*– id go for ability to find answers and think conceptually over the ability to memorise anyday.

i think a big part of memorizing focus in schools & curriculum is about having easy and consistent methods of assessing "deliverables and outcomes" through tests etc.. A case of learning fitting into a system rather than a system supporting learning.

Then again this might be the bitter ramblings of a guy who has a memory span similar to that of a gold fish... so you should probably just go with what feels right for you.

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#5 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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Well, I'm drawn to a more classical approach, so I have a different view of this (plus, I just love words, poetry, music, etc). I googled this article and felt it explained why I think memorization is important: http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_...orization.html
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#6 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Chinese Pistache View Post
Well, I'm drawn to a more classical approach, so I have a different view of this (plus, I just love words, poetry, music, etc). I googled this article and felt it explained why I think memorization is important: http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_...orization.html
Great article!

You've all given me some things to think about. Thanks!!!
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#7 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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We are unschoolers, but I do see value in memorization. I think that there are bound to be times in a person's life when memorization of a large quantity of information is necessary (passing the written component of a drivers' test, memorizing product codes for a part-time job as a supermarket cashier, learning everyone's name at a meeting, eg.) and I think that by having had experience in the past, a child will better understand the strategies that suit him or her best.

My own kids get plenty of interest-led un-coerced experience with memorization so I haven't felt any desire to ask them to memorize verses. They memorize things like choir lyrics and tunes, their violin/viola/piano repertoire, Trivial Pursuit answers, the periodic table, dinosaur names, the twenty-nine award levels in a computer game ... most often just for fun.

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#8 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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It sounds like you are talking about memorizing bible verses (if I am reading it right). I do think there is value in memorizing bible verses, but I don't think the pace of a verse a week is particularly productive because they are unlikely to truly remember ANY that way.

I would probably choose verses that are particularly moving or important, and if they are longer selections (Psalms 23, Beatitudes, Corinthians 13...stuff like that), then you could spend a few months getting a little bit at a time. In a way, I find that more valuable. I don't remember all the short little verses I know I memorized as a kid, (except maybe "Jesus wept" ), but I do remember, even if not perfect, the long versions, and I find it comforting when I am suddenly faced with a traumatic situation to have those words flow through my head.

Another good way to address the same thing might be to find songs based on bible verses. That is how I remember some verses, and it taps a different part of the brain. The first one that comes to my brain is "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles...". I learned it as a preschooler, and still find myself singing it.

I would love to be able to do more of this on occasion (although I could never do it on a strict schedule...so unlike me. ). However, with my little scripting boy, you never know what fragments are going to stick, and Murphy's law says he will start repeating an inappropriate combination at the most inopportune time.

eta:If you aren't talking about bible verses, just replace that with Shakespeare, or other literary pieces worth memorizing. There is a lot of valuable, non-faith based literature that is good to know. I can still recite Hamlet's soliliquy (although I don't think I can spell it) 25 years after I memorized it.

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#9 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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I guess I am a memory person because I still remember most of the "memory work" stuff I learned in school...like In Flanders Fields for example. I do see value in memorizing things that are of value to you as a family. My DS has started to do memory work in regards to scripture passages that are important to us as a family. I will also likely do memory work with poetry as he gets older as well.

Of course memory work comes very easy to us as a family and we find it enjoyable but if it was a source of frustration I would likely drop it.

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#10 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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I disagree with the article on a number of points. I'll say from the outset that I do see the potential value in classical literature and memorization. I don't, however, feel that either is valuable for its own sake or that an ideal education for a unique individual need include either.

The claim is made that an appreciation and understanding of classical literature cannot be had without rote memorization and academic analysis of its construction. While for some people these things are certainly valuable because they are interested in that particular aspect of it, it can also be argued that they interfere with a certain type of experience -- a more visceral, felt experience -- of these things.

(C.S. Lewis, for those with access to his more obscure writings, has an excellent essay that addresses this, called "Meditation in a Toolshed".)

It's also implied that memorization is necessary in order to become familiar with the principles of "method, order, [...] rule and exception, [...] richness and harmony," to develop mental strength, that it is indispensable if they are to "speak, write, and read English with ease," and that without memorization the person's store of language patterns and vocabulary.

This is utter nonsense. I know this because -- despite being constantly made to work on memorization throughout my school years -- I've never been able to memorize. And yet my mental process is sharp, logical, my writing skilled, and my reading comprehension excellent. Clearly it's not necessary or indispensable.

The following, if relevant at all (there are cultures and subcultures, even those not recognized by academia, that are as valid as that of the patriarchal European,) is about the value of exposure, not memorization. It's not as if memorization is crucial to get those poor, deprived colored people out of their horribly uncultured lives.

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To kids who have never known anything but demotic English, literary English is bound to seem an alien, all but incomprehensible dialect. Kids who haven’t been exposed to the King’s English in primary school or at home will have a hard time, if they get to college, with works like Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick. In too many cases, they will give up entirely, unable to enter the community of literate citizens—and as a result will live in a world of constricted opportunity.
And this:

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Not to have certain works of art in your mental inventory—Macbeth, for example, or “Ozymandias” or Psalm 23—is to be shut out, to some degree, from the community of civilized conversation.
So I'm shut out of the community of civilized conversation because I can't recite Macbeth from memory?

The case for memorization here is just ridiculously overstated.

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The progressives’ efforts to discredit the older techniques are not yet finished. The most recent challenge to recitation and memorization exercises comes from a theory known as “constructivism,” the latest fad among progressive educators. Based on the work of Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, constructivism rests on the belief that objective knowledge does not exist; students must therefore “construct knowledge for themselves.”
So if I believe memorization is important, I must be a subjectivist. Um, okay. Somehow I missed the connection there. Maybe because there isn't any?

What a bunch of rhetorical blather, really.

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Constructivism is a new name for the old progressive desire to turn kids into little anarchs who—if the progressives’ daydreams come true—will grow up to overthrow the oppressive civilization into which they had the misfortune to be born.
Hm, well maybe he has a point there.

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But the progressives’ educational philosophy is only superficially a philosophy of liberty. The progressive exercises in “guided fantasy” and “sensitivity training” that have replaced memorization and recitation do little to free kids’ selves. The older techniques, by contrast, are genuinely liberating. They build up in the child a more powerful mental instrument, one that will allow him, in later life, to make good use of his freedom. They cultivate those critical powers that enable an educated adult to question authority intelligently. The older techniques also unlock doors in the interior world of the soul.
Okay, I have no idea what "guided fantasy" and "sensitivity training" are -- they sound as controlling and manipulative as coerced rote work. In any case, I'd like to know how rote memorization develops critical reasoning abilities and "unlocks door of the soul"? Seriously, this is just getting weird.

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Classic poetry and rhetoric give kids a language, at once subtle and copious, in which to articulate their own thoughts, perceptions, and inchoate feelings.
Sure, okay, I can get behind that (although it certainly doesn't have to be classical to do that.) But, now, what does this say about the value of memorization? Um, precisely nothing.

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This kind of memorization does not impose upon young minds a single dogma, nor does it exalt, as the Islamic madrassa does, a single text above all others. If anything, it is the progressive liturgies—with their “diversity” drills and cult of self-esteem—that embody a narrow and intolerant ideology, one that imprisons kids in the banal clichés of the present and puts much of the past off limits, as though the moral and spiritual inheritance of Western civilization were somehow taboo.
Right, because diversity and self-esteem are such bad things. So narrow! So intolerant! Imprisoning! Banal! Immoral! Unspiritual! Uh... okay, he's kinda losing me there. Not that he ever had me, but anyway.

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The literary culture at the heart of these exercises in memorization, by contrast, is a record of how men and women have, in various times and places, struggled to understand themselves and make sense of their natures. Such culture does not repress or enslave: it enlarges and strengthens and frees.
He phrases that in such a soul-stirring way I almost hate to point out, again, that appreciation and understanding of classical literature isn't dependent on memorization. But oh well.

Hey, I actually got to the end of that! Ah, what a person will do to put off washing the dishes...
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#11 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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I guess it really depends on:

- your child(ren)
- your approach
- your family

My boys (8 & 4) memorize things they are interested in. But neither of them would do so unless interested.

Our approach is very fluid -- mostly like unschooling.

Our family just doesn't demand things of one another. Additionally, I've never enjoyed rote memorization.

So, for us, no. It would be odd and feel both artificial and disrespectful to expect them to memorize things.

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#12 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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I do think memorization is very important, and sadly is going out of syle these days. Back in olden times, people had to memorize a lot more as there was no television, news, etc, or even books a lot of times. So they memorized important things in order to preserve knowledge that we take for granted. Think of the ancient bards and Greek poets and such who would memorized huge amounts of information because this was all they had- the power of their memory. I think modern humans are loosing this ability while admitedly other parts of their brains are growing.
I have always been great at memorizing, though.
My grandfather has memorized amazing amounts of information in his life and I think it is so cool to listen to the information he can pass on.
Also I think the things we memorize as children we will never forget. I will encourage the skill of memorization in my children...
Certainly, different strokes for different folks. We all have our unique gifts.
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#13 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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Oh, I think encouraging developing the skill of memorization is awesome and important.

For me, personally, it's just a matter of not requiring that they memorize things...well, with the exception of vital stats, like name, address, phone number, etc.

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#14 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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Speaking as someone who had to memorize a ton of poetry in (Waldorf) school, I'd say memorization is terrific.

I still recall large chunks of all that poetry, I enjoy reciting it to myself, to my kids (The Jabberwock!) and when I had all that time on my hands in the Peace Corps and the Norton Anthology of English Literature on my shelf, I memorized a whole lot more.
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#15 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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i think a big part of memorizing focus in schools & curriculum is about having easy and consistent methods of assessing "deliverables and outcomes" through tests etc.. A case of learning fitting into a system rather than a system supporting learning.
Oh yeah. I am in a situation at work with adult students who learned from rote and were told to memorise information not helped to understand the *why* of anything but that's a whole "why school is not the answer" thread).

I am sure that I am not the only person to have perhaps hundreds or thousands of song lyrics burned in by brain; I like the songs or I dislike them intensely but something has made me engage with them and they have been committed to my memory.

My boys went through stages of fascination with dinosaurs and pokemon and they had an incredible number of names memorised which they could recall instantly. I doubt that they still have recall of all those names now but I may be wrong.

I think that it is important to be able to memorise some things like telephone numbers or pin codes maybe but most of the things that we memorise will be things that we *want* to know and that is where it isn't memorisation for the sake of doing it but the desire to be able to remember so that we can enjoy the recall kwim?

Recall is related to so many other processes like movement, visual stimuli, sounds and especially smells that if you really want to do memorisation you would do well to give those memories another 'hook' to hang on in the mind.
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#16 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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I do think memorization is an important skill to have. I don't force it down my kids though. They've memorized oodles of things in fun, relaxed ways, and enjoy it. Helping verbs and pronoun alongside nursery rhymes and poetry. (Not to mention the movies they can quote word perfect.
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#17 of 47 Old 10-10-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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I'm a new teacher, and I didn't think memorization was important until....I saw students in classes that I subbing for who couldn't do any of the math work because in 8th grade they didn't know their multiplication tables. I grew up in the whole language craze with invented spelling, and while I had a genius IQ for spelling (spelling only) most of my friend write as though they were illiterate. What can I say? I think memorization can be boring, but crippling if you don't have it.
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#18 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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Memorization of things like poetry, music, plays, etc. seems very worthwhile to me. I definitely think your "ownership" of those arts changes when you have them committed to memory and aren't just playing/reading off the page.

And memorization of scientific information or historical dates is important, although obviously it needs to be done in context.
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#19 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 12:16 PM
 
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Another good way to address the same thing might be to find songs based on bible verses. That is how I remember some verses, and it taps a different part of the brain. The first one that comes to my brain is "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles...". I learned it as a preschooler, and still find myself singing it.
"And he shall raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand."
Recalling memorized biblical verses or song texts can be incredibly comforting. I used to sing in a Catholic church choir and I've memorized astonishing amounts (after a few years of choir you can usually have the song memorized after singing it through a few times). I'm always surprised when a certain verse pops into my head. Thanks for the trigger.


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Memorization of things like poetry, music, plays, etc. seems very worthwhile to me. I definitely think your "ownership" of those arts changes when you have them committed to memory and aren't just playing/reading off the page.
Yes, yes, yes. I was in the drama clubs in middle and high school and I get a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever I hear a quote from one of the plays I was in. I even got to play Ophelia and Bianca, which was really fun.
It's sort of like seeing someplace (like the Eiffel Tower) in a movie that you've been to IRL. It makes it so much more personal.


And don't forget, as some others have mentioned, that memorization trains the mind. The more you memorize, the more you can memorize...
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#20 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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So I'm shut out of the community of civilized conversation because I can't recite Macbeth from memory?
Did you say Macbeth?

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam; At one fell swoop?
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.

I don't know if it's the recitation of the words or the memorization (and familiarization) that's more important. But they are both useful for carrying on an interesting conversation. I'm living in Germany and never having read Göthe, Schiller, or Mann is definitely cramping my style. I sound much less interesting in German than in English.

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It's not as if memorization is crucial to get those poor, deprived colored people out of their horribly uncultured lives.
I believe that the way we speak can have an impact on the path we take in life. Ever read Pygmalion (God forbid you should read Ovid or Shaw ?

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there are cultures and subcultures, even those not recognized by academia, that are as valid as that of the patriarchal European
So you are assuming that "colored people" (such as I) should stick to reading Angelou, Hurston, and Douglas? Avoid Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austen like the plague? Good literature is good lit, regardless of the color of the author. I believe you are also assuming that "colored" authors have never written lit that is regarded as being "classic". Ever heard of Martin Luther King Jr.? He's written some of the most remarkable speeches of our time and they are definitely regarded as classics (my German relatives recognize them even). In fact, quite a bit of "colored" lit from America and England has been translated to foreign languages and been block-busters around the world. One of the WORST things you can do for a child is to limit them culturally to "their own stuff". Homeschooling should be about expanding our children's horizons, not shrinking them.
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#21 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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I think that memorization can be incredibly useful, and valuable in its own right. First, memorization involves a level of precision that is rarely seen in other areas-- so much of memory is just kinda-remembering, or loosely paraphrasing. To memorize something is to really learn it, especially if it goes hand in hand with careful study of *what* is being memorized. (i.e., it is not so useful to memorize a Shakespearian monologue if you don't understand what the character means by it.) Memorizing the preamble to the Consitution or the Declaration of Independence and, in the process, to understand what each line means, will bring a greater understanding of both than to just read through it once or twice. This is especially true for math-- precise memorization of the times tables is essential; knowing that 6x9 is... between 50 and 60 will really slow you down later on.

Also, being able to memorize things (or even just remember them!) is a skill, and the more it is developed the better it works-- like any skill, of course. Sometimes it is not the knowledge itself (Bible verse, poem, etc) that is so valuable but the practice of learning something to the point of being able to absorb it entirely and reproduce it. If this is done enough it becomes easier, and it's a great skill to have as an adult, no matter what your line of work.

And memorization can be fun, especially for kids. To successfully memorize something is a concrete accomplishment, something to be proud of or even show off. It can be very meaningful, as previous posters pointed out; I have in memory several bits of Shakespeare and some Robert Frost poems (the shorter ones ) that I get great comfort from. I'm sure for religious folks it's the same with favorite Biblical verses; being able to recall them at will is amost like meditation.

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#22 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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So you are assuming that "colored people" (such as I) should stick to reading Angelou, Hurston, and Douglas?
Holy toledo, where did you get that impression? First, we're not talking about reading in this thread -- we're talking about the value of memorizing literature. And secondly, I believe the point was that by defining 'civilized conversation' as the ability to recite Shelley and Shakespeare puts preferential value on things Eurocentric.

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#23 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 01:36 PM
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Well... I disagree with the blog entry, but I do think memorization is a handy talent (as are things like singing in key and not getting lost in strange cities). I enjoy having my own "library" of memorized bits in my head, for me to take out and enjoy whenever and wherever. I can think of only one that I memorized as part of schoolwork - it's a very small poem about a spider that I learned in first grade. The rest was learned because I wanted to know it - including song lyrics, poems, dialogue from movies, quotes, bits of Shakespeare, and so on.

Rain started doing theatre when she was fairly young, and her first role was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz... a 60 page script, and she was on almost every page. She was seven, I think. This semester she's memorized 4 or 5 long speeches from Shakespeare, as well as at least one sonnet, for her theatre class. I suppose if one wants to do theatre, memorizing is important.

And, really, what fun is Rocky Horror if you don't know the words, and of course the easiest way to find other unschooling-ish homeschoolers in a crowd is to shout out, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya...." and waiting for someone to finish the line...

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#24 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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Holy toledo, where did you get that impression?
It just really grated on me. I've run into enough people IRL who assume that black people wouldn't be interested in reading "Eurocentric" literature. Sort of a ghettoization of art.

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First, we're not talking about reading in this thread -- we're talking about the value of memorizing literature.
Usually things that are interesting to read are later memorized so I assumed the point was applicable.

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And secondly, I believe the point was that by defining 'civilized conversation' as the ability to recite Shelley and Shakespeare puts preferential value on things Eurocentric.
The author mentioned Shakespeare (which has been translated into almost as many languages as the Bible, which shows it's universal appeal and lack of Eurocentricity) but did not limit himself to it.
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#25 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post


So you are assuming that "colored people" (such as I) should stick to reading Angelou, Hurston, and Douglas? Avoid Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austen like the plague? Good literature is good lit, regardless of the color of the author. I believe you are also assuming that "colored" authors have never written lit that is regarded as being "classic". Ever heard of Martin Luther King Jr.? He's written some of the most remarkable speeches of our time and they are definitely regarded as classics (my German relatives recognize them even). In fact, quite a bit of "colored" lit from America and England has been translated to foreign languages and been block-busters around the world. One of the WORST things you can do for a child is to limit them culturally to "their own stuff". Homeschooling should be about expanding our children's horizons, not shrinking them.
nak
Not the person you quoted, but I didn't interpret her post like this at all.

Did you read the article Chinese Pistache posted? In there it is suggested that some Americans cannot speak or read comprehensible English, and that memorizing verses from classics would remedy that problem. I think fourlittlebirds was simply saying (and I agree), that the problem could be addressed by simply reading, and understanding - no need for memorizing. The type of forced memorization described relies on the teacher to choose what is a classic and worth memorizing. It would be a shame if that were Eurocentric.

I hate using anecdotes, but I am going to anyhow... My mother has memorized *tons* of poems and verses (schooled in the 1940s), loves their beauty, and recites them all the time, but uses poor grammar in her own speech (e.g., "She don't know") and cannot "manufacture" poetry or even beautiful speech of her own. I memorized next to nothing literary, ever (schooled in 1970s and 80s), but my grammar is usually impeccable and I write decent stories and poems and speak relatively well in front of large groups. One big difference: I read like it was going out of style, and my mother never has done that. I think reading and comprehending is far more important than memorizing. I think of memorizing as important as a means to get somewhere else, not as an end, worthwhile just for the sake of learning to memorize...

As an aside, I memorized the periodic table in grad school and it is so useful for me now (weird, but true!), so I really dislike that Pepsi commercial where they dis memorizing the periodic table...

aran .......... Mr. aran .......... DS1 .......... DS2
BIL Oct. 1961 - Jun. 2009 taken by cancer
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#26 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whew! We've all been sick, so I haven't been back since I posted last... WHOAH!

I guess what I'm seeing here is that there are different "definitions" of memorization. As in some appear to view it as forced regurgitation of information. Some appear to view it as "remembering" those things that we learned and find valuable (or interesting ~ 'cause really, how useful is it that I have every episode of Law & Order memorized!?!? ). Then there's some spectrum in between.

I worry, b/c I was "forced" to memorize things, and yet, cannot retain most of that information today (like the aforementioned bible verses, multiplication tables, periodic tables). I know that it is because on some levels the topics did not interest me (I loathe science), I didn't learn like that (I see math on a physical level, not just lists of numbers KWIM?), I wasn't given the time to examine them fully (bible verses learned in time for next weeks' confirmation class and then never used or spoken of again).

I sincerely appreciate all of your input. This is a wonderful discussion!
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#27 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maplesugar View Post
I do think memorization is very important, and sadly is going out of syle these days. Back in olden times, people had to memorize a lot more as there was no television, news, etc, or even books a lot of times. So they memorized important things in order to preserve knowledge that we take for granted. Think of the ancient bards and Greek poets and such who would memorized huge amounts of information because this was all they had- the power of their memory. I think modern humans are loosing this ability while admitedly other parts of their brains are growing.
I have always been great at memorizing, though.
My grandfather has memorized amazing amounts of information in his life and I think it is so cool to listen to the information he can pass on.
Also I think the things we memorize as children we will never forget. I will encourage the skill of memorization in my children...
Certainly, different strokes for different folks. We all have our unique gifts.


Also, memorizing basic math facts is a necessity if one goes into any field that uses higher math.
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#28 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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I disagree that memorization of math facts is at all important, particularly when undertaken purposefully. I know my math facts not because I drilled and memorized them (I'm serious - by a quirk in the timing of a transfer from school to school, I entirely missed when the other students were taught times tables!), but because I understand the numbers in relation to one another and can quickly construct facts (like the times tables). Just like how when I took physics in college, I memorized only a few equations. If you understand why something would be true, you can come up with equations with extraordinarily little fuss (and bonus, you never remember the wrong equation).

There is a benefit to repetition, which is a different thing. I do think that a lot of memorization happens as a consequence of repetition, which is IMO totally fine and beneficial in terms of using our brainpower to best effect. Memorization for the sake of memorization is one thing, memorization as a side effect of necessary repetition is another. My kids know basic math facts because they're repeated them over and over in everyday life; they know the spellings of some common words because they've written them over and over. This isn't a bad thing. And I do think that kids are great at memorizing things and enjoy it - I just disagree with the concept of *making* them memorize stuff.

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#29 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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Whike this is niether here nor there, my favorite childhood mnemonic memorization is:

Divorced, beheaded, died
Divorced, beheaded, survived.


Ok, it's macabre, but I never forget the long-sufferring wives of Henry VIII.

Which you need to know to get through life, kwim?

Which reminds me:


Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee
Harry, Dick, John, Harry Three
One, two, threeNeds, Rchard Two,
Harries Four, Five. Six- then who?
Edwards four, five, Dick the bad
Haries twain and Ned the lad
Mary, Bessie, James the vain
Charlie, Charlie, James again
William and Mary, Anna Gloria
Four Goeorges, William and Victoria
Edward, George, the same again
Elizabeth the second, long may she reign!




UUMom, mistress of unimportant info.
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#30 of 47 Old 10-11-2007, 10:47 PM
 
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I will always feel grateful to Mrs. Tuma who insisted that we memorize "The Preposition Song." (to the tune of yankee doodle)

around, across, above, about,
to, for, from, by, on, toward,
beneath, before, behind, between,
beyond, against, throughout.
Over, down, among, up,
with, of, except, upon,
till, at, beside, under,
without, along, near, in!

They're all there, which is incredibly handy for later testing and sentence diagramming but not very useful, I suppose, outside of school. Still, I plan to teach it to my kids.

My dd is almost 8, and we haven't done any mandatory memorization. She likes to memorize, though, and does it without really having to try. She's discovered acting, which is promoting an interest in memorizing. She learned Jabberwocky the other day...it's awfully cute to hear her recite it, except that she'll do it for anybody whether they want to hear it or not. This to say, if it's fun then go for it.
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