If asked, I can quote the exact dictionary definition of hypothesis; a conversational dialogue from the first week of high school French; and the most difficult to pronounce sentence assigned to me in college Russian. Why? I had to memorize them. Young children have fresh and powerful memories; they are capable of progressing from crying newborns to speaking their native language in such a relatively short period of time.
Sometimes rote memorization gets a bad name in the realm of homeschooling (or schooling in general). We’ve taken a different approach this year as we participate for the first time in Classical Conversations, a one-day per week classical model homeschool program designed to complement your studies at home. My four-, six-, eight-, and nine-year-old children are learning lots of memory work, often through song.
My four-year-old daughter has a habit of waking in the middle of the night and coming downstairs to crawl in bed with us. One morning last week when I was trying to wake her, she kept mumbling something. Finally I understood: Colossus of Rhodes—she was naming the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in her sleep! Her next words were, “Artemis, Diana,” the Greek and Roman names for the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology.
Just in case you think I’m raising a little genius, honesty compels me to admit that her first words this morning were Krabby Patty. :-)