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31 Days of Real Life: The Lasting Effect of Memory Work


Do you realize that those crazy rugrats running around your house have an amazing capacity for memorization? Don’t squander it! I wrote about it almost exactly 2 years ago, but the lesson was driven home to me again today by an example from my own childhood.

I attended a live production of Macbeth at the Shakespeare Tavern in downtown Atlanta with my son’s Classical Conversations Challenge III class. In the 5th act Macbeth stepped alone to the front of the stage and launched into the famous “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy. And I mouthed the words right along with him.

I memorized this slice of Shakespeare approximately 28 years ago. My English teacher surely would be proud, but probably not surprised.

Don’t confuse the capabilities of your tired, stressed adult brain with the mental gymnastics your children may be capable of performing. Math facts; states and capitals; the grammar of a subject; history dates; Shakespeare’s soliloquys: fill those heads now with facts that just might stick for a lifetime.

Related post: 

A Child’s Brain is Like a Sponge: Don’t Discount the Memory Work


All 31 Days of Real Life posts can be found here. Other 31 Dayers can be found here.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Tsh @ Simple Mom October 20, 2011, 11:19 am

    Dawn, I really have been floored with how much my 6-year-old is absorbing in CC. 6 weeks in, and she can still perfectly recite all the history sentences! Well, she sings them, but you know what I mean… :)
    Tsh @ Simple Mom´s last [post] ..Opening our homes means risk

  • T @ aseedinspired October 20, 2011, 12:45 pm

    So true. I know you Classical Convo parents love your memorization. I was recently at the beach with a mother who uses it and she was like a lock box of info.
    You all would kick rear at Jeopardy
    T @ aseedinspired´s last [post] ..Thread’s of Hope.

  • Dawn October 20, 2011, 7:10 pm

    Tsh, it’s absolutely amazing, isn’t it? My kids are states and capitals machines this year!

  • Jeri Taira October 20, 2011, 9:25 pm

    So true! Even our dog is an amazing sponge. I love it when they surprise you to speechlessness.

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