I’m in the thick of homeschool planning for our third year with Claritas memory work, so it seemed like a perfect time to update the blog’s memory work box post! This isn’t an idea unique to me. It is adapted from the Charlotte Mason scripture memorization system. This method is a fantastic way to systematically review memory work because it makes sure you don’t miss anything. It’s not exciting or flashy, but it does work.
I originally adapted it for our studies with Classical Conversations, but I overhauled it when we started our private co-op using the Claritas material. I utilize a large 3×5 index card storage box along with index card dividers to keep everything organized. The set-up is similar to our old version, but with a few changes to make it work for the Claritas material.
Each day, memory work is reviewed from the daily tab, the even or odd tab (depending on whether the date is even or odd), the day of the week tab (depending on which day of the week it is), and then the numbered tab (corresponding with the date). I use the memory songs for review most of the time, unless it’s a sentence that we know so well that the music simply isn’t necessary. I should note that on our all-day community days (Monday), we listen to the memory work in the car. And on Thursdays (our half-day community days), we do memory review after lunch instead of in the morning.
Daily: Current week’s memory work (for example, Week 28)
Even: Last week’s memory work (for example, Week 27)
Odd: Memory work from two weeks ago (for example, Week 26)
Monday: all Scripture from past weeks of current cycle (for example, Weeks 1-25)
Tuesday: all History from past weeks of current cycle (for example, Weeks 1-25)
Wednesday: all Geography and Latin from past weeks of current cycle (for example, Weeks 1-25)
Thursday: all English and Spelling Rule* from past weeks of current cycle (for example, Weeks 1-25)
Friday: all Math and Science from past weeks of current cycle (for example, Weeks 1-25)
1-28: Memory work from previous cycles corresponding to the week (for example, Week 1 from past cycles goes behind Tab #1, Week 2 behind Tab #2, etc.)
(We review Timeline separately, so it is not listed with any of the weekdays.)
* Spelling Rule is a memory review subject that we have added to our private co-op curriculum.
I should add that in the summer, I put all of the the current cycle’s subjects behind the weekly tabs. So in theory, we review all of Scripture on Mondays, all of History on Tuesdays, etc. But that’s in theory. In actuality, we don’t do nearly the memory work review (meaning, basically none) I’d like. But, summer life and lazy days are definitely things we like to enjoy and soak up.
I keep the weekly schedule taped at the back of the box for a quick reminder. With multiple subjects, I can sometimes get confused about what we’re reviewing for the day. Toward the end of the school year, this memory work review system does get lengthy. But it’s the only way that has worked well for us to actually do it. We’ve done all the cute games, and while they’re fun, we just aren’t consistent with them. The memory review box works into our morning time together, and the children all know to expect it. We keep crayons, coloring books, playdoh (or slime right now with it being all the rage), legos, etc. in close proximity so everyone stays engaged. The goal with this memory review system isn’t complete mastery (although that’d be great!), but the children do end up picking up a large portion of our memory work from the sheer number of times we review. Even my littlest guy, who hasn’t formally studied memory work yet, happily hums along to many of the songs.
Although flashcards are available for purchase through Claritas, I find it is better for me to write out all of the cards with the memory work. I’m a visual person, and writing helps me put facts to memory. Yes, it is quite time consuming. But I learn the material better for myself, which ultimately helps me lead my children and my co-op students.