Monday, August 30, 2010

Memory Box

I think I’ve mentioned our Memory Box before, but I thought I’d share it again. This little box is a daily part of our homeschool and funny enough the boys really love seeing it come out. 
It started out as just a Bible Verse box, and while that is still it’s primary goal and use I’ve recently started adding in bits of poetry to it. I remember learning bits and pieces of poetry when I was homeschooled and I still quote some of it to the boys. The boys always think it’s neat that I know a poem, especially Morgan who loves it when things rhyme. 
Recently they were having a spat. Okay, a fight. In that moment where you debate shouting or distracting them I was reminded of the poem Love Between Brothers & Sisters. It’s quite a length poem and I’ve been known to quote bits and pieces of it when the boys are squabbling. At the same time The Duel (aka The Gingham Dog & The Calico Cat) also came to mind. When I started quoting that one they asked for it a second time. Thus it was decided that we’d learn The Duel first. 
Due to taking a week off for colds they aren’t very far along with it, but Jayden managed to wow Mr S at the dinner table this evening by quoting half of the first stanza:
The Gingham Dog & The Calico Cat,
Side by side on the table sat;
T’was half-past twelve, & (what do you think?)
Nor one nor t’other had slept a wink!
They are both quite proud of themselves, and the encore this evening came with the same rendition from Morgan. They are so eager to learn it all that I suspect they’ll knock off a couple of stanzas quite quickly.
As for how this little box works in our home, that’s the simple part. We add verses to our box weekly. Often times they come from our Bible Lessons, but they also come from other places. Each Five In A Row story we study has many accompanying Bible verses, when I remember I jot them down and toss those in the box too. I’ll also copy down a verse that I feel the boys need to learn, which usually happens when a bad habit, ill behavior, or other such situation arrises. 

For instance Jayden went through a phase where he was terrified to do anything alone. I believe it was just after the black bird was mysteriously found flying around the rumpus room. Anyway, I jotted down a couple of verses about fear and reminded them that when they were scared they could use those verses to not feel as afraid. While it didn’t work so well with Jayden, we heard Morgan running through the darkest part of the house shouting out, “What time I am afraid I will trust in thee..” 
So each morning at the start of our school day we pull out the box and start with whatever is in the Daily Section. Then we move on to Odd or Even based on the numerical day on the calendar. Then we move on to the corresponding day of the week (Mon. - Fri.) and lastly we wrap it up by covering whatever verses are in the numbered section in the back of the box. 

Sometimes we even find other tidbits in the box.. I purchased some fun Bible trading cards that match many of the lessons we’re learning this year. So when we’ve covered a lesson I pull out the trading card and slip it in a slot somewhere in the box. Each card has a paraphrased version of the event pictures on the card, as well as questions based on that bit of information. I may just ask the questions on the card, and if there seems to be a few blank looks around the table then I’ll read the paraphrasing on the back of the card as well.
All up this fun little box takes us about 10-30 minutes each day. It depends on how much is under each tab (some have more then others) or if we have a new verse that needs explaining and so on. When we have a new verse I read it out to them and explain what it means. Then we say the verse a few times each before moving on to the older more familiar verses. 

Once they know a verse with out any prodding or with only a quick “get me started” word then I move the verse into an Odd or Even slot and if those verses are well known everything gets moved back. 
The boys have been known to request specific verses from the box too, mostly because it’s one they especially like due to a word in it more then anything else. So, sometimes, even when a verse isn’t in the slot for that day we’ll do it anyway. All of this means our time spent with the box can vary greatly. This is one of those treasured moments we’re really enjoying around here.


Angie said...

Hello! I was searching the net for pumpkin pics and just happened upon your blog. I am also a home school mom, with two girls.
I LOVE the idea of the 'memory box'! We will definitely have to add one of our own this year.
Thanks for the tip!

Jess said...

This has been on my "to try" list for a while! We love memorising poetry. Odgen Nash is one of our favourites, thhe two oldest just memorised "the germ" and "the octopus"!

Lori said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing. :)