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    The Book of Memory

    September 15, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’re on week four of lessons here at the microhomestead. Can you believe that? The toddler still has not dropped his morning nap {not that I’m complaining}, so my Average Day Chart hasn’t quite kicked in. For now, there are only three little ones present during our morning Circle Time. And it’s going decently enough.

    Unless you count the numerous times the ducks have escaped their pen and we have had to drop whatever we were doing and have a round-up. {It wouldn’t have been a big deal had they decided to graze the grass rather than hang out on the clean patio staring at us through the sliding door.}

    Anyhow, right before Circle Time, I try to head to the bookcase and gather everything I need. But no matter what I do, I seem to forget something. After three weeks of having to stop the momentum and go retrieve whatever was forgotten, I finally realized that almost everything I forgot had to do with our memory work.

    Oh, the irony.

    I planned a lot more memory work than we’ve ever done before, and that’s the main reason. There are more resources in a day than I’m accustomed to, and I didn’t think to list them on my Circle Time Schedule. We are also memorizing some of the verses in the King James Version, and others in the NIV, or even the NASB. So sometimes I will have remembered the Bible for our Bible reading (which is always the KJV because we like how pretty it sounds read aloud), only to have forgotten to bring the correct version for the memory work. Or, I will forget to grab our Child’s Garden of Verses for our poetry work.

    You get the idea.

    So this afternoon I finally did something I should have done in my planning this summer: I made a binder.

    I labeled it The Book of Memory because it reminds me of that book by Mary Carruthers that I can’t afford, the title of which I always liked the sound. It is prettier than, say, “Memory Work.”

    So far our binder has three dividers: scripture, poetry, hymns. I really should have said “songs” because my folk songs are in there also. But I forgot, and I labeled the divider tab with a Sharpie, so I suppose I’ll have to look at this mistake for the next two decades or so.

    I’ve put in all the scripture we’ll be memorizing over the term {one for each of the seven virtues}. I also added the two poems we’re covering right now — one review and one new. And then there are all the songs from the last three years.

    All right there.

    In one place.

    It’s like magic.

    And I’m so relieved.

    I was looking back over the list for Year 0 — you know the one: A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six {scroll down}. The top of the list says:

    1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
    2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm

    I had somehow forgotten about a parable and a psalm. Normally, I would panic {just for fun}, but everyone is memorizing these things faster than I expected {faster than me … ahem}. So, I think after this current poem, we’ll switch to a psalm {Psalm 23, of course}, then a couple more poems, and then a parable.

    Do any of you have an idea for a parable? For the Psalm, 23 just seemed ideal for little ones. Is there a parable which sticks out to any of you like that?


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  • Reply Kansas Mom September 17, 2010 at 2:52 am

    We’re using the Simply Charlotte Mason style for our memory verses and I love how it’s working. I will definitely start a binder (once we’ve memorized more than one poem) for the rest of our memory work.

    Psalm 23 is on our list as well!

  • Reply dawn September 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I love my memory work binders. I use the Simply Charlotte Mason Bible Memory system (in a binder) for all of our memory work. I have two binders, one with the organizational details and one with the content. This way, we’re constantly re-minded of what we know through practice.

    I would do one of the “The Kingdom of God is like a pearl” or a treasure parables. They’re short, they’re about looking for treasure, and they can be a lifelong focus 😉

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts September 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm


    Thank you for the tips! I will try the Magic Eraser and see what happens.


    You are welcome. We didn’t really do much memory to speak of our first few years, but the interview with Cindy was inspiring enough to get me started, and now I am glad I did.

  • Reply Becky@Daily On My way to Heaven September 16, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Thank you for this post! I have not started our memory work!-This is our second week of school- it is on the schedule, but I have left it out!

    Thank you for the encouragment and the ideas.


  • Reply Mystie September 16, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Yay for binders! 🙂

    Magic Erasor, if you have it, will take off Sharpie. My friend tells me sometimes fingernail polish remover does also. I have undone Sharpie labeling on plastic containers that way. If your tabs are paper and not plastic, I’d get a bit of label and cover over it to relabel it.

    I like to have the right word in the right place, and so I have relabeled things many times, and so I have improvised many tricks for it. 🙂

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