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Holy Moly! No memorization??

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 7:24 AM
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Did you know that kids don't have to memorize things in school anymore?!

Some of you know that I'm a PS high school teacher (art and Spanish). I was having my Spanish students do a poem memorization project and they were acting like it was the most difficult thing in the world.

I thought that they were just whining because they were lazy, but after I started talking to them I found out that they have NEVER HAD TO MEMORIZE AND RECITE ANYTHING BEFORE! The most that they had done was study a poem and fill in missing words. They don't even know how to begin memorizing something. No wonder they are struggling. Geez.

I rattled off some texts that I had memorized in school and they looked at me like I was from another planet. They could not believe that I could recite something from my own head.

My kids are only preschool age right now, but I'm already trying to teach them to memorize some things.

Did you all go to public school? If so, did you have to memorize texts?


Starr Weems de Graffenried


Author of Brain Child and Teach Your Child Spanish Through Play. See my articles here.

by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 7:24 AM
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Replies (1-5):
LinaRina
by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Ugh, that's horrible - can you tell me where you teach - what country, state, etc?

Do you know whether this is typical in education now-a-days?

Considering how kids can recite lines from TV shows and sing commercials, they obviously have the capacity for it :P 

Starrwd
by Member on Sep. 7, 2009 at 5:55 PM

I teach in Alabama and this is my 9th year. I teach Spanish and art, so  my experience is a little bit different from other classroom teachers. I start from scratch with students who know nothing about either subject, so I'm not really building on prior knowledge that anyone else has taught.

One thing that I noticed right off the bat is that I have to devote an entire unit to world geography because they don't even have the most basic knowledge of where different countries are when they come to me. I was a little surprised by this, but I figured they were at least getting it in my class, so I wasn't too worried.

Then this memorization thing... I was really shocked by that. I wasn't in school too long ago. My high school education certainly wasn't what I would have gotten at home, but we had to memorize historic speeches, important poems, the periodic table, etc. As an adult, I really value the things that I took the time to memorize.

I don't know if this is across the board or just local. That's really  kind of what I was trying to find out when I posted this.

Starr Weems de Graffenried


Author of Brain Child and Teach Your Child Spanish Through Play. See my articles here.

jec3113
by Member on Sep. 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Unfortunately, this is EVERYWHERE, across the nation, in every city and state.  This is one of many reasons homeschooling is growing in record numbers.

Kudos to you for trying to fill in the gaps for some of these kids.

fairyteller
by on Sep. 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM

I'm 48 and did have to memorize in school, but without having to say it all the time, the pieces are no longer easy to remember. My dh on the other hand is the theatre type who can memorize and then remember verbatim for years and years. I say I am the storyteller...I remember the gist of it but every telling is a bit diff each time.

Cat*Autumn*Emma*BohemiMom


zfarms
by New Member on Oct. 4, 2009 at 6:22 PM

I am in Iowa and am 35. I never did any memorization beyond facts to take a test- the night before.

I have memory issues ( filing I call it) and so does my daughter. She is in 6th grade and this is our first year homeschooling. trying to piece it together now. Trying to learn how to memorize. I have never learned, so it is interesting to me how such an easy concept can be so daunting for me to undertake. We'll figure it out.

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