How to Encourage Your Child to Memorize


In the course of attending school, most children will learn the Pledge of Allegiance. Very few schools, how­ever, will teach your child to memorize anything in its entirety beyond that—a skill and practice that seems to have gone by the wayside in this century.

The memorization of a poem, quotation, or phrase helps your child focus on words and the ways in which language is structured and used. The child who hears language—through such activities as being read to by loving adults—is a child who will grow up with a greater love for and facility with language. The same holds true for a child who speaks words in an order that he or she might not otherwise put them. The child’s awareness of how words might be used is enhanced. He or she learns new words and has a greater aware­ness of how words can be put together into phrases. And often, the child comes to the conclusion that using language can be fun.

Encourage Child Memorize

The material memorized can often be recalled almost by “instinct” during times when it is needed or seems appropriate. Even if your child doesn’t utter the phrases, the memorized words will often float through his or her mind, reinforcing the concepts conveyed by the words. This is especially true for proverbs and songs that have been taught as capsules of important truths.

The recitation of a memorized piece is an “accomplish­ment” for a child. Recitation is an example of a child’s ability to learn; it says to others, “I memorized this. I know it. Nobody can rob me of it.”

What should you have your child memorize?

Have your child memorize things that are important or meaningful to you. What your child memorizes then become a bond of shared information between the two of you. The content of that bond may be Scriptures, proverbs, your favorite poems, or rhymes you learned as a child. You may select something simply for the beauty of the words or because of the impact the words had when you first understood their message. When appropriate, tell your child why the piece or song is meaningful to you.

Have your child memorize prose, poems, or songs that convey a message that you want your child to incorporate into the fabric of his or her character. The piece memo­rized may be part of a patriotic speech, a passage from a famous sermon, a chapter from one of the Gospels, a poem about right and wrong.

Have your child memorize some things that are simply fun to say or sing. Share with your child the fact that words can be fun; songs can be silly. Some words are simply meant to help us feel good and to bring a smile to our faces. Give your child something “happy” to remember when feeling sad.

Make certain that your children have certain facts memorized at an early age. Make sure your child knows his or her full name, street address and city, phone number, parent’s names, parents’ employers, the name of his or her school and teachers. You might want to quiz your child on a fairly regular basis until you are certain that your child can respond quickly and automat­ically with key information.

Use repetition to teach your child to memorize. Break down long pieces into smaller units that can be memorized and then strung together.

Once a child has successfully memorized a piece, help the child keep that piece memorized and in the “active file” through repetition every few weeks or months.

Give your child a verbal heritage, a language inheri­tance, and the confidence that comes from “saying a piece.” Give your child the self-esteem boost that comes from realizing that he or she is being trusted with an important family or cultural tradition!

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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