Memorization! Yes, memorization seems to be a lost art. In fact, it is the basis of Classical Education. In our education system today, there is a “school of thought” that suggests memorization is a tedious outdated educational practice and it serves no purpose in today’s education philosophy. I beg to differ.
Why is Memorization Important?
The basic fact is, it makes you smarter! Memorization is a preventative measure against cognitive decline. It strengthens your memory and overall brain health; it actually trains your brain to remember. Recalling facts is beneficial in a number of social situations including just a typical conversation with an acquaintance on a particular subject or even in your job. A pharmacist, would have had to memorize a plethora of information on certain drugs and their adverse effects. Memorization not only challenges your brain but it offers a kind of mental gymnastics for your brain.
What Should We Be Memorizing?
Well that all depends on what’s important to you. If you’re a Christian, then memorization of scripture is essential to your faith. It equips you will moral and ethical answers to life’s dilemmas. If we’re talking about young children then, nursery rhymes, short poems and even prayers are great. Nursery rhymes provide a rhythmic pattern by teaching balance and symmetry. When it is an older child, memorization of multiplication and division facts are vitally important. To go onto higher level math, one needs to know the basics of arithmetic. Memorization of famous speeches and Shakespeare provides a person with a repertoire really rich language.
Here are some things I think are worthwhile of memorizing:
–The Gift by Christina Rosetti
–The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
-Hamlet’s “To be or not to be”
–“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King
-Capitals of Provinces/States
Memorization not only serves a purpose but also prepares our brains for higher learning. I can still recall the poem “In Flanders Fields by John McCrae that I had to memorize in the fifth grade. I still recite it to my children every Remembrance Day. What have you memorized from your childhood that you can still recite today?