Thursday, May 17, 2012

Remember that thing you forgot?

Still homeschooling five kids.

Still making it my goal to teach my kids where and how to find answers and teach themselves.

Still avoiding memorization like the plague.  Unless they want to.  And they do.  Weird stuff.

Memorization is great for your brain.  I was forced to memorize a bunch of crap.  Out of all said crap that was shoved into my head, I can only recall:

The Preamble to the Constitution
A little rhyme of the 22 linking verbs
The first four lines of "The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales"
The first stanza of "The Road Not Taken"

Yet I can still sing along with this:

Biology?  I remember how the pig smelled when we dissected it.

I still kill at typing, and remember my shorthand.

Math?  I use my life skills.  Beyond that - nope.  Unless there is something specific I need for a project.  Yet, I don't remember the memorized math.  I have to look it up and reteach myself.

History?  I have bits and pieces.

Geography?  I could draw you a map of my teacher's scars from all of his motorcycle accidents.  I think we may have talked about North America at some point.  I don't recall, specifically.

Anywho, why am I rambling on and on about crap I don't remember?  It's your friendly reminder that it can be quite a waste.  The goal in my house is autodidacticism.  If you can find the answers yourself, you can teach or relearn those answers.

If you can do that, you can do anything. 

If it involves linking verbs, great

(Warning:  the following video contains language that some people may find inappropriate.  Feel free to google the psychology behind such offenses, and why certain words are considered "cursing" while others are plain, ordinary "words."  Or you could look up how to make your own video.  Or how to write music.  Or how tie a neck tie!)


Jerry Dawg said...

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour...

OK, I looked up how to spell a couple words but I also still remember my Boy Scout oath, the Greek alphabet and all the words to "I Don't Like Mondays" – not that any of this helps in my business life. But this kinda stuff does come in handy when playing bar games. Now if only I could remember where I left my keys...

Kalen - Kentucky Cupcake said...

I'm really good at memorization and my first year of college, a professor used all of his previous 4 tests (100 questions each) as the final.

He let us study off the tests and simply switched the answers around on the same questions.

I memorized all 400 questions/answers and scored a perfect 100.

I can't remember a SINGLE item off that test and my teacher joked that I was a freak of nature - haha. :)

:)De said...

I remember having so many of those McD's records. what a blast...

Nelfy said...

I was forced to memorize sooooo much useless information through my time in middle and high school. Things like all the main rivers on each of the continents - which is so easy to look up online or in an atlas, why do I need to know that by heart? I hated quite a few classes because of that, because I wasn't actually *learning* anything, just memorizing. I always got really bad grades on my translation quizzes (we had to memorize new words, pages after pages). Yet I was one of the people with the largest vocabulary in the class. I could never recall one single word on command, but ask me to write a paragraph on a subject and I'll probably use most, if not all, of the new words we learned. It was soooo frustrating to me when I learned English in middle school, because I was really good at it, but I just never got good grades because of these stupid vocabulary tests. When I moved to the US, I got almost perfect scores on the English placement test for college, not the one for ESL people but the one for the American students. That just shows how little memorizing helps you actually gain new skills and learn new things. Thank goodness my English teacher in high school didn't believe in memorizing. Instead, she'd have us read articles, look up all the words we didn't know, and then write a summary of the article using the unknown words. She didn't gives us the answers, she made us work for them, and we learned so much more!

Whew, this really is a topic that strikes a chord with me.

Dennis Nesser said...

Cute videos! :)

But one of my biggest contentions with our current education system is that we don't teach our kids to think and reason. If you can sit there and figure out HOW to solve a problem, then you never need to memorize anything.

Sometimes the answer, especially in today's electronic age, is simply to do a google search.

Sometimes you have to go from a to b to c to d to get to e. But if you know how to think it through you'll be able to get there.

I'm so frustrated with all the rote education, and the "teaching the test" that our educators are tied to that it makes me sick.

My best teachers were the ones that made me think, and taught me to reason things out. What a wonderful gift they gave me.

I've learned that educated people can disagree on answers and still learn from each other. That we can take totally different paths and get the same answer.

Oh, education is definitely one of those sore spots with me.


Michaela McCoin said...

I was given a George Carlin album for my 16th birthday. I think the only thing I can recite from childhood is...
The Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on TV!
Guess I won't prove it here.

"Betcha can't eat just one!"

scooping it up said...

that video of study i'd used to know was great!