I sent off my second semester payment for my 8th grader in Classical Conversations’ Challenge B. Her tutor is fantastic, so well prepared and has taught this level once before so this year, she really knows what these kids are doing.
E is eager for the final project second semester, a mock trial. To prepare for it, the tutor has challenged the students to memorize a poem or speech to ‘audition’ for a lead speaking role in the trial. E has created a memory palace at home with green sticky notes all over the walls to help her memorize the Gettysburg Address. It is really fun to watch her standing at a wall, talking to herself as I know her drive is to get a lead speaking role.
One of the things I love about CC is that I know what I’m getting. The materials are the same every year so I don’t have to wonder about a ‘new’ novel might have it in. Since so many other bloggers are writing about their experiences, I can very easily type in the week number and a topic I want to teach better at home and the resources are bountiful.
This is a bittersweet year, E is very capable of running her entire week independent of my support. She was so proud of the essay she wrote today, she felt it was the best she’s ever done. I of course still insert myself in her weekly studies, but more as a coach to see what she’s done and offer some insight and encouragement. This is what we want isn’t it!?
Learning Strategy: Have you heard of memory palace? A world record holder for knowing the most numbers in Pi, uses memory palace as his memorizing strategy. The way this works is you mentally (or even physically) walk through a memorable place attaching the words to something physically in that space. For example, the Gettysburg Addresses opens with the phrase, ‘four score and seven years ago our forefathers’… So my daughter wrote a sticky note with the first lines and placed it where we have our games stored and family photos displayed. In her mind, since we keep score when playing games that made a sticky memory for her. Then since we have family photos displayed there, it reminded her of the Gettysburg phrase ‘forefathers’. She walks through her sticky notes multiple times a day reading them and trying to remember them without looking. She can mentally walk through our house anywhere she is practicing her recitation because the house is so familiar. Give it a try!
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