RegularlyI have learned that we need to do our Memory Work at least on all our regular school days (Monday through Thursday), and our school director actually suggested we go over it with the kids on Fridays when we first get home from CCE (although I don't). Regularity seems to help a lot, and I've lately begun our days with CCE Memory Work while we're all still together and no kids have wandered off to do anything else. Doing Memory Work daily and first thing seems to have been the most important thing.
Classroom GamesI hear from my children that their teachers play fabulously creative games with them during class when reviewing or introducing Memory Work. However, I quickly discovered that the games were not so easily adaptable at home because here I am teaching a wide range of ages (4, 6, 8), while the ages are more homogeneous in the CCE classrooms. When I introduced a competitive game at home, the four-year-old was quickly weeping because she couldn't keep up.
Are there any games that work with a wide range of age abilities?
BriberyI have fond memories of a particular high-school chemistry teacher who would throw out chocolate candies to whoever answered questions correctly like identifying the periodic table of elements. Turns out, people of all ages like that!
So, about once per week, we do our memory work while earning candies.
Either we go through the list in order, or we shake things up a bit, but, either way, all the kids recite after me and earn a candy each for doing. Meanwhile, I bribe the toddler with a piece of candy to go away. "Okay, here is your candy for playing in the other room! Good job! Go back to the den now."
The kids still like a game element, so we might roll a die or pick a numbered paper to decide in which order we're going to recite.
Using the CD or Not
Sometimes I have us follow along with the CD, mainly for help getting the memorization tunes right or with the pronunciation of the Latin, but mostly I don't.
Memorizing on the Go
Sometimes we do our Memory Work in the car (by CD) or I'll grab the booklet and take it with us, such as on a walk.
Fill in the Blank
In the beginning of the week, I recite the whole statement and the children repeat. The next day, I start leaving blanks for them to fill in (which I think is called French-style dictation). The subsequent days, I will try to leave more blanks.
1. "A declarative sentence makes a statement and ends with a period."
2. A declarative sentence makes a statement and ends with a . . . ?"
3. A declarative sentence makes a statement and . . . ?
4. A declarative sentence . . . ?"
Similarly, with the geography locations, we memorize them by city and state, then I'll ask, "Berlin is the capitol of what?" and "What is the capitol of Germany?" (We also find the locations on the map.)