Teaching children to memorize good, true, and beautiful things is a gift that lasts their entire lives.
Memorization has fallen out of fashion in modern education, but it’s still a highly effective learning tool. The truth is that young children have a natural desire to memorize information, and they’re amazingly good at it.
Kids in roughly kindergarten through 6th grade (about age 5-11) are in the “grammar stage” of education, according to the educational model called “classical education.” This age group memorizes lots of information very easily and remembers it forever:
In the grammar stage (K–6), students are naturally adept at memorizing through songs, chants, and rhymes. If you can get children in this stage to sing or chant something, they will remember it for a lifetime.
Often, this penchant for memorization manifests itself in kids learning endless trivia about their interests, such as dinosaurs or Pokemon creatures. But how amazing would it be if parents and educators gave kids truly important information to memorize instead? Teaching kids to memorize true, good, and beautiful things is a gift that lasts their entire lives.
Poetry and music both offer endless fodder for children to memorize, and are well worth learning by heart. But let’s not neglect the rich spiritual treasures of prayers too.
There are so many beautiful prayers that are short enough to be learned in a few days, but profound enough to be meaningful for a lifetime. Learning these prayers by heart will help children to “pray without ceasing” as they grow up. And once these short prayers are memorized, you can move onto longer prayers like the Hail Mary, Our Father, and St. Michael the Archangel prayer.
If you’re a parent or educator of kids in the “grammar stage” of education, consider adding some of these short prayers to your daily routine. Pray them with your child every day and they’ll have them committed to memory in no time. What a wonderful occupation for your child’s absorbent memory!