I think there is so much beauty in memorization. And having to perform what you memorized in front of someone else.

Growing up we memorized quotes, poems or scriptures every week right along with our jobs and “point” system (check that out HERE if you want some deliberate parenting entertainment:).

And actually, this is one of those things where it feels like we did it every week, but could my parents have really been that on-the-ball? I don’t know. All I know is that I still have gems of beauty running through my mind every once in a while thanks to that push from my dad to teach us quotes and lines that poignantly still motivate and move me.

So naturally I jump on any chance I have to help my kids memorize (I’m definitely nowhere close to my parents on the on-the-ball spectrum, but I do hope that through the years we have given our kids quotes and poems that will run through their minds and make them think).

I love that our awesome neighbors put on a “Poetry Night” every now and again. I love the push to help my girls memorize. They don’t love that so much, and we are on the very sub-par spectrum of memorization in comparison to some of the homeschool kids that come who have pages and pages memorized, but there is nothing like the glow of accomplishment when they are done. Do we push our kids enough these days? Sometimes I think not, but I’m only saying this from my small perspective of my own mothering.

Anyway, obviously “poetry night” has been on a hiatus due to the current state of the world, but last week it was held once again (carefully socially distanced between families, but these neighbors have a big enough room to make it work). Grace “performed” some things she had memorized in Spanish, Claire had the new Young Women theme memorized perfectly (I memorized it with her…I love that thing so much!), and Lucy decided to recite Helaman 5:12 since I didn’t have time to work as much as I wanted to with her, and even though she has had that thing memorized for years thanks to my mom and her amazing Grammie Camps, it never hurts to have an opportunity to perform.

I figured if I was making my girls do this (don’t go thinking a couple of them didn’t go into it kicking and screaming, it’s always uncomfortable to push yourself out of your comfort zone), I better get up there and recite something too.

So I did.

One of those poems I have had swimming through my brain ever since I was their age.

As we sat there surrounded by others standing up on the stage reciting what they memorized I had such a deep sense of gratitude for my neighbor. For my girls. For opportunities to get out of our comfort zones that we are altogether in much too often in my opinion.

The girls, of course, left that place just glowing with the satisfaction of a job well-done.

I love them.

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  1. Hello! My parents and school made me memorize many poems as well, and I had high hopes to implement that within my own family. However, my daughter is on the dyslexia / dyxphonic spectrum, and is having a very difficult time. She does not even recognise rhymes. Do you have any experience and suggestions with what to do in this case?
    Thank you so much! Sabine

    1. How old is your daughter? I have used a curriculum that I love to teach reading. It is really helpful for dyslexia. It’s called All About Reading. The curriculum has a lot of different leading techniques. I find it very helpful. Good luck!

    2. Sabine,
      I tutor the Barton Reading and Spelling program. It was designed for parents to do with their own children but some parents struggle to do it themselves so they hire a tutor. Google the program and you will find all kinds of great information on dyslexia and different programs that work and also tutors in your area. Many of us do remote tutoring as well. Just make sure the program you choose is Orton-Gillingham based.

  2. What do you mean by “pushing our kids”? Make them try more? Study harder? Pushing them out of their comfort zone?

      1. My comment?

        Because I’m interested in Shawni’s opinion. She used to do regular Q&As answering such questions.

        1. Actually I was agreeing with your commenting why teenage and adult kids had to be pushed to gather at someone’s house and show they memorized a poem or scripture passage. Particularly now. Saw no masks among the audience. They had to have been indoors more than 15 minutes. It’s someone’s house, can’t be that big a room.

    1. I’m always trying to find the balance between how much to push and how much to just let go and let them find their own directions. I’m sure you and many others can probably relate. I think it has to do with our own capacities and upbringing…always trying to find a balance between being a “tiger mother” (wish I could be more like that in some ways), and just expecting excellence, and just letting kids gravitate to what moves them. I think it’s so easy in this day and age for kids to gravitate to social media and their phones and come to a stop there. I’m always trying to figure out new ways to introduce them to all the beauty in the world and I believe that comes in a large part from being pushed from comfort zones. Now I’m starting to ramble but hope that makes sense!

      1. It does make sense, thank you! I have a toddler and a baby, so it is still a lot of letting go. But I could use a push or two. 😉

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