I have a music loving family. I am a Latina; so, I pretty much started dancing from the womb. Of course, it wasn’t a shocker to me when my kids happened to love music as well. They love songs and all different types of music. It didn’t take long for me to realize that as much as people love music and memorize lyrics, that as a teacher, I could use songs to help kids remember facts just as well. Using music to memorize or mnemonics worked and still works well for my kids in homeschool.
When I was an early learning teacher I had a class of about 20, 1-year-olds. Yes, 1-year-olds. Crazy, I know. I think I did so well because I established a routine, had patience, and academically, I learned to use mnemonics to teach them things like the alphabet, their colors, their names, and much more. The school I worked in was an observation center for other early learning centers (ELC) in the city.
It was nothing that I did personally that made me a successful teacher; it was the ability for these little, tiny, beautifully and wonderfully created human beings to memorize by using a song. Every day we had the same routine, and I would gradually teach them new things. Every morning, my babies (class) knew to sit in a straight line and look at the ABC Wall. I would point to the wall of letters and these 1-year-olds would literally sing the whole the alphabet in unison.
Kids really enjoy music from a very young age, if we embrace it, we can totally use that to build on their knowledge base with something they enjoy.
I left the public school teaching profession, but took the mnemonics with me through teaching kids’ Sunday school and eventually in my own homeschool. As kids get older and need to memorize things for school, you will learn that they may start applying music to facts on their own without prompting.
For instance, a few years back my husband and I started having our kids memorize scripture verses for the week — together. They actually worked together to put the scripture verses to songs or beats. They still can recall the verses from previous years simply because they remembered how they applied the verse to memory musically.
If your child loves music, they will benefit from memorizing through it as well. I want to share with you how to use songs for remembering facts in your homeschool.
Familiar tunes enhance the memorization of facts
Use a familiar tune to put to the facts your child needs to remember. Easy tunes are best and jingles are fun to put facts to because they bring a lot of giggles.
Keep it simple
Don’t try to stuff all the information into the song. What happens is, your child can just learn a few words of what you need them to memorize and the concept will stick. The word will be a trigger to recall what they have learned about the fact.
Repeating the song facts they have learned helps to instill the facts in their mind. Give them pop quizzes as well. For instance, if they learned facts via a song, then wait a week and ask them to recite the song on the spot. That helps them to quickly recall what they have learned.
Make it their own
The last thing I want to share is to have your kids make up their own songs to remember facts as they get older. My kids don’t always get along. Who am I kidding? My kids fight like cats and dogs sometimes. However, when they have to memorize scripture together, they make up the song together. I love to see them work together when so many times they are mad at each other. They even laugh and giggle and are excited to show me and their dad what they have come up with. Having them make up their own little jingle or come up with their own ideas to use mnemonics for fact memorization gives them a real sense of accomplishment.
Studies show that kids who are exposed to and love music have an easier time when learning to speak. Learning with song builds vocabulary, creativity, confidence and makes learning easier for them when tackling reading and spelling.
Try letting your children learn some math or science facts through song and see what they come up with. You will be surprised at how quickly and sustainably they retain the information.
Science Curriculum that Uses Songs & Music
Lyrical Life Science, Vol. 1Lyrical Life Science, Vol. 2: Mammals, Ecology, and Biomes With CDLyrical Life Science: Volume 3 The Human Body Set (Includes Textbook, Workbook, and CD)Lyrical Life Science Workbook (Mammals, Ecology, and Biomes, 2)Lyrical Earth Science Volume One – GeologyInvertebratesThe Skeletal System (Tarantella)
Other Homeschool Curriculum that Uses Songs
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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