Below you'll find the recitation selections we have taken up from Kindergarten through eighth grade.  I'm sharing our list here partly for those looking for child-friendly passages, poems, and songs and partly to prove that slow and steady memorization can build a wonderful bank of inspiration, learned just a bit a day!

In Mason's schools, children were responsible for reciting biblical passages (particularly psalms and parables), poetry, verses from Shakespeare, hymns, and folk songs. Modeling our practice after this, we are always working on one selection from each of those categories. I have added a prayer category too because I love to draw from our rich Catholic tradition and I consider the prayers of the Church to be an essential part of a Catholic child's education.  Mason's students also covered recitation in foreign languages beginning in Form 1 and continuing throughout; we are currently memorizing rhymes and songs in Italian as well, but I haven't added them here yet.

For how I have kept track of recitation passages using Evernote, read more here: More on Memorization :: Using Evernote.

I've also written about Mason's views on memorization and recitation (two terms she sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes with distinct meanings):

For our first decade of homeschooling, we have done a combination of patriotic songs, cultural touchstones, family favorites, and selections from the wonderful AmblesideOnline rotation for folk songs. We have a lovely collection of children's songbooks that have been our inspiration.

My Country Tis of Thee
America the Beautiful
Stars and Stripes Forever
Battle Hymn of the Republic
God Bless America
The Star-Spangled Banner
You're a Grand Old Flag
I've Been Working on the Railroad
Home on the Range
This Land is Your Land
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Polly Wolly Doodle
Over the River and Through the Wood
The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond
Froggy Went a-Courtin'
Do Re Mi
Buffalo Gals
Yankee Doodle
Turkey in the Straw
California, Here I Come
I Love You, California (official state song)
Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
Highland Mary 
Home Sweet Home
Barbara Allen
Pull for the Shore
These Happy Golden Years
Scarborough Fair
The Ballad of Davy Crockett
Red River Valley
Lavender's Blue
Goodnight, Irene
O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?
Billy Boy
Blow the Man Down
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Jamaica Farewell
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Ol' Dan Tucker
Battle Cry of Freedom (North and South versions)
Goober Peas
Down in the Valley
The Banks of the Sacramento

As Catholics, we have a wonderful range of hymns to cover.  We go to the Traditional Latin Mass weekly, so our selections very often include Latin hymns (though I do not consider this part of our Latin study).  Our goal is to appreciate the beauty of the musical tradition of the Church as well as to sing along in prayer with our fellow Catholics.

Faith of Our Fathers
Pange Lingua Gloriosi
Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
Now Thank We All Our God
Alleluia Sing to Jesus
Adoro Te Devote
O Salutaris Hostia (two versions)
Praise to the Lord
Asperges Me
Tantum Ergo (two versions)
To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King
Christus Vincit
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Come Holy Ghost
Ave Verum Corpus
Panis Angelicus
Attende Domine
Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
Veni Creator Spiritus
O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine
Adoramus Te Christe
Dear Guardian of Mary
Fairest Lord Jesus
Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
For the Beauty of the Earth

In Honor of Our Lady
Immaculate Mary
Ave Maria (plainchant)
Ave Regina Caelorum
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Salve Regina
Regina Caeli
O Queen of the Holy Rosary
O Sanctissima
Bring Flowers of the Fairest
On This Day
Ave Maris Stella

Lent and Easter
Stabat Mater
At the Cross Her Station Keeping
Jesus Christ is Risen Today
O Come and Mourn with Me Awhile

Advent and Christmas
Joy to the World
O Come O Come Emmanuel
Silent Night
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
What Child is This
O Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fideles
Away in a Manger
Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
O Holy Night

We have followed the AmblesideOnline selections for poetry in the past.  My children choose their own poems (with suggestions from me if they prefer).  I can usually guess which ones they're going to pick--their choices are so suited to their personalities and interests!

The Rockaby Lady from Hushaby Street - Eugene Field
The First Bluebird - James Whitcomb Riley
Rushes in a Watery Place - Christina Rossetti
What Do the Stars Do - Christina Rossetti
Fly Away, Fly Away - Christina Rossetti
Hurt No Living Thing - Christina Rossetti
Wrens and Robins - Christina Rossetti
If Stars Dropped Out of Heaven - Christina Rossetti
Love Came Down at Christmas - Christina Rossetti
Christmas Hath a Darkness -  Christina Rossetti
What Can I Give Him - Christina Rossetti
What is Pink? - Christina Rossetti
How Many Hours? - Christina Rossetti
Hopping Frog - Christina Rossetti
Furry Bear - AA Milne
Earth Folk - Walter de la Mare
Rice Pudding - AA Milne
What Robin Told - Emily Dickinson
Christmas Everywhere - Phillips Brooks
We Thank Thee - Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Goldfinch - Walter de la Mare
The Owl - Alfred Lord Tennyson
Seeds - Walter de la Mare
Bread and Cherries - Walter de la Mare
Daybreak - Walter de la Mare
Away We Go - Walter de la Mare
My Bed is a Boat - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Gardener - Robert Louis Stevenson
It's All I Have to Bring Today - Emily Dickinson
Between Two Hills - Carl Sandburg
The Young Dandelion - Dinah M. Mulock Craik
Autumn Fires - Robert Louis Stevenson
Christmas Carol - Sara Teasdale
Knight in Armor - AA Milne
The Mirror - AA Milne
The Eagle - Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Crocodile - Lewis Carroll
The Swing - Robert Louis Stevenson
On Easter Day - Celia Thaxter
The Morns are Meeker - Emily Dickinson
The Lamb - William Blake
The Shepherd - William Blake
The Blossom - William Blake
The Fly - William Blake
The Tyger - William Blake
The Sea Wind - Sara Teasdale
Twilight - Sara Teasdale
Stars - Sara Teasdale
The Faery Forest - Sara Teasdale
The Kind Moon - Sara Teasdale
The Arrow and the Song - Longfellow
A Day of Sunshine - Longfellow
Crossing the Bar - Tennyson
Sweet and Low - Tennyson
Will - Tennyson
Early Spring - Tennyson
The Robin - Emily Dickinson
Evening - Emily Dickinson
Long, Long Ago (Christmas)
The Christmas Carol - Kenneth Grahame
Halfway Up - AA Milne
Disobedience - AA Milne
Sneezles - AA Milne
The Emperor's Rhyme - AA Milne
Bad Sir Brian Botany - AA Milne
To a Skylark - William Wordsworth
Daffodils - William Wordsworth
Trees - Walter de la Mare
Someone - Walter de la Mare
The Horseman - Walter de la Mare
If - Rudyard Kipling
Inscription for Preston Park, CO - John Greenleaf Whittier
Eva - John Greenleaf Whittier
Angel of Mercy - John Greenleaf Whittier
What Does the Donkey Bray About? - Christina Rossetti
Minnie and Mattie - Christina Rossetti
Little Boy Blue - Eugene Field
Garden and Cradle - Eugene Field
Excelsior - Longfellow
October - Robert Frost
Nothing Gold Can Stay - Robert Frost
Fire and Ice - Robert Frost
Dust of Snow - Robert Frost
Going for Water - Robert Frost
May Day - Sara Teasdale
The Tides - Longfellow
Little Snail - Langston Hughes
Sea Calm - Langston Hughes
In the Carpenter's Shop - Sara Teasdale
Morning - Sara Teasdale
Thoughts - Sara Teasdale
Water-Front Streets - Langston Hughes
Dreams - Langston Hughes
Chimes - Langston Hughes
The Brooklet and the Wave - Longfellow
April - Sara Teasdale
The Nameless Grave - Longfellow

One other element of our recitation work that falls under this category is our work with ballads -- several of my children have taken up large chunks of The Ballad of the White Horse as well as other favorite historical ballads from our CMEC reading.

We learn the Douay-Rheims translation, which is what we hear at the Latin Mass and read in our missals and prayer books.  Our psalms are noted here with the Septuagint numbering; we're currently working through the Seven Penitential Psalms, with other common psalms added in.  The Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis are from the Liturgy of the Hours, the common daily prayer of the Church.  And I try to choose parables as well since that is what Charlotte Mason used in her schools (in addition to the Psalms).

The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)
Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:29-32)
Luke 2:1-20 (The Infancy Narrative)
from Exodus 20 - The Ten Commandments 
Luke 10:25-37 (The Parable of the Good Samaritan)
Luke 15:3-10 (The Parable of the Good Shepherd)
Luke 18: 9-14 (The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican)
Luke 18:15-17 (Jesus and the Children)
Matthew 13:31-2 (The Parable of the Mustard Seed)
Matthew 13:33-5 (The Parable of the Leaven)
Matthew 5:13-16 (The Salt and Light Discourse)
Psalm 23
Psalm 50:9-17
Psalm 129
Psalm 42
The Last Gospel (John 1:1-14)
Psalm 1

The Merchant of Venice - 4.1.184-197 (Portia's "The quality of mercy" speech)
The Taming of the Shrew - 2.1 (Petruchio's "I will attend her here" speech)
Much Ado About Nothing - 2.3.233-248 (Benedict speaking of Beatrice)
Much Ado About Nothing - 4.1.216-221 (speech on virtue)
Much Ado About Nothing - 5.1.225-229 (Dogberry speaking to Don Pedro)
Hamlet - 1.3.79-80 (Polonius' "Neither a borrower" speech)
A Midsummer Night's Dream - 4.1.214-225 (Bottom speaking)
A Midsummer Night's Dream - 2.1 (Oberon's "I know a bank" speech)
A Midsummer Night's Dream - 5.1 (Theseus' "Lovers and madmen" speech)
speeches from A Midsummer Night's Dream 1.1 for a performance with friends
A Winter's Tale 4.3.1-4 (Autolycus' song)
A Winter's Tale 4.4.446-448 (Perdita's "self-same sun" speech)
speeches from A Winter's Tale 5.1 for a performance with friends
speeches from Twelfth Night for a performance with friends
speeches from King Lear 1.1 for a performance with friends
speeches from As You Like It, for a perforamce with friends

A bit of a catch-all!  This category might also include historical speeches and documents.
PNEU motto - I am, I can, I ought, I will
I am a child of God; I ought to do His will; I can do what He tells me; and by His grace, I will.
Pledge of Allegiance
The New St. Joseph's First Communion Catechism
Address and Phone Number

We learn these prayers during our evening devotions (one new prayer per month or so) and pray them on a rotation during our morning devotions, so they work a bit differently from the rest of our memory work.  We include prayers in both Latin and English because in our home and at our church, we pray in both.  I'm pasting the full text of the prayers here because they're sometimes difficult to find online or look up in a prayer book.  When possible, I choose prayers that are indulgenced from the Enchiridion.

Sign of the Cross (in English and Latin)
Hail Mary (in English and Latin)
Our Father (in English and Latin)
Hail Holy Queen (in Latin and English)
Extra Rosary prayers (in English and Latin)
Glory Be (in English and Latin)
Sanctus (in English and Latin)
Ecce Agnus Dei (in English and Latin)
Blessing Before Meals (in English and Latin)
The Angelus
Act of Contrition (in English and Latin)
St. Andrew Novena Prayer
The Divine Praises
Apostles Creed (in English and Latin)
Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love
Words of Consecration

The Souls in Purgatory

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.  And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen. 

May the Divine Assistance remain always with us, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

The Holy Angels

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.

By the intercession of Saint Michael and the heavenly choir of angels, may God grant us their guardianship through this mortal life and after death, a happy entrance into the everlasting glory of heaven.

Angele Dei, qui custos es mei, Me tibi commissum pietate superna; Hodie illumina, custodi, rege, et guberna. Amen.

St. Joseph

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, most kind, bless us now and in death's agony.

Lord Jesus Christ, who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph, didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues; grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen. 

God who, in Thine ineffable providence, didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector.  Who livest and reignest, world without end.  Amen.

Protect, O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ.  Ward off from us, O most loving Father,  all taint of error and corruption.  Graciously assist us from heaven, O most powerful protector, in our struggle with the powers of darkness.  And as thou didst once rescue the Child Jesus from imminent peril to His life, so now defend the Holy Church of God from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. 

A Prayer to the Holy Family for the Fulfillment of Our Christian Duties:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to love our Holy Church as we ought above all earthly things, and to show our love for it always and with the evidence of deeds.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to profess, as we ought, openly, with courage and without human respect, the faith we received as a gift with holy baptism.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to share in the defense and the propagation of the Faith, as we ought, when duty calls, whether by word, or by the sacrifice of our fortunes and our lives.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to love one another as we ought, and bring us into perfect harmony of thought, will and action, under the rule and guidance of our pastors.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace to conform our lives, as we ought, to the precepts of God and of the Church, so we may always live by that charity of which they are the expression. Amen.

The Most Blessed Sacrament

Remember, O Lord, Thy creatures, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in atonement for my sins, in supplication for the holy souls in Purgatory and for the needs of Holy Church. Amen.

O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the evil one, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
And close to Thee, bid me.
That with Thy saints, I may be 
Praising Thee forever and ever.  Amen.

Sprinkle me, O Divine Savior, and all men with Thy Precious Blood, so that we, O Crucified Love, may love Thee from now on with all our hearts, and worthily honor the price of our salvation. Amen. 

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. (Divine Mercy Prayers)

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You! Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners. (Fatima Prayers)

The Passion and the Sacred Heart

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight.  And with the most fervent desire of my soul, I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a firm desire of amendment.  Whilst with deep affection and grief of soul, I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious wounds, having before my eyes that which David spoke in prophesy of Thee, Good Jesus, “They have pierced my hands and feet; They have numbered all my bones.”

Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love.  
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, 
make my heart like unto Thine.

O Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, 
inflame our hearts with love for Thee.

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject. 

Lenten Act of Contrition
O Most loving Redeemer, humbly prostrate at the foot of the Cross,
I implore from the bottom of my heart pardon for all my sins,
which were the cause of Thy bitter Passion
and of the overwhelming sorrow of Thy most afflicted Mother.
O good Jesus, let not Thy Precious Blood be shed for me in vain.
May Thy five Sacred Wounds ever plead
before Thy Eternal Father on behalf of my misery;
and through the infinite merits of Thy Sacred Death
and the bitter anguish of Thy holy Mother,
grant me, dearest Lord, to atone for the past
and to persevere in Thy love for the future. Amen.

Our Lady

O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou didst stand beside the cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony.

Holy Mother, imprint deeply upon my heart the wounds of the Crucified.

By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe, and the entire world.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O God, in whose Passion,  according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul  of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary:  grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion,  who lives and reigns world without end.  Amen.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, invoked thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.  To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer us.  Amen.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice,  Alleluia,
For he whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia,
Hath risen as he said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God.  Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
For the Lord is truly risen.  Alleluia.
Let us pray.  O God, who gave joy to the world through the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine immaculate heart.

Our Lord and All Saints

The glorious company of the apostles praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise Thee.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise Thee.
All Thy saints and elect with one voice do acknowledge Thee,
O Blessed Trinity, one God!

Blessed be the name of Jesus.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee 
With sweetness fills the breast! 
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see And in Thy presence rest. 
No voice can sing, no heart can frame, 
Nor can the memory find, 
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name, The Savior of mankind. 

Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, heavenly Virtues, Cherubim and Seraphim; all Saints of God, holy men and women, and especially my patrons: intercede for me that I may be worthy to offer this Sacrifice to almighty God, to the praise and glory of His name, for my own welfare  and also that of all His holy Church. Amen.

Blessed John Henry Newman's Prayer for a Happy Death - O my Lord and Savior, support me in my last hour by the strong arms of Thy sacraments and the fragrance of thy consolations. Let Thy absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me; and let Thine own body be my food and Thy blood my sprinkling; and let Thy Mother Mary come to me, and my angel whisper peace to me, and Thy glorious saints and my own dear patrons smile on me, that in and through them all I may die as I desire to live, in Thy Church, in Thy faith, and in Thy love. Amen.

St. Alphonsus' Night Prayer - Jesus Christ my God, I adore Thee and thank Thee for all the graces bestowed on me this day. I offer Thee my sleep and all the moments of this night, and I beg Thee to keep me from sin. Therefore I place myself in Thy most sacred side and under the protecting mantle of Our Lady, my Mother. Let Thy holy angels help me and keep me peace; and let Thy blessing be upon me. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist my last agony. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I bring forth my soul in peace in your loving arms. Letting not the sun set on my wrath, may I now close my eyes in peace with my God and my fellow men. Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


  1. This is a great resource! Thank you for this and your other posts -- glad to have found your blog.

  2. Celeste, Have you written about how you rotate prayers for your morning and evening devotions? As a fellow Catholic with similarly aged children, I'd really be interested in seeing your system. Thanks.

    1. Not yet, Meghan--but I need to! The short answer is that I divide them by topic (as I have done here) and then say the appropriate prayers based on the traditional devotions for each day (Tuesday for the Angels, Wednesday for St Joseph, etc.). Our morning prayer book has the prayers listed in this format, so after the prayers we do daily (hymn, morning offering, etc), they turn to "day of the week" prayers. So all the prayers they have learned are being said weekly. Prayers that are part of the rosary, mealtime, and Mass are just reviewed in that context. Hope that makes sense!

      Every couple years, I reprint our prayers book with new prayers learned (before that, new ones are written or taped in on the blank pages I leave for that purpose), so I am actually working on new prayer booklets now, hoping to get them finished by Easter. If I do, I'll share them here. If not, it might be Pentecost. ;)

    2. Celeste, What prayer book do you use? I am looking for one to add into our homeschool that would be more structured and love the idea of each day having a certain devotion. Thanks!

    3. Hi Alexis! The one I'm referring to here is actually a prayer book that I put together in Word (booklet form), using the prayers listed above. I should really post about it, because it's very easy to make a custom family prayer book!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. :) I can't tell you how many times I've come back to your blog to use as a reference!

    1. You are welcome, Catie. I actually use this list as my own reference too, so it's very handy! :)

  4. Since your children are not reading the memory work, are you reading it aloud to them or playing a recording / mp3?

    1. My older children do read their memory work. We start with my reading the poem/passage aloud each day, and they take over once they feel that they have the flow of the words down. They can then read stanza by stanza from their print-outs. For hymns and folk songs, I play them on YouTube or mp3 and they follow along on their lyric sheets. When they feel like they know the tune, they start to sing along. They don't take time to "study" their memory work at other times of day, though--just this one time of day when we go through it all together.

      For my younger kids, I read their poem aloud and they start reciting once they feel like they know it.

      Hope that helps!

  5. I have been so apprehensive about starting to use poetry for memory work. It seemed so overwhelming to me, I couldn't imagine the kiddos being able to do it. (I won't lie, I was even worried they wouldn't like reading poetry...but they ask every morning at breakfast for it. I love the AO year one collection and so do they. It's amazing). Well, Jasper memorized his first poem this last week. It was a simple poem and took no time at all (The Little Turtle, by Vachel Lindsay). The little kids even memorized it too! I am a skeptic no longer. I can't wait to start our family poetry binder! Thanks for the inspiration. Right now I am just reading the poetry and as I come across a poem that doesn't feel intimidating, I ask Jasper if he wants to memorize it. But I think I am going to go through your list and highlight the ones in my book and see what he will be interested. Now I've got to get better at hymns, folk songs, and longer Bible passages.

    1. Sarah, your enthusiasm is infectious! :) Isn't it interesting how children can come to poetry without all the hang-ups that we have and just *enjoy* it? So refreshing. And it is great to have the children choose their own poems to memorize--they really do feel a sense of ownership over "their" poems and it is inspiring to see. I love that Jasper is already a poetry-lover!

  6. Do you do Italian Memory work ever? If so how/what?

    1. Yes, we do, but I don't include it here because I wouldn't say that through it we are filling our minds and souls with inspiring ideas and literary language, which is my overall goal for memory work. For Italian, it is a language-learning activity, enabling us to learn new words and phrases and to get a mouth-feel for the language. Right now, we memorize songs, rhymes, and Guoin series. We've also done some Christmas carols. :) Later on, we will add in poetry, Bible passages, prayers, and Italian folk songs and hymns.

      You can read more about our approach here:

  7. What have you used for Over the River and Through the Wood? I am reading the full poem with my girls (4 & 2) and they, as well as my two ESL students have learned just four selected verses as song. I am contemplating whether to memorize several selected verses each year around Thanksgiving and they can join in as the verses they know come up in the poem, or whether We might want to do the whole thing. They love both reading the poem in its entirety while looking at the pictures and singing the song (selected verses). I am curious what you have chosen to memorize.

    1. Hi, Erika! I think you'll find that poems set to music get memorized SO quickly by kids, so I'd just do the whole thing! That's what we have done--it's not all that long.

      And my kids love this picture book version:

      Hope that helps!

  8. Hi Celeste, do you have any recommendations for how to learn Evernote? I have tried before and feel overwhelmed! Thanks :)

    1. Hi Amy! I know Mystie has quite a few Evernote tutorials at simplyconvivial: I hope that helps you get started!

  9. Hello! Hopefully this isn't SOOO long after you've posted this that you never see this comment, but even if it is, I figure it's worth a shot. How do YOU all incorporate the catechism questions and answers into your memory work? Right now ours is rather lengthy, as we cover all the lessons we've learned every Monday (that takes a long time!) and four or five each other day, gradually moving the new ones in and the well-known ones out. Still takes a decent chunk of time, a lesson in an of itself. I don't mind this being this way if I can't find another solution, but I do get the sense that the kids sort of dread it.. Well, not sort of. Just dread it. I have switched to letting them take turns with each lesson and ask whomever they will (including me, which they think is a great game of gotcha ;] ) and that brought some life back into it and it's at least not being met with "arrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh cah-teh-KIZZZZZM ah-GENNN???!" but you seem to have a good handle on other things, thought I'd ask about this one!

    Maria :]

    1. Hi Maria! I don't have the catechism questions in our review rotation. The way our kids line up, we seem to have one going through prep for First Holy Communion every other year (LOL), so when the new child is learning the answers, I have the older kids help them with it. The older kids don't know this, but that is for THEIR benefit too. ;) So that is our way of keeping those questions and answers fresh, as well as the Ten Commandments, Seven Sacraments, etc.

    2. Also, also. Just came across how you talked about using evernote (right name, yes?) for your memory work and linked to the SCM card method, etc. MAYBE THIS IS THE KEY, but for catechism :D We'll see. If you have further ideas, I'd still love to hear them, but will for now try and apply the card/card-in-three-ring-binder-form system to it and see how it goes.

  10. Hi Celeste,
    I understand that the children choose their own poems to memorize. What about selections from other categories, Bible passages for example - do they memorize same passages or different ones?

    1. Hi June! We memorize the same Bible passages and sing the same songs. We sometimes do the same Shakespeare and sometimes choose our own. Poems are the only part that are always individual. Hope that helps!

  11. Celeste! I don't know how I never noticed this memory work index before--I'm just kicking myself--how much time have I wasted googling these things when I could have just checked here?! Also I really need to sit down and make my own personal index because we've been homeschooling long enough now that I can no longer recall what exactly we've already done in past years. I'm doing my planning for next year and I already can't even remember who our composer's were this year :)

    1. Yes, that is me too! My memory is pretty awful, so I love keeping a written record. Thankfully, my kids' memory is a lot better than mine! :)

  12. Wow! As a fairly new Catholic convert, this is a wonderful resource! Thank you!!