If Albert Einstein didn’t memorize anything that he could look up in less than two minutes (not even his own telephone number); then how important is it for us to memorize facts that we, too, can easily find. Actually, with the invention of the Internet, isn’t that pretty much everything?
Well, I’ve been thinking about this today and I do believe I have the answer.
What about Bible? One can even hear Alexander Scourby online. For Free! We have no less than 10 copies of the Word of God here in our house alone and that’s not including the Bible on record!
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." – Psalm 119:11
What about Math?
My private practice is full of kids whose parents thought that way, and now have to pay me lots of money to teach the kids what they could have been taught for free in second or third grade. They usually hit the wall some time in middle school or in algebra I, where you have to use these math facts rapidly on the fly. – Aimee Yermish, Educational Consultant
Don’t know much about History (because I can quickly look it up on the WWW)?
"Ideally, however, among other things, historical materials should be part of the raw material of a young person’s character, values, beliefs. The Gettysburg Address isn’t just a bunch of words to be retrieved when the moment calls for it. FDR isn’t just a name and a face and some dates." – Mark Bauerlein, professor of English at Emory University
"Memorizing the eloquence of the past improves vocabulary, instills prose models, and, perhaps most important, makes citizens demand a much higher standard of oratory than we currently have." – Mark Bauerlein
What about Grammar?
Memorization of lists (Knowing the prepositions helps locate the subject and verb faster.) makes English Grammar easier!
My conclusion? "I ain’t no Einstein" and I need all the help I can get, as do my children. (Plus, sometimes you just look plain stupid for not knowing facts. "Is this Chicken of the Sea fish or chicken?") Now, to figure out what…exactly…are we going to memorize?