When I was teaching at the Christian academy, drills were a part of many of our subjects. We recited our Bible verse 3x every morning, we used the say-spell-say method for spelling each day, we recited math facts (8 oz.= 1 cup, 2 cups=1pint, etc.), and we recited our history information daily. The result was that my students truly knew this information. It was ingrained into them. The majority of the spelling grades were 100% with a few in the 90s. I'll bet they could even tell you the states and their capitals and their location on the map in their sleep.
The point is, they memorized this information and had it with them at all times.
Now, yes, there were children who shut off the information and did poorly, but they were few and far between.
So, what do we drill?
Right now, our drills consist of the following (which she has completely memorized):
- reciting her full name and spelling her last..... a major feat for anyone (I misspelled it numerous times after being married!)
- reciting our home address complete with city, state and zip
- reciting our Google phone number. God forbid she ever has to ever use this, my cell, Brian's cell, and our house phone will all ring simultaneously. It's much easier than having her memorize each of our phone numbers.
- She recites 911 and then shows me on the house phones and my cell how to call. We never hit dial, but she shows me how to do that as well. I have even had her move a dining room chair to the location of our wall mounted hand set and take it off the base herself.
- We recite her Awana verse and all of her review verses
Because my daughter is 17 days away from turning 5, I do not make her sit while we recite. She is a naturally active person and loves to be on the move. So..... she has recited while rolling on the floor, running back and forth through the dining room and kitchen, and bouncing in her seat (because she couldn't sit still).
Even though she has all of this information memorized already, we still do this daily before we begin our other lessons. I want all of this information to be so ingrained in her that, God forbid, in a real emergency, she doesn't have to think about this vital information.