Brains and Binders


This year my drummer boy and ballerina are getting binders. I tend to rebel against anything that looks too much like “school” but the binders are coming back with stickers and all. As I was organizing the binders, it occurred to me that our brains also store information in this way. When information is correctly categorized in the mind’s filing cabinet, recall of the information is easier. Knowledge builds on itself through semantic webs. If this information is not categorized efficiently, memory recall will be hindered. The brain’s ability to organize information comes naturally to most children, but children with learning disabilities must be explicitly taught how to organize information into their long and short term memory banks for more efficient recall. The disciplined practice of keeping school work organized in a binder, will aid in developing this fundamental skill.


I debated whether to organize the binders with just the 3 categories of the trivium: language, logic, and rhetoric, or to simply organize according to the subject and activity. I chose to organize my own binder with the trivium categories, and organize the kids binders with the subjects. I believe this will make more sense to them, since this is our first year in the trivium. As the kids get older, and they start to take a larger role in deciding their own activities within each trivium, the natural division of the trivium roads will likely be used in their binders as well. But for now the categories are:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Literature
  • Dictation
  • Music
  • Rhetoric

Ha! At this point they don’t even know what rhetoric means, but I’ll make sure to build that semantic web and filing will become a synch. 🙂


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