Who decided that rote memorization was an intrinsically evil way to teach and learn stuff? At the ripe age of 49, I find that fragments of things that I memorized as a child, sometimes without much insight or understanding, pop into my brain at very opportune times. I was catechized as an Anglican in the 3rd and 4th grades, memorizing an Anglican Catechism (which I think was probably a hybrid of the Baltimore Catechism and the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer, since as High Church we recognized seven sacraments, not two). I still remember many of the questions and answers - and if someone were to quiz me in the exact phrases of the questions, I think the answers would pop out of the dusty recesses of my brain.
The same thing applies to my knowledge of the times tables, many of the rules of grammar; and phonics, pronunciation, and spelling rules. I learned them young, I learned them by heart, and I have them available to me whenever needed. I bet that many of you have similar items in your tookboxes, to. Things like "i before e, except after c" and "30 days hath September".
So why did we abandon these time proved methods of teaching our young? It has been abandoned in the secular arena, it has been abandoned in religious education (which used to be called 'catechism classes' - and we have two generations now that know neither how to spell or what a sacrament is. (I learned that 'a sacrament is an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given to us by Christ and the Church).
Anyone with small children knows how much they delight in memorization. Are not the facts of our faith more important than the names of dinosaurs or the ins and outs of video games?
This, to me, is one of the biggest arguments in favor of home based education.