Forced Memorization is Abuse

The idea that anyone needs to memorize state capitals or times tables is outdated. Forced memorization is an obsolete practice of learning, in general. I suppose, it is a branch of learning, where many of us know things from being forced to memorize. However, I don’t consider it necessary or even healthy. Deeply integrated learning is about the internal motivation and desire from the learner. It does not come through force by an authority.

The precious and sacred space, that is our children’s minds, doesn’t need to be taken up by pointless, mind-numbing “information” that has no purpose or use to them in a real-life context. Instead, they should have the freedom to ignite the fire of passionate learning through living a life of their choosing and doing what they enjoy with their time, through Unschooling. Learning will happen in real and powerful ways, despite your fears!

Freedom of mind, is an often overlooked aspect of children’s rights, because we think we know better than they do. However, a child’s desire for freedom is a natural force within them, that drives their very being, each and every day. The more we deny them this freedom, through forced learning, the more it warps who they are and who they become.

The idea that our children should be filling their minds, like sand in a bottle, with all of the grains representing memorized information, is a flawed practice. Instead, we can choose to smash that bottle and expand their capacity to learn and grow by respecting their autonomy and freedom of mind. The resources for learning are endless and can’t be contained. Our children will learn and grow in ways that we never knew were possible. We are the ones who should be open to learning from them, as they are much more graceful learners than we were ever allowed to be.

Dayna Martin is an author who has been educating others for over a decade, through her writing, television appearances and speaking on the  topic of facilitating educational freedom for children. Dayna is the most renown voice on the topic of Radical Unschooling, worldwide. She educates and empower people to become self-directed education facilitators. She inspires parents and educators to let go of learning limits and instead, give freedom for internally motivated learning, peace and freedom to flourish.


  1. Dayna – came across your information on FB. I really like this article. I know it’s difficult for some to “memorize” – as there is no real end to the journey. I would say that some memorization is necessary – as musical scales are necessary to become a better musician. They are taught however – as the building blocks to a great music career – and I know that most music students who stick it out can hear the melodies in their heads after time – and learn to love their instruments even more.

    In health – Eric

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