Repetition is the Father of Learning; Repetition is the Father of Learning

Meditations in Motion

“Repetition is the father of learning, I repeat, repetition is the father of learning.” – Lil Wayne

Every fall, I go into the woods in an attempt to locate and identify diminutive warblers as they pass through Southeastern Pennsylvania on their way to their winter homes in the tropics.

By this time of year, they have lost their colorful and distinctive breeding plumage and are now literally identified in field guides as “Confusing Fall Warblers“.

I have been watching fall warblers for a lot of years, but still, I need to consult the field guides. I don’t remember from one fall to the next the difference, for example, between a Blackpoll Warbler and a Bay-Breasted Warbler in their fall feathers.

This is one area where Education gets it wrong. Education believes once you tell a student something once, she’s got it. There is no need to repeat it.

Fall warblers are something I have repeated to myself over and over again, every year and I still don’t “got it“. And fall warblers are something I want to learn as opposed to, say, how to identify a gerund.

This is something that Religion gets right. Religion knows that you must tell someone the same thing over and over again – 10 times a day for it to stick. People need constant reminders, we need rituals to really learn something, to feel it in our bones, to know it in our hearts.

Maybe next year I will repeat, as a prayer, over and over again every morning “obvious blurry dusky streaking on the upper breast and flanks” and think: Blackpoll warbler.


I am linking up with Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, and Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Amy at Live Life Well, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, and Worth Beyond Rubies .

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion





  1. It’s why I make time to read God’s Word on a daily basis, Laurie. I’m now almost finished with my fourth year of reading the Bible all the way through. Yes, repetition cannot be underrated! Now, if I can just get my oldest granddaughter to believe that about her multiplication tables – lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see why they are interesting to you! They are pretty birds. Animals are often hard to figure out. Heck even our own species is challenging! My son just got a Leopard Gecko. A student didn’t want it anymore. It’s interesting…I didn’t think they’d care who feeds them. He practically eats out of my son’s hands. Then just looks at his food oddly when I feed it.

    Our State Bird is the Golden Meadowlark. Nebraska is also known in parts for their Sandhill Crane.

    I loved when I was a kid a Robin used to peck at our window when my sister and I were in the bathroom. At first it scared me, but I grew used to it. It did that every time, for a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a local herpetology rescue center (run by a former student of mine) that rescues unwanted reptile and amphibian pets. A Leopard Gecko must be so cool to interact with!

      I see Sandhill Cranes in Colorado when we go to visit my son. They are such gorgeous birds.


  3. Laurie, you’re so right. We need repetition to grasp concepts and remember things. It’s pretty neat that you go into the woods to find your warbler in the fall. You are such an intentional person. 🙂 The things I’ve learned best are those I’ve had the most interaction with (repetition/experience).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jeanne. I did learn about repetition when I was a teacher. Kids learn best when they practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, it’s not fun, but necessary!


  4. I enjoy watching birds, though I may not be able to identify them all, so repeating the Word is important so people won’t be confused, the enemy of our souls would wrestle away everything we learn. Even singing Jesus loves me will reassure us, He cares for the sparrows.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We don’t get that many unusual songbirds to identify and I have a “Audubon Field Guide for North American Birds” my parents bought when I was just a kid – it’s in my old desk downstairs and I cannot get anywhere near that desk as I’ve got loads of things around it. That’s why I couldn’t retrieve the original moon walk newspapers. Maybe when I’m retired and have time to move everything – it’s be easier to just buy another book. ($15.95 on sale right now at Amazon.) I had fun twice this week with the Blue Jay sneaking peanuts from under the squirrels’ noses. I watch him pointing his body down and waiting for them to turn away for a split second. I’ve not looked at my photos yet – most of the time they’re a blur as they are wary of my presence too. Today, the tree was golden and the Jay was easier to spot.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well Laurie, sometimes I look at the clutter upstairs and downstairs and just sigh. I tell myself “over the Winter I’ll get ‘er done.” But that doesn’t happen. Must enjoy good weather while it is here … “make hay while the sun shines” as the saying goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So true! I love and need reminders and rituals.

    Your ritual of going into the forest to view and find warblers is an honorable way to spend time – spending time in nature is spending time with God.

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Susan. I guess it’s a ritual I need to partake in more often so I remember the field marks of the confusing fall warblers! It certainly is a way to spend time with God.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I continually run into this in my homeschooling. Where did all the facts and figures go that I so carefully poured into my kids’ heads? And I keep coming back to the notion that exposure to information is just as important as absorption of it. What they have seen they can at least wonder about, and if it finds a niche in their hearts, they just might do some fact checking on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Michele. When I was a teacher, I used to give my students plenty of practice at the really important things. Chemistry is a fairly cumulative subject anyway. One skill builds on another. Just being exposed is not the same as learning!

      Liked by 1 person

    • es. I need to repeat a passage from Scripture many times before I have it memorized. Then, if I don’t use it for a while, I need to check to be sure I have it right the next time I use it! Thank you for the opportunity to link up!


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