It has become easy to see in our modern world that any five year old can memorize vast quantities of information with great detail, provided they have become hyper enthusiastic about the material. To be sure, visual material aids memory (although video CGI is not necessarily more effective than a chart on the back of a baseball card) and some people are visual learners. But some are auditory. Brain studies show the more brain-connections (writing, reading, hearing, reciting) are used, preferably all at once, the more effective rehearsal (or studying) can be for instilling vivid long term memorization.
Now then, the fewer connections (modalities) of learning one is able to employ, the more repetition is required to permanently 'bank' a given bit of information into long term memory. However, one final factor in this memory process is unquantifiable, although every teacher knows what it is. Interest. Unlimited resources can never get through to a student who simply could not care less about the information being presented. Contrariwise, hypermotivated individuals can overcome great learning obstacles to master even the most difficult material. So among all the factors in learning and memorization, motivation and interest are key. Age is not really a factor at all.
In all those facts about learning, there is one practical detail that might take us farther towards reconstructing some likely aspects of Jesus' development. That is, repetition. It is possible Jesus may have been a strong auditory learner or had an audio-photographic memory, but we should not expect he was some super-mentalist. In the case of almost every human who has ever lived, it still requires rehearsal and repetition to move recently acquired knowledge from short term into long term memory.
That means he must have worked at remembering what he heard every day. I don't mean he necessarily worked at it like it was a chore, although I would have no problem with that thought. I simply mean he employed active recall. That means he spent time thinking about what he'd heard. As we have seen, he was genuinely interested in God and the things of God and so thinking about scriptures about God and God's business would seem like a natural pass time for Jesus' private thought life.
In order for him to have learned scripture by attending nothing but (or little more than) Sabbath meetings, and without having a personal copy of anything to take home and re-read, we should absolutely conclude his learning process involved these long periods of personal reflection. And since that reflection was about God, we should certainly expect it was directed towards God. In other words, his reflection on scripture, at times, must have naturally flowed into prayer. If we trust John's gospel especially, that prayer life also grew to include mystical communion, at some point.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this counts as concluding historically, by a faith-based historiographical analysis of biographical details found in the Gospels, that Jesus must had an active devotional life during the "hidden years" in Nazareth. That is very significant.
Also, if these arguments have been valid then there could still be more for us to conclude about Jesus in Nazareth. We have tried to get this far by focusing on facts and events from the Gospels' Testimony, plus other historical and scientific knowledge. We have tried to get this far without making assumptions based on preference, ideas or God-logic. We will do our best to maintain these methods as strictly as possible.
To be concluded...
Series Update: The Nazareth Synagogue