Welcome back! Here is my third post in a series on memorizing scripture with your young children. I'll wrap up here with some final tips and thoughts on how we are getting memory work to be an enjoyable, daily occurrence here at our house.
Learn long passages.
This sounds more difficult than not, I know. But I am totally amazed that we’ve managed to learn long Psalms, poems, blessings, and parts of the Epistles. And, it's been the easiest approach we've tried by far!
We break one long passage down into very small chunks, starting by repeating one phrase or sentence until it becomes pretty familiar. After a few days of that, we tack on another phrase.
I have learned over time how much their brains can retain at one time, usually about 4-6 words. So, for example, I say a few words/a phrase, they say it. I say another one, they say it. And so on. Before long, they know it by heart!
I have friends who memorize individual verses and write them on little cards, but this doesn’t work for me. Personally, it helps me to learn longer chunks so that I can keep the context and flow of argument in mind. I’m sure my kids aren’t benefiting from such things as context, at the ripe ages of 3 and 5...but they will when they are older!
Also, it is easier for me to just use my Bible and flip to a few marked passages than juggling lots of tiny cards. With small children, simpler is always better. Soon, I'd like to have my Bible on our Kindle and work from that!
Explain why we are memorizing.
Recently I reminded my kids all the reasons why we sit down to Bible memory, and that day and afterwards they were more eager than usual! I think it really helped them to hear why, rather than me just "making" them. They are small, but they are human. Why not clue them in?
I reminded them:
Scripture can help prevent them from sin.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Ps. 119:11)
Scripture can teach them about Jesus, who holds out their hope for life.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.(John 5:39)
Scripture can help clarify their hearts.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)Best wishes to you and your kids, as you memorize together! What have you been teaching them lately...or maybe the better question is, what have you been learning?