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August 3, 2015

Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture

 I am passionate about teaching my children to memorize Scripture, because I know what a powerful impact it had on me as a child!

Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture
Teaching Children

Opportunities for Memorization:

We have made Scripture Memorization a part of our daily Home School Routine. For Caleb's three-year old year, we memorized Psalm 23 and portions of Luke 2 (around the holidays). For this coming year, we have started to memorize Psalm 100 and [around the holidays] will revisit portions of Luke 2 - continuing to review Psalm 23 as well. Notice we have only chosen one passage on which to focus each year. This gives us the opportunity to truly meditate on the verses in the passage, but it also keeps us from getting overwhelmed as Scripture memory is also a focus in some of the other programs in which my kids are involved. 

David and I are passionate that our children be involved in a church program that includes a strong focus on Scripture Memorization. Between the months of August-May, they are also involved in faith-based pre-school classes that include Scripture memory in their weekly routines. These verses are reviewed and reviewed and reviewed week after week after week in an effort to make sure they really stick. This makes all the difference!

This coming fall, we are planning to enroll our oldest in Awana. If this program is offered in your area, I would highly recommend it. As a kid, I always enjoyed it, and I am hopeful that my kids will be able to be a part of it for many years to come. 


Practice Ideas: 

Read Aloud - Whether you have chosen a single verse or an entire passage of Scripture to focus on with your children, read it aloud together a lot. Have lots of Bibles around your living space - not simply to collect dust, but to be used! Read your verse(s) aloud before meals...before bedtime...while you're sitting in the car...while you're waiting at the doctor. For most kids, this alone will be enough for them to quickly memorize the passage you have chosen for them. This is all it took for our oldest to memorize Psalm 23...in less than two weeks...just after he turned three. It is amazing what kids are capable of doing - Don't be afraid to set the bar high!

Perform - Our kids love acting things out, putting on puppet shows, making videos of themselves on their tablet. We have started to incorporate Bible memory practice in to these activities, and they love it. 

Share - Our kids are always excited to call or Skype with their grandparents! As they learn new verses, they love sharing them with their family in this way, and we enjoy watching them get to celebrate their accomplishments.

Resources We Love:

Scripture Music - While there are so many incredible resources out there, my absolute favorite is Steve Green's Hide 'em In Your Heart Collection. Even as an adult, I will oftentimes find myself singing these that I learned when I was a little girl.

You Tube/iTunes - There are so many great little songs/videos available on-line that are fun to use for Scripture Memory practice. My kids especially like watching other kids recite a specific passage they are learning. Find something that works for your kids, and go with it!

Pinterest - Pinterest is full of creative ideas and helpful resources! While Pinterest can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming. So find a few things that you think will work for you - Be realistic, and remember to keep this fun for you as well! 

When I find great resources that I love, I like to pin them to this board:
(I especially like the ABC Bible Card Sets - Some of them are free to print!)

While learning Scripture can be fun and while children do learn quickly, this is something that is going to require energy and effort on your part! In order to be consistent, it will need to be a priority, and you will need to be prepared for distractions that will come your way....and they will come. Satan does not want to see you or your children tucking God's Word away in your heart, because He knows the power it holds. 

David and I are wholeheartedly committed to desperately fighting for the hearts of our children, and we believe that this is part of that. We do not want our children to base their beliefs [and their choices] solely on tradition...or their feelings...or their experiences...or their thoughts. We want them to base these things on God's truth - viewing all of life through that lens. 

As our children grow and mature and eventually leave our nest, we want them understand that there is one and only one thing that will bring true, long-lasting comfort when they face trials...and trials will come. We want them to know where to find peace during stressful situations, answers when they have questions, healing when their hearts are breaking, victory when they are struggling, freedom when they face addictions. We want them to know that God's promises are true and they are flowing for them to embrace all throughout their life.

While lessons in these areas may look a little different for each family,