While many adults seem to have a hard time memorizing anything, children usually find it easy to memorize. And most people find that the things they memorized as children stick with them for life. So what better time to fill their heart with God’s Word than when they are children?
As a teenager, I began to memorize copious amounts of Scripture. I not only memorized single verses galore, but I also memorized whole chapters and even several books of the Bible, such as James, Romans, and Galatians (among others). Life got in the way, and although I made some stabs at memorizing several times during my 20′s, it has been hard to really get back into it.
But then I was challenged by a blog I was reading to start my daughter memorizing again. I have watched her learn a Bible verse in 3 days. She has been memorizing little thoughts for Kindergarten, one every unit, and she can recite the last 10 of them in order. We are still working on Unit 11.
Kimberly at Raising Olives has 11 children, if I’m counting right, and she has them all work on Bible memory. It goes along with her desire to have her children think Biblically about life, and I am realizing that I want that for my children too. I don’t want to be content to have them memorize a memory verse for Sabbath school and then forget it later. I want them to really have God’s Word in their heart, so that they will understand why we do what we do, why we live the way we live, why we make the choices we make.
So Kimberly’s post about their Bible memorization system really inspired me. However, I’m a high-tech, thrifty kind of gal. I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to, and I love saving paper when I can. Kimberly’s method involves making cards for all the Bible verses, as well as a slightly complicated filing system (that makes sense, but it does involve about 2 packs of dividers). I don’t have the dividers, and I don’t want to go out and buy them. I want to implement the system right now.
Enter Errands. Errands is a to-do app for mobile devices. I’ve been using it for several years to help me remember all the things I need to do but would otherwise forget, and I love it. I consider it the ultimate to-do app ever, and it’s free! It doesn’t get better than that! Someday I’ll write a post about how I use it and all it’s wonderful features, but for now, let me tell you how I have set it up to use for Gislaine’s Bible memory.
First of all, Errands allows you to make different folders, or lists, so I made a folder just for Bible memory. This way it won’t get mixed up with things like taking my vitamins and washing windows. *smile* Then I made tasks with the references of the verses my daughter either had memorized or was working on.
The app doesn’t have a Bible picture, so I chose the church. I can change that later. Anyhow, here you can see the verses she is reviewing, like Matthew 24:44, and the new verse we started learning today, John 6:35 (I marked it done after taking the screen shot).
The neat thing about this app is that it allows tasks to repeat. This is nice, because I can, for instance, set it to remind me to mop my floors every Thursday or wash my windows every 6 months. So this is also perfect for the Bible memory system. We will work on any verse that shows up in Today (and overdue, if we missed a day). I put “NEW” in the description section to indicate verses we are actively working on–these we will repeat 2-3 times to learn, instead of just once to review. I have set the repeat frequency to daily (or every weekday for reviewing; the repeat function is amazing and extremely flexible), and once I’ve decided that Gislaine has learned a verse well enough, I’ll change the repeat frequency. To keep the list of verses to review down to a manageable size, I can specify an end repeat date, say 6 months or a year or whatever, and it will mark the verse as completed. It will then appear in the recycle box (the little recycle triangle next to the plus at the top), and I can recycle it from time to time for review.
Now, just because these aren’t cards doesn’t mean that I have to grab a Bible every time we want to review verses, or even close Errands and open the Bible app. That would be too time consuming. See that note symbol by John 6:35? Here’s what it looks like when I click on it:
I don’t have to do that with all verses (John 3:16, anyone?), but for verses I might not know well, I can paste in the whole verse. For verses I know well but don’t remember by reference (I mean, how can one recognize a couple thousand verses by reference only?), I can just enter the first few words, either here on in the description line.
I can even set up verses that I want her to memorize in the future. I put no due date, so it shows up in a section called “No Due Date” at the bottom of the list. I do, however, set the repeat frequency to every day, so that once we have clicked on it, it will repeat the next day and the next and so on.
This way I can input a bunch of verses all at once, or add a verse whenever I think of it. I’m thinking that I will add several verses from the Child Training Bible on specific topics that will address character issues we are dealing with. What better way to remind a child about a character flaw than to point them to God’s Word? I believe this will make the memorizing even more powerful.
So essentially, my method is exactly like Kimberly’s, except that it’s paperless, and I can take it anywhere, even reviewing in doctor’s offices and such. I might not always do it this way. Maybe once my daughter is older, I will encourage her to make her own card file system. I don’t expect I will get her an iPod for a long time, though if I ever do (or if she buys one someday with her own money), I could help her set up her own Bible memory system with it.
Just in case you are wondering, this is not the method I use for myself. I have a program called Bible Verses that allows me to add my own verses and even record audio (my favorite method of memorizing is to hear something–it’s the way I memorize best). It doesn’t have a fancy review system, but that’s okay. I don’t need it. And I don’t work on it every day. Often it’s the last thing I do before closing my eyes at night. It’s free, and it works just fine for me.
So what about you? Have you done any memorizing? Do you encourage your children to memorize? Do you have a system? Please share!