We commonly memorize multiplication tables, song lyrics, and other useful (and not so useful) things. Sometimes we don’t even work at it, it just sticks (that song constantly playing on the radio for example). Other things require a bit more effort to commit to memory. Memorizing scripture does not often happen easily but it is worth it. Memorizing scripture is always for our benefit – it’s all pros and no cons. We must simply make it a habit.
There seem to be two main parts to memorizing scripture – getting it to stick and recalling it.
The best way to learn Scripture for memorization purposes depends upon the one memorizing and their learning style. Audio learners get the most out of hearing the Scripture – professional audio books or even self-made audio recordings. Cannot find the Bible on audio in your favorite translation? Record your own. There are apps for that — and most devices have this feature built in. Sometimes we utilize Daddy reading the scripture passage or the child wants to record themselves reading it. Having the ability to repeat the passage over and over can really help it to stick (just think of “that” song on the radio — use that same concept for good!).
Visual learners do well with the method where part of the verse or passage is taken away, a little bit each day or so. Flashcards work well for visual learners, too. Writing them out yourself crosses this activity over to kinesthetic, or hands-on learners. Having the Scripture written or printed out and hanging around the house is great for visual learners and can be made part of your decor as well. Utilizing a combination of these methods helps to get the scripture to stick in not only short-term memory but long-term memory as well.
The second aspect of Scripture Memorization is recall. You’re not finished just because the words are committed to memory. You need to be able to remember them. We have a method for re-visiting Scripture and checking ourselves. It is a very simple method and can be quick and easy to implement. It is the same method shown on the Simply Charlotte Mason website. Once you have this set up it is easy to add new Scriptures to it.
All of the scripture we have memorized or are working on memorizing go on notecards. You can use whatever size you wish, but keep it consistent and keep in mind some sort of box or basket to store and organize them in. The organization of the cards is key to regularly re-visiting scriptures to aid in re-call and long-term memory storage.
You will need 41 dividers for organizing the scripture memory cards. If you use a smaller size, you can find these easily pre-printed for some of the categories. If you go with a larger size – we really like using 5 x 8 cards you will need to make your own dividers. I keep blank cards in the same size for this purpose. After writing out the categories, cut the tabs so that this part sticks up. To make these divider cards taller, so the tab sticks up above the cards, I add a strip of card to the bottom. It is much more sturdy and stable adding the extra height to the bottom rather than at the top at the tab.
The category labels you will need are
- 1 Daily
- 1 Odd
- 1 Even
- 7 Days of the week
- 31 for the days of the month
When you are first learning a Scripture passage, it remains in the daily tab. Once learned, it moves to odd or even tab for frequent practice. Then it moves to the day of the week tab for weekly practice. Once it has been thoroughly practiced and you feel confident it has stuck in long term memory, it moves to a day of the month for monthly practice/recitation. I often choose the date two weeks away so that we aren’t going a full month until we revisit that Scripture passage.
As your box fills with learned verses, this is what our morning practice/recitation looks like. Take Thursday, June 11th for example. After spending a few minutes on the currently being learned passage, we will look at what is filed under the Daily tab, then the Odd tab. Then we will look at the Thursday tab and finally the 11 tab. As we are beginning this organization method, there may be days that there is nothing beyond the day of the week tab. Don’t worry, the monthly tabs will fill up soon. This will show you that The Word is being written upon your hearts!
So far, we have only memorized short sections of Scripture, one to five verses. This year we will be adding longer passages. I will break this into smaller parts and treat them as we do the shorter passages, combining as we add new sections. As we review, we will be practicing and reciting the longer combined chunk. I hope it works!
We pull our Scripture verses and passages from other areas of study. Our history and science readings have been great sources for Scripture to memorize. Having behavior or character issues? We add relevant verses to our memory routine. We often find verses we want to work on before we are ready to add more. We simply note these on a card for this purpose that lives in the front of our Scripture Memory box. My teen and pre-teen daughters enjoy writing out the scripture passages on the cards. Bonus – this helps them to practice their best handwriting.
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Hillary is a follower of Jesus, married to the love of her life (15 wonderful years) and mama to their six children. She is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschooler, happiest on a nature walk with her children in the backyard. Their family homesteads (moving towards permaculture practices) in Indiana. She also enjoys cooking and baking whole foods – fresh from the homestead when possible. All of this is Colossians 1:10 in action. You can follow the fun at her blog, WalkingFruitfully.com, and on social media Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.