Monday, October 11, 2010

Scripture Memory

Over the last few months we have begun to work on memorizing with the boys, specifically Scripture memory. Ender memorizes quite frequently on his own (which is why I can't have him use the same reader more than twice if I want him to actually read the words!) so we wanted to use that gift in an important way.

One of our inspirations for beginning scripture work is of course Scripture itself. Psalm 117:11 says, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Knowing God's word is key to learning discipline and understanding God's law.

Our desire to teach it so young has to do with Brian's grandfather, Pop.

I met Pop in 2000 when Brian and I had been engaged for about 2 months. He was a mellow gentle man with an obvious love for his family and an overwhelming love for his wife, whom we affectionately called Nanny. Watching the two of them together could make anyone believe in true lasting love.

It was just two years later that Nanny passed away after a sudden heart attack. As the family gathered to celebrate her life, it quickly became clear that something was wrong with Pop, something beyond the grief that accompanies losing your spouse of over 55 years. He refused to believe anyone who told him that his wife had gone to be with the Lord, when we took him home he was confused about why we were in the "new house" (where they had lived for over 10 years), and ultimately he became agitated and almost violent with his own sons- this gentle man who had always been so kind to everyone.

Pop was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the next few months. It became apparent that he'd been having problems for a little while, but Nanny helped to cover some of the forgetfulness and confusion so that no one in the family had really known. Her death had so shocked him that he never did come to believe that she had passed away, and the disease progressed rapidly, even with treatment. In the end he only remembered 2 things- his cousin, who was able to come to visit him frequently, and the prayers and verses he had learned as a young boy. When we went to visit, he couldn't remember my husband or father-in-law, but he remembered that God watched over him and that God loved him. He remembered the prayers and scriptures he had learned as a young boy, but those words were some of the few things that stayed with him in his final days.

We are beginning Scripture memory now with our boys so that the most important words are deep inside,

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." (Acts 16:31)

"You shall love the Lord  your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment." (Mark 12:30)

We keep our verses in a card file box and review them daily until he knows a verse well. Then that verse is assigned as an "odd" or "even" and reviewed every other day according to whether the date is odd or even. From there it becomes a weekly verse and eventually on to a monthly verse.

We work through our file cards in 5-10 minutes as an opening to our day. Ender really likes memory work, so it's nice to ease into the more structured portion of our morning with one of his favorite bits of work.

1 comment:

  1. When I went to school in New York State it was around 1950. There was absolutely no memory work. That year was my father's sabbatical year in France and I went to a wonderful school near Paris for grade three. Memory work centered around Fables by La Fontaine. Later in university we memorized passages from Chaucer and various sonnets by Shakespeare and others. I am now 68 and can recite them still. I taught several fables in my High School French classes years ago too and the students hated it...but were ever so proud in the end! My 11 year old grandson memorizes song lyrics so easily now. I guess this is the 2010 version of memory work.

    At my mother's retirement home, back in 2004, there was a children's concert. A very young girl played Mary had a Little Lamb on the piano. Far back in the audience came the voice of an old woman patient singing along. No one had ever heard her speak or sing before.


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