Memory Work, Gentle Style

For years I watched my older children memorize a short memory verse, handed out on a little strip of paper each Sunday, just to get the treat and/or to not be embarrassed in front of their Sunday school class. What I particularly noticed was that they never remembered the verse for more than the required day of recital.

One semester we attended a Community Bible Study that had classes for home schooled children. Their teacher had them memorize all of Matthew 28 in that short semester. We never "worked" on it at home. The teacher read it to the children; they spent time understanding it, and then the children simply recited it all together once or twice each week with the teacher.

In my opinion it stuck because it was a story in context. Not a bunch of unrelated and truncated "memory verses".

So I started experimenting at home with various bits of memory work. With my Littles I found that if I read the same poem each morning out loud for a semester- even if the poem is long and the language complex; my children end up memorizing the poem without conscious effort.

Scripture- it doesn't seem to matter how long the passage is. If the passage being memorized is not butchered to make it "easier" and if it is a complete thought or story in itself, all I have to do is recite the passage out-loud with my children consistently and over time. It may take weeks or months even; but I have been amazed at what they can memorize and retain.

It makes total sense, anything you hear repeatedly seems to stick in your head. Especially if the language is rich or well cadenced. After all, it's the principle commercial jingles are based on- Memory work, gentle and insidious style.


  1. Great tip! We say bible verses over and over like that and I'm amazed by what they remember.

  2. This is a great thing to remember! It's always better to learn the context of Scripture anyway. I like your new header, by the way!

  3. CristyLynn,

    Thanks, My 17 yo made the new headers for both my blogs. I'm so happy someone noticed!