Friday, April 3, 2009
Memorizing the Bible with Your Kids
I, like many of you, know that I should give myself to the discipline of memorizing Scripture but don't do it very well. If you have kids, I encourage you to start memorizing the Bible with them. Start with the Psalms.
Over the past few months we have memorized Psalm 23 and now we are working through Psalm 34.
Psalms are a great place to start because of the rythmn and verse length. We spend time talking about the content of the verse that we are memorizing and we review, review, review. If we work with the kids daily (I am talking about pre-school kids) we can start a new verse from the Psalms every fourth day (so 3 days on one verse). Here is an example:
Day 1 on Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." I say it five times with the kids. Then I talk about what a shepherd is. I talk about what a good shepherd does. I talk about who our true shepherd really is--Jesus. I talk about how we are like sheep and need a shepherd. I talked about how he takes care of us and provides for us. Then we review it again several times. We say it together with a whisper. We say it very loudly (they usually like to scream). We say it while we are walking in place...etc. I ask them to try to say it and they stumble through it will some help. I try to start incorporating this Psalm into my prayers with them.
Day 2-3: We review it and let each kid say the verse by themselves. I usually have them stand on the hope chest in our living room and if they get it right they get to jump off the chest and into my arms. From there they get tossed unto the couch and tickled by their daddy. Big time reward!
Day 4: We continue to review verse 1 and move on to verse 2 - "He makes me lie down in green pastures." Ok, what does that mean kids?" We say it five times and in all sorts of ways (making believe we are eating, driving, playing, singing, etc.). Then we move to the next phrase - "He leads me beside still waters." We repeat that phrase several times, then put the two phrases together and say it several more times. During this time I lead them by asking questions and teaching them how God leads us into green pastures and besides still waters. Usually with a little help they are ready to say verses 1 and part of verse 2 already. Days 5-6 reinforce these two verses and by that time you are ready for verse three - "He restores my soul. He leads me in paths..." Always keep reviewing the previous verses.
Both Molly and I have found this both edifying to our young children and probably even more to mom and dad.
Here is my three year old (Elijah James Edwards Patz) saying Psalm 23. Currently, he doesn't want to be thrown on the couch.
Sometimes the last word is quite tricky...