When faced with the task of choosing a new independent project for the month, my Sweetie Pea didn't even hesitate with her answer.
As a family, we have made Scripture memory a priority. From the time she was two and could babble out a few basic words, my darlin' girl has been "hiding" God's Word in her heart. But, to challenge herself to memorize an entire chapter without the accountability and partnership of the family, was a new endeavor. (This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)
As of today, she has all but one verse of her chosen passage set to memory and looks forward to reciting it for us at the end of the month.
But what of the kiddo who doesn't have an internal desire to memorize all by him/herself? Or what about the little one who is unable to read Scripture yet?
Well, as Deuteronomy 6:7-9 reminds us, we are to impress God's truth upon the hearts of ALL of our children and are encouraged to GET CREATIVE in our efforts to do so.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Scripture memory isn't limited to those children who can read or even to those children who WILLINGLY volunteer to memorize it. As parents, we get the privilege to help our children to meditate on the Word "day and night, that [they] may be careful to do everything written in it." (Joshua 1:8b NIV)
Here are three simple tools for family Scripture memory.
Scripture set to music
One of the easiest ways to weave Scripture passages into your daily routine is through music. I almost always have music playing while I cook, when my children are going to bed, or when we are doing Saturday house projects. While worship music is a great choice, worship music based on Scripture is even better.
One of my new, favorite Scripture worship resources is Seeds Family Worship. With 9 CDs to choose from, Seeds family worship songs and youTube videos have become an instant favorite in our household.
Scripture in books
You can't ask for better Living Literature than the Living Word of God! Over the years, I've purchased a few kids books that are completely based on Scripture. The obvious benefit of reading Scripture to your children is that they begin to memorize it as you read the book over...and over...and over again. As an added bonus, YOU begin to memorize it too!
Some examples of Scripture based books are...
Scripture in school work
As a homeschooling mom, I have a unique opportunity to weave Scripture and Scriptural truth into our everyday lessons. One of the easiest ways to do this is through handwriting or copywork practice. I have always loved using A Reason for Handwriting curriculum for handwriting lessons. Starting in first grade, all copywork is taken straight from Scripture. Children practice letter formation by copying words, phrases, and whole sections of verses.
A final word...
In addition to these CREATIVE efforts to write Scripture on your "doorposts", I'd encourage you to set aside a regular time in your day to memorize a verse as a family...the old fashioned way...practicing verses orally TOGETHER. We have done this fairly regularly for years and already see how God is using His Word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Not sure what to memorize?
Focus on verses that meet an immediate spiritual/family need. If your children are struggling with fear, begin working on verses about fear. If sibling rivalry has taken root in your home, search Scripture for some verses on love, peacemaking, forgiveness. If gossip has become a problem, start with that. By helping your children to memorize applicable-for-the-moment verses, you are providing them with the tools to resist temptation and to "lean not unto [their] own understanding."
If you're still not sure which verses to teach, enlist the help of a family verse pack (a pre-fabbed compilation of well-known, cornerstone verses often organized by topic or theme). We currently use Well-Versed Kids Scripture cards but also highly recommend Fighter Verses. Combine these cards with a great review rotation method and you have yourself an arsenal of Truth with which to arm your family.