New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Memorization & 10 Chocolate Morsels

Memorizing has become an integral part of our homeschool.  It is even on our schedule.  When we first started learning scripture, my two little girls (4 and 2 at the time) and I would make a train, being silly, dancing and singing to scripture on Cd's as we paraded through the house.

“... dance like nobody's watching, ...”  Mark Twain


  The girls still remember scriptures that we memorized this way.  It was tucked in their hearts.

Now that they are older, we discuss how His word can be applied to our lives.  It makes it real.

We memorize a line or sentence daily and commit to memorizing it for a week.  It literally takes about five minutes total every day for the four of us to recite it; ten minutes tops as the recitations get a bit longer.  (And that includes counting out chocolates too. ☺)

The motivator and the reward is chocolate.  The friendly competition of knowing that their sisters can 'do it' helps.  But the true reward is that they will keep God's words in their hearts and on their tongues.  Even they can see this as they remember scripture from years ago.

I give 10 chocolate morsels for saying it correctly.  You don't get the chocolate until you DO say it correctly.  Every week we add on another verse or line and every day during that week, we learn just that one line adding it on to what we have already memorized.  You have to say it ALL correctly to get the chocolate.  Sometimes this can be a couple hundred words.  Even mom must say it correctly!  It isn't a bribe.  They do look forward to the chocolate.....  And it does make it fun. 

At the beginning of the year, we committed The Beatitudes to memory.

Even the four year old did it!

She knew it all by heart (although she didn't do as well when she was being recorded).   And the beauty of it is that it doesn't have to be perfect.   Here is just a part of it as we were not finished learning it in it's entirety at the time of the recording... (pause music at top right to hear)

Now we are in the midst of tackling Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and are almost through.  I think another 6 weeks should do it.

Here is my middle daughter reciting almost all of it...(pause music at top right to hear)

I believe our success comes from doing a little bit each day and layering upon what we have already committed to memory.  It is the old cliche.....How do you eat an elephant?

One. bite. at. a. time.

This has been a ten year journey.  Some of the scriptures we have learned, off the top of my head, include Proverbs 31,  Psalm 1, The 10 commandments, and numerous others.  We also have learned poetry.   Several times I have picked verses from Our Keepers At Home Club.  The girls earn pins at the end of the school year for Bible memory.

10 chocolate morsels and a little consistency is all it takes.

If we can do this, I mean, if even a four year old can do it, then anyone can.   Won't you join us?

Psalm 119:11-16 (NLT)

 11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
      that I might not sin against you.
 12 I praise you, O Lord;
      teach me your decrees.
 13 I have recited aloud
      all the regulations you have given us.
 14 I have rejoiced in your laws
      as much as in riches.
 15 I will study your commandments
      and reflect on your ways.
 16 I will delight in your decrees
      and not forget your word.


Jenny said...

Great job mommma and children!

Shelly said...

Way to go!!! That is awesome! I need to do that with my 3 year old!

Marcia said...

Christina, you're building a foundation in their lives (and hearts) that will last a lifetime, and then an ETERNITY! I recall as a child memorizing scripture (beautiful in the KJV language), but it's rarely stressed anymore. I love that you're taking the time to do this with your children!

Christina Parker Brown said...

Thank you, Jenny, Shelly, and Marcia! I am seeing fruit!

Ginger said...

Love this Christina! I have just been thinking how we've neglected memorization. You've given me encouragement. I love this quote from Sandra Felton and think it is fitting in this regard, "Never underestimate the inevitability of gradualness."

Anonymous said...

We have just started this journey again as well. we take a few minutes at lunchtime. Since January, we have memorized the books of the Bible and are now working on our Presidents. It is easy for the 12, 10 and 8 yo's and our 3yo tries :) I love the idea of the Gettysburg address and maybe the Preamble to the Constitution!!!

Tess said...

What a great reminder to other moms like me regarding the importance of having our little kids memorize Scripture verses! My 5y/o daughter is more of an auditory learner so it's more effective for her to memorize bible verses through songs. Thanks!

BTW, I'm following you now. I hope you can stop by my blog (, too, and follow me back. Blessings!

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