Scripture memorization is one practice that I feel was vital to our home schooling success. My four-year-old son was an incredibly busy boy. It was never a good idea to leave him to his own devices, because he was very smart. He needed some work to keep him busy and use his boundless energy in a productive manner. So I began having him memorize Scripture. This worked amazingly well. He loved memorizing and reciting Scripture.
I loved it too because it met many of my educational goals for my son. Most importantly, it exposed him to the very words of God. It allowed him to hide those words in his heart for future meditation in later years. It began the moral training of his soul, helping him to distinguish good and evil. It gave him good things to ponder. Did he understand all that he memorized? Certainly not. He understood more than adults usually give children credit for. He understood quite a bit and his parents where there to explain what he did not understand.
It also allowed him to memorize good English verse. It allowed him to hear and play with the sound of language helping to develop his future writing skills. It gave him a foundation in the stories found in great English literature. It is very difficult to understand the classics without a background of Scriptural literacy. Knowing the origin of common phrases like “the blind leading the blind,” “the patience of Job,” “an eye for an eye,” “David vs. Goliath,” “a house divided,” “proclaim liberty throughout the land,” “the lion and the lamb,” “justice rolls down like water,” “pride comes before a fall,” and “weighed in the balance and found wanting” much richer and more meaningful. (Matthew 15:14 and Luke 6:39, Job, Exodus 21:24 and Matthew 5:38, I Samuel 17:12-51, Mark 3:25, Leviticus 25:10, Isaiah 11:6, Amos 5:24, Proverbs 16:18, Daniel 5:27) Our country’s founding documents, Winston Churchill’s speeches, Shakespear’s plays and Martin Luther King Jr. speeches are full of biblical illustrations. Memorizing Scripture is a way to pass down both Christian culture and enables one to understand Western culture. The great thing is that you are passing down your culture and the tools to evaluate that culture at the same time.
Soon my younger daughter wanted to join in on our family ritual of Scripture memorization/recitation, and she did as soon as she could. So it went with each of the younger siblings until our whole family was reciting together. It is something we did every morning and every evening together. We started by memorizing Scriptures that are basic to the faith and explained the nature and character of God. I wrote a little booklet with a verse, a picture and the concept I was trying to teach on each page. So for instance I started with John 4:24 to define God as a spirit. On the next page, I used Revelation 19:6-7 to introduce God’s omnipotence. “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him…” Then I used other verses to further define that term on the next page. I continued this for all the attributes of God that I wanted to teach my children (omniscience, omnipresence, perfection, goodness, loving kindness, justice, holiness, mercy…). Then I had them memorize verses about Jesus (that he is the Son of God, that he is our Savior ect.). Finally I had them learn verses that explained the gospel such as Romans 3:10-12, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:22, John 1:29 and 3:16-18, Romans 10:9, John 14:6, John 1:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
From there my family proceeded to memorize the first ten chapters of John and then let the children pick what books and verses they would memorize. I really poured myself into creating the little booklet with verses and principles that were meaningful to me. Passing on values that were important to me motivated me to be consistent with this practice. I highly recommend Scripture memorization to any homeschooling family. I credit my children’s interest in philosophy and theology to the fact that they were thinking about deep issues in their early years. It is not about the number of verses that you memorize. I know many families that memorize much more Scripture than we did. It is about using memorization as a moral, spiritual, literary, and cultural training tool. It gives your children a standard with which to think about and evaluate all other things. It is about crystallizing your values and passing them on. It is about pouring your time, effort and love into your children. It is about giving them your best. It is about sharing the thing most precious and valuable to you. Practicing together builds discipline and family unity. It builds family culture because you create a family tradition. Happy memorizing.
Locust & Honey is very proud to present the recently published audio, Lost at Starvation Lake (Audible link here). Author, Gary P. Hansen, weaves an engaging tale about the continuing adventures of Paul and Sally after Sally becomes saved and accepts Paul’s marriage proposal becoming Mrs. Sinhuna, all of which takes place in Book 1, Survival at Starvation Lake (Amazon audio link here). They have their “ups and downs” together; it’s not always a cherry-blossomed path that God has placed them on in life. But they recognize His handiwork, no matter where His will leads them. Lost is Book 2 in the Starvation Lake trilogy and Book 3, entitled Mission: Starvation Lake is due out in audio book format in late summer/early fall 2016. The author and narrator have something exciting planned for this audio book release. Instead of being available at Audible.com, it will be available only at an off-site location, Athanatos Ministries, at a discounted price. This new collaboration with A.R. Horvath, author of Warden Watch, we hope will be a big success and blessing.