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First Memory Verses

Our desire is to teach Elnathan the Bible as early as possible. Little ones have such good memories, why not fill their minds with God's words? I have been reading Sally Clarkeson's book The Ministry of Motherhood and answering the study questions. One of the challenges was to write down five ideas for giving your children God's word. One idea I had was to illustrate memory verses and laminate them to review at mealtimes. The trouble was that I did not have much time to do this! I wrote this idea down before Mercy was born and now she was a month old.

Then I listened to Sono Harris' "A Joyful Mother of Children" talks on CD while breastfeeding. Sono encouraged mothers to really enjoy their children and include them in what they were doing. So I thought, why not try to include Natey in making his memory verses? It was a little challenging, but he enjoyed looking for pictures we needed in magazines and old diaries. He also enjoyed sticking the pictures to the paper after I put the glue onto them. We also used some of my scrapbook supplies to embelish our pages. The result was a little less perfect than it might have been if I'd done it on my own, but it does the job. I could have included pictures of a Bible and a light for Ps. 119: 105 if there had been more time.

Elnathan has clearly taken in some of these verses. We have reviewed them with him, pointing to the pictures so that he can say the word it represents (people, sheep and pasture for Ps. 100:3 and lamp, feet and light for Ps. 119:105). Now he is able to say the right word even when we just speak the verse to him without the pictures. Bear in mind that Natey's language development is progressing well for a 20 month old. He already has some three word phrases and often puts two words together. It would not be reasonable to expect this of all under two year olds, as some have few words. Nate has had to learn new words in order to learn these verses.

Since completing these verses I have also created a couple more to teach about obeying parents. These were easy to illustrate with pictures of our family. I am looking for more verses that can be illustrated with objects of interest to little ones. If you have any ideas, I'd be grateful to read about them. Have you started memory verses with your children? If so, how did you teach them?

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Susan  – (January 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM)  

We haven't started formal memory verses with Hans yet. His ability to retain several words together and repeat them back is limited, so we've been focusing on shorter catechism questions recently. "By loving Him and doing what He commands" is quite a mouthful for him to repeat right now, but we're working on lengthening his ability :-). We've only made it to 4 or 5 questions so far ;-). I'm hoping to throw in a few short (but meaningful) scripture verses soon, and you've inspired me even more! (By "meaningful" I mean that the scripture in a short chunk is meaningful even without larger context, not that some scripture is meaningful and some is not ;-D. . . all scripture is God-breathed. . . )

I'm hoping to utilize CMI's resources for scripture memory and catechism. Have you heard of Children's Ministry International? It's a reformed children's curriculum that is centered on memorizing scripture and accompanying catechism questions. They have illustrated memory verse cards that they sell, along the lines of what you are creating. I grew up with the CMI curriculum and think it is very well done.

I always enjoy reading what you're doing to instill scripture in Elnathan's life! Isn't parenting such a great responsibility? We read scripture and pray in the mornings for family devotions and most days Hans doesn't seem to be paying attention, but then he'll say things out of the blue that will reference what we mentioned in devotions! Little kids are sponges, aren't they?

Sherrin  – (January 6, 2011 at 10:03 AM)  

Hello Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to share what you have been doing and what you grew up with. I had not heard of the Children's Ministry International Curriculum and it sounds like exactly what I am thinking of, so I will google it. Elnathan is not stringing any of his memory verse words together yet, but I'm trusting the truth is still going into his little mind!

Yes, it is a great responsibility. I have been thinking about the fact that just about everything he knows so far he has been taught by his parents . . . wow! We pray daily for God's guidance in raising our little ones.

Susan  – (January 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM)  

I forgot to include the website before. . . I think you'll enjoy their materials :-). The director is a homeschooling father of 8 children.

Anna  – (January 18, 2011 at 6:00 AM)  

I love your ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

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