Archives for December 2012

Our Bible Memory Program

A note before you begin:

I had a request for my Bible memory program, so I decided to post it here.  That way anyone who is interested can have access.  But first, a little background about what I’ve created.  I am more than happy to share this, but it took me many long hours to put together.  I ask that you do not copy or disseminate this.  Instead, please link back here for others who you think would be interested.  

I realize that not everyone will want the same choices for Bible passages that our family has chosen.  We even change it around as we go!  With that in mind, I loaded it as an Excel document, making it easy to download onto your own computer and make changes to fit your own family’s needs.  Again, I would ask that you not publish or share any copies or revised versions of this, please use it only for your own family.  If you wish to pass on the program, direct people to come here.

This is a rather rigorous program, and it might not be for everyone.  However, if you think a chapter a month is too much for you, it would be quite easy to spread the memory work out over a longer period of time.  There are two basic parts to this program, the initial memory work and the review.  I will write a separate post specifically on review later.  Right now I will just focus on the initial memory work.  You can easily take the first part of the program and leave the second or vice versa.  But if you think this is too rigorous I would suggest, rather, that you use it as a whole and spread it out over a longer period of time.

I created this with two main goals in mind.  First, that our family would write on our hearts a vast repertoire of Scripture and second that we would retain it and benefit from a lifelong retention of what we memorize.  Taking away either the first or the second parts of this program would negate one of those goals.  It would be better, I think, to complete the rotation in 20 or 30 years than to sacrifice one of the aforementioned benefits.  All this to say, if you think this is too difficult, spread out the memory work over two or three months instead of doing it in one.

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IMG_2642I created this document for my own use, so I hope it is not too complicated to follow.  If you have any questions feel free to write them in the comments below and I will answer as best I can!

For this post I am only writing about the initial memory work portion of the program.  I will write a follow-up post shortly going over how to review your verses so they are not forgotten.  Looking at the Excel spreadsheet – for the initial memory work you will only need to pay attention to these columns: Chapter, Key-In Verses, Topic and the green Year columns.  Disregard the rest for now.

Chapter: This is (obviously) the chapter you will be memorizing on any given month.  I took great care in choosing the chapters that went here – and there are many other fine portions of Scripture that I had to leave out.  Each family will have different needs and preferences on this.  Feel free to substitute chapters as you see fit, but before you do, I want to point out a few particular thought processes of mine to aid you in your decision making.

When I first sat down to decide what to memorize, I came up with three reasons why our family wanted to have Scripture written on our hearts.  The three main reasons are: to aid in time of trouble or temptation for comfort and strength, to have a large portion of the Biblical narrative always at our instant disposal and to use in apologetic situations in order to refute heresy.  The first and third reasons will vary most from family to family.  What is comforting and inspiring to me may not be so to you, and the doctrines I find most in need of defense may not be the same for your time and place.

However, the Scriptural narrative will be more difficult to substitute.  We chose to memorize the Gospel of Matthew, and so much of the program revolves around that.  The chapters from other Gospels were chosen because they include accounts not written in Matthew.  I also find the first three chapters of Genesis to be crucial to the understanding of the Gospel, so those are in the rotation as well.  We chose to memorize two Epistles in their entirety as well: Romans and Ephesians.

Key-In Verses:  This program is for our entire family.   It is meant to be flexible enough that everyone can participate.  The Key-In verses are shorter passages that I chose for the younger children to memorize before they are ready for full chapters.  Again, this is very flexible and changeable, but the document does include my suggestions.

Parable or Psalm: You will notice that each Year column is denoted with either “Parable” or “Psalm”.  I wrote this with a Charlotte Mason themed homeschool in mind.  Charlotte Mason has a list of attainments for a child of six.  We will be working through these in our household, and I wanted each child (no matter which year in the rotation we were) to be able to have their psalm and parable learned by heart while also continuing to follow along with the family rotation.

We plan on completing the parable and psalm requirements over the course of two years when the young children are beginning to work through longer memory work passages.  So, with that in mind, there is at least one parable to learn every other year.  (This was surprisingly difficult to accomplish without repeating chapters!)  There is a Psalm each year, but I denoted years without a parable as “Psalm” years for my reference.

As a note for those who are also homeschooling… This was designed so that toddlers could learn along with us and gradually work up to longer passages.  I intend our children to be reciting full chapters by Year 1 (first grade).  With this schedule they will have the entire 120 chapters learned through Year 10 (10th grade).  This leaves them free to learn their own preferred passages in years 11 and 12 (Junior & Senior years).

Topic: Just for reference I included a brief topical note for each chapter.

Year: This column is your schedule.  Year 1 is where you begin.  Each number in this column corresponds with the month you memorize it in.  (Ex: 1 = January, 3 = March, 10 = October)  Chapters often correspond with the Church year.  So, in year 1, you learn the nativity account in November and December.  You will also want to keep this in consideration when making substitutions.

To find your assigned chapter pick your year and choose whichever passage is listed on the same row as the month you are in.  The chapter for December’s Year 2 reading, for example, is Hebrews 1.

Scripture Memory

Click the link above to go to the document.  Again, I know this is a lot, so please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all.  Any feedback is very welcome!

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