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!

Old Years Resolutions

I suppose it seems sort of boring, but I am rather relieved not to have New Years Resolutions for 2012.  New resolutions are so exhausting!  They take a lot of time consuming effort, thought, planning, preparation (well at least for my meticulous schedule-chart-list happy self).  You see, if I’m going to resolve to do something better in my life I am going to make sure I have a plan of attack… I don’t always follow through with my plan, but at least I have one!

So yes, I am glad I don’t have any new resolutions this January.  It’s not that I don’t want to work on anything this year, quite the contrary; I have lots to do.  It’s just that all of my resolutions this year are hand-me-downs from last year.  That means all the charting and planning is done and now it’s just time to implement (or continue implementing) what I have already been doing or planning on doing for quite some time now.

And since you are my dear bloggy friends you get to follow along in all my escapades as I try to accomplish the goals I have set for myself and those we have set as a family.  I will keep you up-to-date over the coming year on how all of my Old Years Resolutions are progressing.  What old resolutions are you recycling from 2011?  Here are mine:

Old Years Resolutions

  1. Post a Series on Headcoverings… So I think that about a year ago I said I would try and get this series up last January.  It never happened.  I have had requests for such a series and I really haven’t forgotten about it!  In fact, I have a Word document that’s currently 12 pages long dedicated to this very topic.  It’s taking such a long time because I am not a Greek scholar and I want to be very careful with my exegesis of the 1 Corinthians text in order to do this topic justice.  So, I plan to finish it sometime this year and begin that series, just please know I haven’t forgotten about my promise!
  2. Clean the Kitchen and do the laundry – Every Day… Sad that this needs to actually be a goal for me to get it done isn’t it?  Well, that’s just the reality of it all.  And I tell you it was going great until November and the Holidays rolled around!  But last Autumn, after a few months of a slightly less chaotic house, I realized that these daily chores were, in fact, doable and also quite helpful.  I hope I can have another good streak starting now!
  3. Do Homeschool with Evangeline… I posted before about Evie’s Baby School.  It was going wonderfully for a while (about the same time my kitchen and laundry chores were going well, hmm…)  When we have several little things to do together during the day there is more of a routine and Evie and I are both so much more relaxed.  I definitely want that routine back now that she’s become an eating machine; seriously, every other minute it’s “Eat?”  Sigh…  Hopefully if we have scheduled meals and snacks and fun activities to do in between it will be a better situation than staring at the pantry every ten minutes wondering what else in the world I have to feed her.
  4. Have a Baby… Yeah, I’m pretty excited about that one.  I’m thinking Julyish is my goal for completing this resolution.  😀
  5. Drink More Water… Drinking water is GREAT.  Seriously, I don’t do this often enough.  We were doing wonderful for a while, but now our chapped lips and dry skin are back.  No longer!  Starting tomorrow I am re-implementing the water rules (no juice, tea or soda until you’ve had at least half your intake of water for the day) that were so helpful in the beginning.  Hmm, I don’t know if I told Jake that yet; he’ll probably want to know…
  6. Eat Healthier… Yes, this was the main goal that “drink more water” actually falls under.  We didn’t really get a good start on it last year, but now we are ready to take that plunge.  We will be beginning our new diet by eating healthier grains.  This week we are working on oats and we will work through beans, wheat, rice, nuts, corn and all those great things.  Stay tuned to learn how to make grains healthy; this should be an interesting challenge!
  7. Memorize Scripture… This is something that has been in the works for over a year now.  My desire to hide more of God’s Word in my heart has been long lived.  We have tried a couple times before doing this as a couple, but I have perfected the plan and the scheduling of it.  (Haha… yeah right, but at least I think I have a workable program now.)  We have been prepping ourselves to begin for a few months, so I think we’re mentally up to the task.  I will write a more detailed post about this later, but suffice it to say that we are starting off with memorizing Matthew 3 this month.  Yup… all 17 verses.
  8. Add More Resolutions… After we have all these well in progress I hope to continue adding to my list.  There are so many things I want to improve on in my life, and these are just a few.  I realize I can’t change everything at once, and you’ve got to start somewhere, but I hope to move on to make more changes as the year progresses!

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And that’s about all!  I hope you keep coming back as I will be blogging about all of these resolutions in the weeks and months to come.  Blessings on your New Year!

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