Because we integrate Bible study and memorization of verses into many aspects of our homeschooling (and my daughters participate in AWANA), I’ve never tried an organized approach to memorizing Bible passages as a family. However, it’s something I have kept on the “to do” list for some time, mentally filing the ideas and experiences of other homeschooling moms in the meantime.
So I was thrilled when presented with the opportunity to evaluate a new series of Bible memorization curriculum from Brookdale House, publishers of multipurpose educational resources primarily used in the homeschool community. This series, Bible Memorization Made Easy, can be used by any family — homeschooling or not — who wants to take a step-by-step approach to memorizing key passages of scripture together.
The Bible Memorization Made Easy series is designed to be an “interactive, open-and-memorize, Scripture Memory system” to quickly and easily memorize key passages from the Bible (using the King James Version). The series includes individual workbooks for memorizing Galatians, Philippians, The Sermon on the Mount, and/or Psalms for Praying.
I was given a complimentary review copy of Memorize the Sermon on the Mount to evaluate with my eleven and 13-year-old daughters. I chose the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) because I had planned to memorize the entire sermon myself at some point: The wisdom Jesus shares in this powerful sermon is foundational instruction for our everyday life, teaching us how to become more like Him. I was looking forward to finding out if this workbook would help my daughters memorize this three-chapter passage along with me.
The Sermon on the Mount workbook contains 23 weeks of lessons in an “open-and-memorize” format, in which the sermon is broken up into weekly segments for memorization. Author Kimberly Garcia provides an organized approach to memorizing key passages of scripture that take you and your children step by step through digestible portions of the passage one week at a time. Each day builds upon the next, using a variety of learning tools such as comprehension, visualization, copy work and auditory repetition — accompanied by daily prayer — to strengthen the memorization process, so that week to week your child isn’t forgetting what they’ve just learned but building upon it.
Here’s what you can expect each week to walk you through memorizing the chosen passage:
- Everyday, students will pray for understanding and read the passage of scripture, preferably out loud, several times.
- On the first day, students will also study the passage. This is the time to look up unfamiliar words, practice pronunciation, discuss comprehension, and then write out the selected passage.
- For three days following, students will continue to start out by reading the passage several times, then fill in from memory a sheet that contains the passage with approximately 1/4 of the words omitted, then half, then 3/4 of the words are omitted. At first, key words are omitted to make memorizing the main ideas easier. Students will circle and study key words and emphasize them when reading the passage aloud.
- Finally, students will write the entire passage from memory.
I think the variety of daily activities — from reading aloud and writing to visualizing and studying key words — cover all the natural learning styles your children might possess, making it easy for your family to stay on track together no matter their age difference or learning preferences. Scripture memorization is also part of a classical education approach: It’s an easy way to make sure that recitation gets done weekly if you’re working in a classical style.
Although we’ve only had our workbook for a few weeks, I can see that my daughters are responding to this method and enjoying the process. They are also feeling more confident about their ability to memorize larger passages of scripture. I’m excited to continue and complete this important memorization project with my girls!
The Bible Memorization Made Easy series is available in a downloadable digital format as well as print. The digital versions are $15.99, and print copies are $21.99. However for a limited time, NextGen Homeschool readers can use the coupon code “20percent” to save 20% on any purchase in this series!
The publishers are also giving away ONE FREE WORKBOOK of your choice through the Rafflecopter giveaway below: There are many ways to enter, including a daily Twitter entry, so enter as often as you can! The giveaway ends at midnight on Feb. 28 — make sure to enter before it’s closed!