We are very caught up in revision at the moment, right in the middle of exams for B.
There are a lot of things to remember – not my best skill! (thank you long term sleep deprivation & anxiety) – formulas in science, definitions, quotes in English and RE. B actually has a really really good memory, and if she is engaged in the learning – if focused, definite, clear cut things get stuck so quickly.
Yesterday we were praying before leading our junior age church club, Blast, and listening to T beeping the numbers on the church key safe to help by getting the keys to open the main doors. She’d been allowed to do the code once before a few days previously and of course, yes, she could do it. The number sequence was at her fingertips. To me that kind of memory seems like a superpower! I simply cannot remember number sequences at all, and am pretty hopeless at recalling definite factual information from memory.
For me, remembering and being able to bring to mind verses from the Bible effort has to be intentionally put in. I know I want to. I know it’s not going to come easily. I know I have to put in the work. With all the focus on revision though at the moment, I am questioning whether I am sharing that hope and expectation about Bible verses. Do B, A & T even think about why or if its important to know verses and be able to bring them to mind? Am I sharing with testimony with them, of times when verses have powerfully changed a situation or strengthened me or someone else? They are naturally gifted with the ability to remember, am I encouraging them to remember the Bible?
I remember a season with A when he was facing night after night of nightmares which were vivid and difficult to move on from and find rest again. We taught him a tiny snippet of scripture;
‘…perfect love drives out fear…’ (1John 4:18)
thinking together about who we knew who was perfect love, and how strong a word ‘drives out’ is. Over a stretch of nights we spoke it before sleep, and when the nightmares came showed him how to speak it out and cling onto Jesus who is perfect love. We imagined Jesus like a superhero/ninja standing tall and kicking his fears out of the door, down the stairs and out into the driveway. We imagined him coming back into A’s room and standing guard till his angels took over again. Sometimes we actively did the kicking alongside Jesus, kicking his fears out of the room as we reminded each other that Jesus, perfect love, was with him fighting for him. We learnt it to the point when some nights we simply spoke out ‘perfect love’ as we sat with him, welcoming Jesus in and waiting for sleep to come again. It reminds me how precious scripture is for our children, how much I want them to delight in it and know it.
So some fun ideas to learn memory verses:
- love this idea from #flamecreativekids of a dice race… who can be first to roll the dice and be able to say the verse in order.
- of course, I’m immediately reaching for doodling and colouring… my latest colouring verse was designed for a friend leading an after school club wanting a verse to reflect on.
- following #godventure on social media means I now have the yummy idea in my head of icing parts of a memory verse onto different cupcakes so they can be arranged, remembered and eaten! Love the symbolism of that.
- using lego, bricks or playing jenga with words from the verse on the blocks.
- Making up actions to go with the words.
- Enjoying a song that uses the words, T would be wanting to dance too.
- Making a nature or magazine collage of the verse together and pinning it up in the kitchen.
- playing charades to find the words
- a treasure hunt for the words
- make bunting or a set of decorations that can display the verse.
- using different voices, or accents (both T & A find this funny)
- use fabric pens and design a T-shirt or a tote bag with the verse on.
- challenge each other to see who can use the verse in everyday conversation!
Please do comment with your favourite ideas for fun memory verse learning!