Our family believes that memorizing Scripture is very important and that it’s crucial for spiritual growth. The many benefits include triumph over sin, strengthened faith, joy in the Christian life, and a greater understanding of God and His will.
Our family uses the Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System. We’ve been using this system for about a year and a half and have already memorized 29 verses together as a family! Our kids are currently 9 and 7 years old and I’m truly amazed at how well they are able to memorize Scripture so quickly. They often have the verse memorized before I do!
We spend 5-10 minutes working on our memory verses during our daily family Bible time. We don’t always work on the verses every day, but we do try to most days. As much as we’ve learned so far, I can only imagine how many verses we could have already memorized if we were more consistant!
This system takes very little time to set up, and once it’s set up, it’s very easy to maintain.
For this system you’ll need the following supplies:
I also wanted to add color to mine so I used some sticky page flags to label the dividers. But that is an entirely optional (and time-consuming!) step.
To make your box, first you’ll need to label your dividers. The 41 dividers will have these labels:
- 1 divider — “Daily”
- 1 divider — “Odd”
- 1 divider — “Even”
- 7 dividers — Days of the Week (Sunday, Monday, etc.)
- 31 dividers — Numbers 1-31
Place your dividers in your box in the order listed (daily at the front, number 31 at the back).
Now you can begin filling your box with verses! If you know some already, begin with those. If not, choose a verse that will be fairly easy for the whole family to memorize. I don’t recommend choosing a long passage right away. It’s likely your family could work up to a long passage, but you might receive a bit more enthusiasm if you start with something easier.
I do want to encourage you to move on to longer passages eventually though! Don’t underestimate kids – they are capable of memorizing much more than we realize!
We’ve also used this system to memorize creeds and catechism questions.
Not sure which verses to choose? Here are a few of our family’s favorite verses that we’ve memorized so far:
- Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
- Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- Proverbs 16:24 – Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Colossians 3:12 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
- Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
- Mark 12:30 – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
- Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I recommend you choose just one version of the Bible to memorize from. We started out all over the place and it became confusing for the kids. We’ve now committed to using the ESV Bible for memorization for consistency with the version we use at our church.
Now, here’s how the system works!
When you choose a new verse to memorize, you’ll write the verse on an index card and place it behind the “daily” divider. Every day you’ll work on the verse until you and your family have memorized it well. It could take 1 day, 1 week, or longer to memorize the verse depending on the maturity of the children, how difficult the verse is, and how frequently you practice.
Once you’ve all memorized the verse, move the card back to the odd or even divider. If you already have a verse behind the odd or even divider, move that verse back to a day of the week divider. After day of the week, you’ll move it back to a day of the month divider.
Every day, you’ll work on your new verse and review three older verses. So, for Friday, June 14th you would work on the verses behind the following dividers:
- Even (the date, 14, is an even number)
So, when you get a new verse, you’ll work on it daily, then every other day, then once a week, then finally, once a month! Reviewing the verses frequently helps with retention, so you don’t instantly forget it once it’s “memorized.”
We like to discuss the meaning of the verse so they aren’t just memorizing words they don’t understand. We also try to seize opportunities to recall the verses throughout the day.
Anytime we come across a verse we would like to memorize, we go ahead and jot it down on an index card and stick it in the front of the box to save for when it’s time to start working on a new one.
I’m sure my instructions leave much to be desired, so here is a very helpful step-by-step video about how to use this system.
How does your family memorize scripture?