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Works for Me Wednesday: Bible Memory System

Have you broken any of your New Year's Resolution lists yet? I've done a great job with the exercising one! Breaking it, that is.

But here's another resolution I hope we'll all try to keep: memorizing Bible verses. I find that memorizing Scripture myself, and memorizing it as a family, really helps one's spiritual life. There's something special about knowing where a verse can be found, or being able to say it to yourself when you're feeling down.

The problem with memorizing is that if you're not consistent, you don't remember it. Or you may work on a verse hard for a week, but it doesn't stick.

I've recently worked on a new memory system that has worked so well for us. We use it in our homeschooling with Latin vocabulary words, but it can work for memorizing anything, including Bible verses.

Here's what you do. Take some cue cards and write on each one what you're trying to memorize--such as the Bible verse for the day/week. The week you're learning the verse, you go over it everyday. The next week, you're done with it and you're onto another verse. But how can you be sure that you remember last week's verse?

This is where the method comes in. Write last week's verse on a cue card, and put in a pile with an elastic on it with the number "1" on it. This is the pile you'll work through everyday.

Then you review the verses in pile 1. Any verses you get right move to pile 2.

Tomorrow you do both piles 1 & pile 2. Any verses that are correct get moved up a pile, so that you now should have pile 1, pile 2, and pile 3.

Everyday you do piles 1 & 2. Pile 3 you do every Friday. Pile 4 you do once a month. And Pile 5 you do every other month. So if you're memorizing one verse a week, for instance, you'll likely review it everyday for a while, then every week, and then next month, and then it will be gone.

It works well because you can add verses to pile 1 at any time. So if the verse from last week is still moving through piles 1-3, that's okay because you can just add more verses to pile 1 and it doesn't really matter. You can have as many there as you need to.

The main thing is that you review each verse at least five times before you get rid of it.

Here, then, is what a sample schedule would look like:

Everyday: Go over new verse AND
Everyday: Review verses from piles 1 & 2. Remember if you get a verse correct, move it up a pile! AND
Every Friday: Review pile 3. AND
Second Wednesday of the month: Review pile 4. AND
Every 31st of a month: Review pile 5. (Why the 31st? It's easy to remember, and it means you'll hit pile 5 about every other month. You'll hit it twice in a row July-August and December-January, but you probably need the practice anyway :) ).

If you ever get a verse wrong, it goes back to pile 1!

This way you're sure that once you're rid of it, you really know it.

If you want to memorize verses as a family, the best time is right after dinner. Even if you can't do it every night, try for as many nights as possible. And if you use this method, you can be sure that you won't forget any! You'll go through each verse at least 5 times, and you'll space it out!

I hope that helps you get your spiritual life off to a great start this year!

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At 12:01 AM , Blogger dianne - bunny trails said…

Sounds like a good system, Sheila. The one I've had the most success with thus far has been Navigator's Topical Memory System (or a slightly modified version - tee hee!). It's a very good things to be able to pull those verses out when you need them.

Even in her 90s and with dementia taking a toll, my grandmother could quote God's word. It truly was hidden in her heart. It was a blessing to see that and share that with my boys.


At 12:31 AM , Blogger Tara said…

This seems like a great idea. I will have to try it because I have a hard time with memorizing verses. Thanks~


At 8:56 AM , Blogger Mrs W said…

I do something similar to this with my boys. We do our weekly verse five times in our morning devotions, and five times in our evening devotions. Then we do last weeks verse three time in the morning and three times in the evening. After that the old verses are rotated every day for one of the old verses to be said once in the morning and once in the evening. It's working really well.

Of course, my boys are 2, 1, and 4 months, and they cannot repeat the verses to me yet, but I can tell they know them, with the look of recognition they give when I recite them. Just figured you could never start too early.


At 9:47 AM , Blogger Rachel R. said…

Thank you! I've been needing a review system like this, for myself and for my girls, but I needed someone to spell it out for me this clearly. :) We have cards for all of my daughter's verses, but I wasn't sure how to review them systematically without doing every one every time. This is going to work great!


At 9:58 AM , Blogger Sherry said…

I need to do more memorizing of Scripture. Sounds like a wonderful system.


At 1:51 PM , Anonymous Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said…

Great tip! Need to try this for me and the family. Thank you for sharing this.


At 2:45 PM , Blogger Raye Ann said…

I have had some success (It helps to not misplace it when you are doing some rearranging)with the Charlot Mason scripture memory system. It is somewhat similar to this system.


At 3:15 PM , Blogger sarahe said…

that's a lot like what I used to do with the college girls I discipled. I would assign them a new verse each week and they would keep each verse in the rotation for at least 4 weeks. Assigining it to them and having them repeat it back to me made me memorize it as well!


At 12:24 PM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…

That's a GREAT idea. We memorize together a lot, but never quite figured out how to review what we really need without reviewing everything (and getting bored).



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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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