Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart. Proverbs 7:2
Effectively teaching memorization commonly fails just because we want to know how to do it best.
- Is it best to give children the passage to learn as an assignment for the next class?
- Should the passage be memorized in class?
- Should repetition be used on a class level?
- How and how often should review be conducted?
- What is the best way to test the children’s memorization of the passage?
Short, Frequent classes
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
A lesson with memorization does not, and should not, be long and drawn out each and every time you do it. Our memorization time should not become so big that we feel defeated and allow too much time between sessions. For example, if classes are held at week-long intervals, many children (and adults) will procrastinate until the deadline (or after), because it is human nature to put off what we feel is too hard for us to do.
On the other hand, if classes are not held often enough you will tend to assign a longer passage to learn each time. Again, this is frustrating the student, the teacher, and the parent. We don’t want to discourage someone away from learning God’s Word.
Regular classes give the student little chance to procrastinate. With frequent deadlines to be encountered the student will stay alert and keep God’s Word in the forefront of his mind. Also, the constant review provided by frequent classes will help him to retain the material much better.
Some of the things we have incorporated into our daily lessons is
- study first thing in the morning - this not only starts your day off right, but gets you thinking about God first thing in the morning
- study last thing at night
- Write the verse on a notecard or two and put them in a place you look often (light switch, mirror, wallet)
- Use a dry erase marker on a mirror
- On the first day of the month spend 1 minute studying. On the second day of the month, 2 minutes. On the 5th day of the month, spend 5 minutes studying. This goes on for the entire month.
- Have someone hold you accountable. If no one knows you are even trying, no one can help and encourage you.