How to Help Children Memorize Scripture

Children remember easily and they will memorize something—either the philosophy of the world or the truth of the Word. Take advantage of this God-given ability for the benefit of your child’s spiritual awakening and growth. 

Memorizing with Young Children

  • Say the reference. First, clearly pronounce the reference ("address" is easier for some young children to understand than "reference"), then have the child repeat it.
  • Read and repeat. Read the passage aloud in several sections, asking the child to repeat each section with you after you read it.
  • Repeat the passage and reference together several more times, lengthening the sections each time.
  • Discuss the passage. After three or four repetitions, it’s helpful to dissect it. Discuss the meaning of any unfamiliar words. Talk about the main point. Rephrase the passage in simpler language. Help the child discover how the passage applies to his life.
  • Ask and answer questions about the text. Are there any words that repeat? Is it a command, statement, or question? Who is the subject of the passage? If dialogue, who is speaking? Digging into the grammar of a passage is a big help to understanding.
  • Find the answers. If your child asks a question you can’t answer, tell him you don’t know but commit to find out. There are many helpful tools for going deeper into the meaning of the FighterVerses. 
  • Sing. Humming the tune and singing the words of each verse set to music makes memorizing even easier.

Helping Older Children Memorize

  • Read the passage together.
  • Seek to understand the passage together.
  • Look up the passage in its context in the Bible.
  • Have the child say or write a paraphrase of the passage in his own words.
  • Ask the child what he thinks is the most important word in the passage and why. Then explain what you think is most important and why.
  • Ask the child to read the passage silently then explain what its meaning. You do the same.
  • Ask what a Christian should know, feel, and do in response to the verse(s). Discuss how this applies in your lives.
  • Invite the child to draw an illustration of the verse. 
  • Ask your child to act out the passage or a situation in which it would apply.

Whether young or old, children learn verses best with simple repetition. Taking time to understand the meaning of the words is a big help not only to memorizing, but even more importantly, to applying those words to our lives. The more you take time to learn what a verse or passage means, not just what the words say, the more it will equip your children, and you, to fight the fight of faith.

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