When we started doing extensive memory work with the boys the hardest part was deciding where to start and which verses, songs and poems to use with them. I have a few resources I have found helpful that I thought I would share.
Bible Memory Work
For Instruction in Righteousness by Pam Forster is a topical reference guide and I have thoroughly enjoyed the ease of use it provides. There are hundreds of verses in this book categorized under titles such as “Laziness”, “Anger”, “Fear”, “Bitterness”, etc.
Each topic has verses addressing what the sin is and commandments about it, what happens or should happen to the person who commits the sin, what the sin is likened to, blessings of doing the opposite of the sin (ex: under “Hypocrisy” they have verses about the “Blessings of Sincerity and Honesty”), Bible stories that illustrate the consequences of the sin and finally verses to memorize. There are ideas on object lessons you can use to illustrate what the verses are saying, but it is primarily a topical Bible. I have used this when there is a particular attitude I see in my boys that needs addressing – I turn to the subject and find a verse that I think is fitting.
The other resource I have used for verse memory work is Teach Them To Your Children, which has a verse and a corresponding story for each letter of the alphabet. We went through this book in alphabetical order.
In addition, we have greatly enjoyed the Seeds Family Worship cds that have verses set to music and a friend recently reminded me about the Steve Green Hide ‘Em In Your Heart dvds that we use to watch as children. (Well, back then it was VHS!) I am going to be ordering those for the boys soon.
One of the first verses we taught the boys was Colossians 3:23 – “And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men.” That combined with Colossians 3:20 – “Children obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing to the Lord” – have been the basis for teaching our children about obedience and that their actions are to be done as to the Lord (addressing the heart issue) and that God instructs them to obey their parents.
Most of the other verses we have taught them address attitudes or are salvation related verses (John 11:25, Matthew 1:21, Romans 5:8, etc.)
Hymn Memory Work
Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, Vol. 1 shares the story behind 12 classic hymns and the best part is that it comes with the songs on a cd! I was previously somewhat randomly selecting hymns for them to memorize, but now I am using the ones from this book as I can share the story behind the song with them and they can listen to the songs over and over again. I think there are 4 books/cds in the series and I hope to collect each one to use with them.
When I was “somewhat randomly” selecting hymns I was using hymns that were somewhat commonly sung at our church. I thought the boy would find it exciting to recognize the songs they were memorizing. Of course they never did sing any of those hymns!
I also initially only taught them the first verse and chorus of a hymn – I am now considering taking the time to teach them all the verses of at least the songs from the book mentioned above.
For Poetry Memory Work
This was the hardest to decide on – I finally decided that we would start with some patriotic pieces and then move on to fun pieces that they would find amusing.
Our first piece was My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee – the four original verses. (Did you know there are TWELVE verses to that?!)
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson was a favorite of Judah’s and I am trying to stick to pieces of a similar strain – concepts that they understand and find fun.
Bartleby.com has been my favorite resource for poetry pieces. It has an easy search function and an enormous selection of pieces.
I know I have barely touched the surface of great resources available for choosing memory work pieces – do you have any you would add to the list?
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