Friday, December 11, 2015

Scripture Memory for Toddlers

Reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture are a top priorities in our homeschool. I want my children's shield of faith to be strong, and the Bible tells us "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

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I have mentioned before that we are using the Scripture Talk DVD this year in our little homeschool co-op. Big Brother and his friends are having lots of fun learning passages of Scripture together once a week. Big Brother also spends time each morning at home reciting his verses and doing the accompanying hand motions.

However, I had no idea how much Little Brother (now 19 1/2 months old) would enjoy learning verses as well!

At first he would just watch in awe as Big Brother recited and then would perhaps try copy some of the motions. Something about the poetic flow of the words (another reason to love the KJV) seemed to have a calming effect on him, so at naptime or during diaper changes I would recite the Bible verses for him, much to his delight.

Over the past few weeks, we have realized that Little Brother has been memorizing these Scripture passages! I will begin quoting one of our passages, and if I stop, he continues on with the next word or phrase. Many times he will crawl up in my lap and start doing some of our Scripture hand motions, indicating that he wants to recite verses. He has happily spent as much as half an hour at a time totally engaged in this!

His favorite passage so far seems to be Matthew 7:24-27, the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. We pat our knees to say "the rains descended," then raise our hands when we say " and the floods came," and then we wave our arms for "and the winds blew (or 'bwew' as he says). Then his favorite part (which he says very well as he claps his hands together loudly) "and BEAT upon dat house!" It is just so sweet, and even though many of his words are not so clear, he definitely knows them all!

So far in this manner he has learned:
Matthew 7:24-27
Psalm 1
Mark 12:28-34
Psalm 100 (Not on the Scripture Talk DVD, but we made up our own hand motions for this one.)

Similarly, he has learned the words of both "Amazing Grace" and "What a Day That Will Be" quite unexpectedly. Those are the songs Daddy always sings to him when he rocks him at bedtime. :)

I am sharing all this not to brag, but to hopefully encourage and inspire those of you who have babies and toddlers. THEY REALLY ARE LISTENING AND WATCHING!! Their brains right now have the ability to learn and soak up language more than they will have at any other time in their lives. What an amazing season of opportunity we have RIGHT NOW! Yes nursery rhymes are fun and lullabies are sweet, but how much better to teach them early to love the Words of Life?!

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

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