Memorizing Scripture as a Family

We know the only way to recognize lies is to know what the truth really is.  And the best way to really know the truth is to have it memorized!  Memorizing scripture helps us to really know and understand God’s Word.  I’ve also noticed how the Holy Spirit brings these memorized scriptures to mind when I need them.

Scripture memory is a great spiritual discipline to work on together as a family.  When children see their parents doing something regularly, they realize its true importance.  We close our family devotions each day by working on our scripture memory verses together.  Here is how we easily memorize scripture together:

Memorizing Scripture as a Family
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Take Your Time

First, slow down and take your time.  We want scripture memory to be an enjoyable memory for our kids.  We want them to look back on it with thankfulness, not will feelings of stress and pressure.  It works well for us to aim to memorize one verse each week.  Some weeks this works great and sometimes we need to spend two or three weeks on one verse.  No stress, no pressure just aim for a consistent routine!  We are currently working on memorizing Psalm 103; we’re on verse 20 and have been at it for about 25 weeks!

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Children (and adults) learn through repetition.  Have you ever had a 2-year-old “read” his favorite storybook to you?  He easily has it memorized through repetition, and I bet you have it memorized too!  By hearing something many times over, we begin to recognize it and know what comes next without even really thinking about it.  Begin by reading the scripture passage aloud a few times and for a day or two.

Once we’ve heard the passage enough to be familiar with it, we can begin to say the passage along with whoever is reading it.  Adding our voice to the repetition adds another learning style (hearing and speaking), this will help us to memorize it better.

Invent Actions

Once the passage is familiar, it can help to invent actions to go along with some of the words.  Let your kids help you invent actions for the scripture passage.  Sometimes their actions will be silly, but it doesn’t really matter as long as the actions help them to remember the verses!

By adding actions to your memory verse, you are also adding a third learning style (action/movement).  Often if your kids are struggling to remember what comes next in the passage you can prompt them with the next action and they will remember!

Sing

Finally, we like to add music to help us memorize scripture.  We often listen to various scripture memory CD’s while in the car.  Sometimes these songs are passages we are currently working on or have memorized in the past and sometimes they are not.  We don’t focus on memorizing these songs, but it seems to happen anyway!

I remember listening to my middle child sing along with all the songs from Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em in Your Heart at barely 2 years old!  We also like the Sing the Word series by the Harrow Family.  These are musically excellent and are done with more “traditional” music styles.  There are several other series of scripture memory CD’s and some are better done than others.  If possible, listen to some samples so you know if the musical style and quality is what you like/want.

Choose whole passages

I’d like to encourage you to learn whole passages of scripture not just specific verses.  By memorizing passages you are learning scripture in the context which leads to more full and accurate understanding.  You will be amazed at how many verses even young children can memorize easily when part of a passage.  When our youngest was barely 3 years old she memorized all of Psalm 1 with her older siblings!

We’ve memorized Psalm 1, Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalm 24, Psalm 19, Deuteronomy 6:4-8.

Comment below with some of your favorite scripture passages.

 

Home-Made Joy: Make a Plan

Finding joy in the day to day tasks of taking care of home and family can be a challenge!  We get frustrated trying to live up to the expectations of others and discouraged by all the Pinterest-worthy images we see on social media.  We begin to overcome these challenges when we discover our WHY.  Once our WHY has been determined, we can begin to move forward by defining our priorities for each task and embracing our “good enough”.  Once these are done, we can make a plan that works for us and stop trying to make someone else’s plan fit our life.

Make a (Realistic) Plan
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Make a (Realistic) Plan

Set yourself up for success by making a plan that is realistic for you.  Depending on your life stage or schedule it may not be possible to plan to clean your entire house in one day.  You may also love the idea of doing monthly freezer cooking but you may not have several hours in a row you can dedicate to cooking each month.  Just because a system (or plan) works well for one person, doesn’t mean it works well for everyone.

I have a pretty good basic cleaning routine that works well for me.  The basic tasks of laundry, bathroom cleaning, and vacuuming get done each week.  However, I realized that the more thorough and deep cleaning tasks rarely got done!

To try and remedy this I developed a plan to do a bit of deep cleaning each week.  I thought that this way I could get some deep cleaning done each week and it would just keep getting done.  But I’ve discovered that this isn’t working for me!  I need to refine my plan.

Refine the Plan as Needed
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Refine the Plan as Needed

Trying to get a concrete list of tasks done each week was not happening.  Some weeks I would have time to get most of it done and some weeks I barely got anything on the list done!  I was feeling behind and like I was failing at my own plan!

So, I’ve refined my plan.  Now I have set times during the day when I focus on cleaning.  During these times I first focus on the daily/weekly things that need to be done (like laundry or the bathroom or vacuuming), then if I have time, I move onto a deep cleaning task.  One day I might wash the kitchen floor, another day I may clean a closet, some days are busy and not much of anything gets done!  It all depends on how much time I have and what I decide is a priority.

Make it fun

I’ve also found ways to make these tasks more fun!  I like to listen to podcasts while I clean.  This gives my brain something fun to do as well as gives me a bit of adult-type “conversation” during my homeschooling days.

Use the right tools

Cleaning is so much easier with the right tools and products.  I’m a huge fan of keeping it simple, but I also like to keep it easy by using the right tools.  We have hardwood floors throughout our house.  I used to sweep all these floors but was always frustrated that I couldn’t quite get it all.  Then I got a small (1.5 gallon) shop vac.  It has made it so much easier to keep the floors clean!  It is easy to maneuver and easily sucks up all the sand and dirt that comes from living on a gravel road as well as all the bits of bark and wood that come in with the firewood.  It also does a great job with hair in the bathroom!  Yes, it takes up more room than a broom and dustpan (and I do still have a broom for small jobs) but I  love how much easier it is to keep floors clean!

Celebrate Success
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Celebrate Success

Celebrate your successes.  Even if it is just cleaning something for 10 minutes, I consider it a success!  I rarely try to clean outside of my “scheduled” cleaning times because then I would feel the need to always keep cleaning because I would never be “done”.  Schedule yourself an endpoint and be “done.”  Celebrate the success of being “done” for that day!

Live in the Sweet Spot of Contentment

Contentment means being happy with what you have.  There is always more we could be doing, but we also need time for rest and fun.  Be content with a plan that you can succeed in that fits your life now…not what you wish your life was li

Simple Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Entire Family

While we aim to show love to our family every day, Valentine’s Day gives us an excuse to be a little more intentional and create some memories to strengthen our family culture.

However, this can be difficult since Valentine’s Day often falls on a school day during an already busy week.  Here are some fun, yet easy ideas to make memories with your family, simply.

Simple Ideas for Family Memories on Valentine's Day
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Learn the True Story of St. Valentine

While there are many versions available, we prefer listening to the Adventures in Odyssey version.  Find it at WhitsEnd.org on Valentine’s Day and for a week after!

Pink and Red Food

Many foods can easily be dyed pink or red (naturally!) for a fun twist on your normal menu.  Blend a few strawberries or raspberries into pancake batter; make a strawberry or raspberry smoothie or add dried (or fresh) cranberries to your favorite chocolate chip cookie or muffin recipe.

Serve a Special Dessert

Dessert isn’t a normal part of our meal plan.  Since I save desserts for special occasions, even a simple dessert makes a meal a celebration!  This year I’m making Trim Healthy Mama Cheesecake (from the cookbook).  Cheesecake is my husband’s favorite, and when made in a pie plate instead of a springform pan, is super easy too!  I’m also making my non-cheesecake loving child Brownie Pudding Cake (very similar to this recipe); it’s super quick and easy, and he loves it!

Love Scavenger Hunt

This idea of a love scavenger hunt by Big Family Blessings is cute and easy to do with all ages.  Use a different color of construction paper for each member of your family.  This would be a fun one to prep during the day with the kids as a surprise for Dad when he gets home from work.

Family Movie Night

Stuffed Suitcase lists 25 movies to choose from for a family movie night.  Our favorites from this list are Tangled and Wall-E.

Valentine’s Day Craft

I’m not a crafting with kids mama, but here are some fun ideas (from Kid Friendly Things To Do) if this is what you and your kids enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Science

Less crafty and more science fun, I know my kids would love these STEM activities from Little Bins for Little Hands.

Share the Love

Are you still looking for Valentine’s gift ideas for the school class party?  These applesauce cups (by Savoring the Good) and these chips bags (by Meet Penny) are a creative and much less sugary option than candy!

Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day idea?  Please share in the comments!