Spring 2023/Amy Sloan

Want to include more Bible memory verses in your homeschool or family life? Here are three tips to help make Scripture memorization easier for any age range of kids. Try out these easy strategies for bringing more of God’s Word into your homeschool Morning Time or family devotions!

  1. Use Hand Motions for a Multi-Sensory Approach to Memorizing the Bible.

Hand motions aren’t just for little kids! Even teens and adults find that incorporating hand motions makes it easier to memorize new Bible verses.

Don’t worry! You don’t have to have a hand motion for every single word. Look for repeated or other key words in the passage, and focus on those. These key moments will be memory hooks as you teach and recite memory verses with your kids.

For example, this summer I taught 1 John 1:5-9 at our church’s VBS. Words like “message” and “truth” that related to God’s Word corresponded to an opening-book motion with our hands. For “light,” I used an ASL sign for light that I found online. For “deceive” and “lie,” we put our hands in front of our mouths. I also used simple motions for a few other words and phrases.

The key thing to remember with hand motions is to keep them simple and memorable. We don’t want the motions to detract or distract from God’s Word. Instead, we want the motions to make it easier to memorize the Bible verses we’re learning.

  1. Use Responsive Reading for Longer Passages in Homeschool Morning Time.

In our homeschool Morning Time routine, I often include longer passages of Scripture in our memory work and recitation time.

We have found that using a responsive reading approach makes it easier to memorize the Bible verses, and helps us pay closer attention to a longer chapter.

The procedure for this is very simple. First, I find the passage in my translation of choice at BibleGateway online. Next, I copy and paste the desired Bible verses into my word processor. I divide the passage into smaller chunks. Often it is easiest to separate at the verse divisions, although, sometimes I make exceptions for ease of recitation. I then alternate light print and bold print throughout the passage.

  1. Setting Bible Verses to Music Makes Memory Work Even Easier.

I find that when it comes to short passages of Scripture (a verse or two), the easiest way to hide it in our hearts is with song. Here are a few of our family’s favorite resources to help us sing the Bible and memorize God’s Word:

  • Psalm singing in family devotions and Morning Time
  • Seeds Family Worship
  • Slugs and Bugs Sing the Bible
  • T. and the Halo Express
  • Hide ‘Em in Your Heart by Steve Green
  • Never Be Shaken by Judy Rogers
  • Sons of Korah (settings of the Psalms)

Here are a few more bonus strategies to help hide God’s Word in the hearts of your children:

  • Copywork: Trace or copy Bible verses.
  • Audio Bible: Have your children listen to God’s Word as they go to sleep, ride in the car, or enjoy quiet play-time.
  • Illustration: Print out a copy of the Bible verse you’re memorizing and have your children color or illustrate it.
  • Post it: Include Bible verses as home décor. Write verses in dry-erase markers on your bathroom mirrors, or write short sections on post-it notes to change throughout the week.
  • Translate: Are you learning another language? Try translating the verse from English into your secondary language, then compare it with a Bible translated in that language.
  • Pray: Use the verses you’re memorizing as a spring-board for your family prayers. We are to pray in God’s will, and we know when we pray His word back to Him that is exactly what we’re doing!
  • Apply: Don’t be mere hearers of the Word. By God’s grace, apply the verses you’re memorizing throughout the day in your actions.

Amy Sloan and her husband, John, are second-generation homeschoolers to five children, adventuring together in NC as they pursue a restfully-classical education. If you hang out with Amy for any length of time, you’ll quickly learn that she loves overflowing book stacks, giant mugs of coffee, beautiful memory work, and silly memes. Amy writes at HumilityandDoxology.com (where this article first appeared) and hosts the “Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology” podcast. Find Amy @HumilityandDoxology on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.