Memory work is an important part of Hampton Lutheran’s curriculum. Each week, kindergarten through sixth grade students memorize important Bible verses, prayers, or sections from Luther’s Small Catechism.
Memorizing memory work guides kids through the Scriptures and helps them understand God’s Word. In the Bible, God calls us to read His Word and take it to heart so we can teach it to others. The memory work that your kid memorizes will become a foundation for more fruitful learning and instruction in years to come.
Committing the Bible verses, prayers, and Small Catechism sections to memory can be difficult, though. Another reason memory work is important is because it gives your kid a chance to learn how to memorize things, which comes in handy as they study for tests as they get older. Below are a few tips and tricks for memorization that might help your kid learn how to memorize.
6 Tips for Memorizing Memory Work
Try the tips below and see what method works for you kid.
1. Sing it!
Singing is a great way to memorize words. Just think about how many catchy songs are forever stuck in your head after hearing them a handful of times!
Singing Bible verses is also a good way to pray and help kids calm down and focus on talking to God in prayer.
For more popular Bible verses, you can find songs online that have already set the verse to a catchy tune. Just make sure the song is using the same translation of the Bible verse that your kid will be quizzed on so they don’t learn different words for it.
At HLS, we use Bible Bops by Angela Naeve. She has a website and does an excellent job with both children’s music and Bible verses.
On YouTube, you can find lots of Bible verse songs. Concordia Publishing House’s VBS channel features several Bible verse songs, complete with captions and actions, such as the song below.
2. Write it again and again.
If your kid learns best by reading or writing information, suggest that they sit down and write the memory work over and over again. Start by having the memory work in front of them, then after they’ve written it down a few times, have them write it on a blank sheet of paper so they have to rely on memory. Simply writing a sentence over and over is an effective way to memorize it.
3. Practice with Alexa.
If you’ve got an Amazon Echo in your home, your kids can use Concordia Publishing House’s Small Catechism app to practice memory work from Luther’s Small Catechism, like the Lord’s Prayer or the Ten Commandments. Say, “Hey Alexa, ask Small Catechism” to launch the app. You can then ask questions like, “Hey Alexa, what’s the first commandment?” and Alexa will read the text, or you can use the Memory Work feature to have Alexa quiz you on a part of the catechism.
Check out how it works in the video below!
4. Dig into the meaning.
Older kids may find it easier to memorize a verse when they know what the memory work really means. Read the Bible story or passage that the verse is in with your child and talk about what it means. Use a resource like the Lutheran Study Bible to help unpack the meaning. If the memory work is a prayer or part of Luther’s Small Catechism, use the Small Catechism to help explain the meaning to your kid.
Discussing the passage or story as a whole may help the message sink in for your kid. This makes the memory work more meaningful and familiar, and it may help it stick in your kid’s mind better.
5. Practice in the car.
This method means you’ll have to memorize the verse as well, but it can be very helpful for kids who are auditory learners. While you’re driving to school or a practice, say the memory verse out loud, then have your kid repeat it after you. Then after a few minutes, ask them to repeat the memory verse again to see if they still remember it.
This tip also works if you’re memorizing verses by singing them—the car is a great time to sing Bible verses together.
6. Break out the flash cards.
Help your kids make flashcards or use a flash card app like Tinycards to help them memorize their memory work. This is a great way for visual learners to memorize!
You can create your own flashcards on the Tinycards app. If the memory work is from Luther’s Small Catechism, you can use CPH’s premade flashcards by searching for Concordia Publishing House within the app and tapping follow; the cards will then appear in your stream.