To provide a little accountability and encouragement throughout Mega Memory Month, I’m providing weekly checkpoints–Progress Reports–where you can drop in, link in, and check in with others who have taken the same memory challenge. Progress Reports will be on Mondays.This is the first one.It’s not even been a full week, so I can’t imagine we’ve made a lot of progress. I managed to find my original pack of 3×5 cards I created in October for the first MMM and reviewed them while exercising on a stair-climber. And I printed out the Frost poem. That’s about it.The Boy (my 7-year-old son) knows all about MMM and my John 14 undertaking. This evening, he turned the page of his AWANA book and started reading the verse.”Mama! Mama! Listen to this! ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.’ It’s the same as yours!”So in a lovely turn of events, The Boy and I will be working on at least the beginning of John 14 together–it should come fairly easily to him, however, since I recited it two hundred twenty-seven thousand times in October the first time I worked on it.How about you?What’s your progress so far?
If you’re still looking for ideas on how to plug those words into your head, here’s a collection of memorization tips and techniques that I’ve updated from an earlier post:Online Articles & Resources:
- At a site called Productivity 501, I found an article called How to Memorize Verbatim Text. It has a simple online tool you can use to help reinforce what you’re working on. The author uses the Gettysburg Address to illustrate his technique.
- Memorizing Techniques that cleverly uses a mneumonic device to present its suggestions: CAMP!
- A tip from a website called Remember Anything: Read out loud and write it out (see the site for more details).
- An eHow 8 step article about how to memorize Scripture.
- A long list of Scripture memory tips and suggestions.
- Ann V. described and photographed some of her memorization methods here.
- Stretch Mark Mama wrote about her basic index-card-propped-on-the-kitchen-table method.
Kroeker-Generated Suggestions:Here are a few memorization techniques that have worked for our family (a repeat from an earlier post included for consolidation purposes):
- Record someone reading your selection (then listen to it…lots). I once wrote about using my MP3 microphone for verbal note taking. Record someone else reading the passage out loud (we usually hate our own voices when played back, don’t we? So have someone else do it), and then put it on your play list to listen to over and over.
- Song. Set it to song or at least a rhythm, and it sticks pretty well. We have to get creative with Scripture, because some translations don’t have all that much rhythm to them. We’ve also applied this to skip counting for math. And can’t most of us remember our conjunctions thanks to Schoolhouse Rock (”Conjunction junction, what’s your function…”)? Anyway, I try to find some beat to the verse and say it that way. It helps.
- Hand motions. Get all the senses involved and take in those words every way possible. We come up with hand symbols for God, Jesus, salvation, and other basic words like “all” and “world.” If you actually know American Sign Language, all the better. We don’t, so we just invent motions. They can recall the signs and bam! The words follow.
- Pictures. For complicated verses, I’ve drawn little pictures to accompany the phrases. This helped the daughter who scoffed at my overblown hand motions and dance steps. She preferred the more civilized method of memorizing pictures to remember the flow of words.
- Key words. If they remember the first word of a phrase that represents a shift in the verse, then often the rest of the words will tumble out automatically. So as we repeat it out loud, we emphasize the key words with exaggerated volume. I probably raise my eyebrows and open my mouth like a clown when I say them, too. I can’t help it. I’ve got Elasti-Face. Might as well use it for good.
- Write it out. Okay, now these are the simple, low-tech, basic ideas coming out. Write it out lots of times, and it’ll enter the brain through another avenue.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. This is such an obvious one, but it bears repeating (sorry). But, well, that’s what we do. We go over and over the verse (out loud) until it’s drummed in there. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it in your pocket, or tape it to your cell phone and make yourself say it as you reach in your pocket for something or before making a call.
Ideas Submitted by Readers:
- Denise said that she sings along with Scripture memory CDs (I also thought of those “Hide ‘Em in Your Heart” Steve Green videos for kids). And she has her children write memory verses as part of their handwriting.
- Recommended by Joni: His Word in My Heart by Janet Pope “offers one of the best techniques and explanations for the benefits to memorizing.” Pope’s method helped her memorize longer texts such as the Sermon on the Mount by just doing a verse a day and then reviewing them, using index cards.
- Katrina described what worked for her kids–recording and reading it.
- Helen’s final celebration post details her step-by-step method and displays a colorful, creative, poster-sized final product. I was inspired.
- Ruth provided this helpful link to a website dedicated to helping people memorize Scripture.
- Amy explains how she tackles memorization (with long-term retention success) and links to a pdf article with helpful Scripture memory motivation and tips.