July 2009 Mega Memory Month has only barely begun. In fact, it’s been less than a week since the kick-off.
So I assume that today’s progress reports will be modest.
Also, feel free to invite others to jump in, because there’s still plenty of time to accomplish our goals.
Here’s the Mr. Linky to connect your progress report to this master list. If I have time, I’ll swing back by and edit the post to make them more prominent. Non-bloggers and those who don’t want to dedicate an entire post to memory work, feel free to offer your progress report in the comments.
Ann’s Progress Report #1Did I bite off more than I can chew?My mega selection is:
- “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost
- Philippians 2:1-11
- Psalm 121
- Psalm 145
I fear I may have taken on too much.On the other hand, I was somewhat familiar with the Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken,” so piecing together all those familiar fragments wasn’t too bad. In fact, it came together so quickly, I might be able to type it out right now. I think I’ll try (corrections crossed off or added in red):”The Road Not Taken”by Robert FrostTwo roads diverged in a yellow wood;,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth.;Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that, the passing thereHad worn them really about the same.,And bBoth that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh!, I saved kept the first for another day;!Though ,Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted I should ever get come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I;—I took the one less traveled byAnd that has made all the difference.Okay. Not so bad.Philippians 1:1-11 is also a familiar passage. I wanted to truly memorize it, because I can only pull up snippets from my mental files. So I tore off the first few verses from the paper I’d printed off and took that scrap with me this morning on my jog. It got pretty wrinkled and a little smeary from sweat, but I think I’m close to having the first section down. I’ll try typing out Philippians 2:1-4:
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you must should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Hey, I did better than this afternoon, when I recited it to my daughter and flubbed a section.Here are some random thoughts on memory work:
- It’s great to have family support. My ideal would be for us to work on a passage together, but the next best thing has been to have them patiently and happily check my progress, encouraging me along the way.
- It has been an advantage to select a poem and some passages that are somewhat familiar already.
- I’m not generally effective at multi-tasking, but I have to say that memorizing while jogging worked well. It was a little bit awkward to unroll the paper and read it while in motion, but the repetition helped a lot. In fact, having a little project to work on may have helped pass the time.
- Memorization Tips and Techniques. Check out this collection of helpful methods for memory work. Actually, let me paste them in here for easy access. See below.
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.
- (NEW!) Practice while exercising. This works for most repetitive exercise except, if you’re holding a note card or paper, swimming. If it’s already in your head, however, reviewing the words as you move can work even while in the water. I find that the repetitive nature of the activity actually marries well with the memory process. Plus, it helps pass the time.
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.
Let us know how it’s going. It helps to know that we’re not alone in this undertaking.And remember:Our minds can hold more than we think they can.
(much smaller alternative button)
Join Mega Memory Month for the month of July!