the best habit I’ve developed this year

Quick: what is the most useful habit you have developed this year?

No seriously, what comes to mind, anything?

If so, please share with me in the comments below because I am going to give you mine and it’s really good!

The life altering habit that I am going to share with you should take less than an hour to put in place and less than 5 min a day to implement. However, the pay off is huge! Ready to find out what it is? Let’s go. . .

Scripture memorization (or memorization of any kind) can be difficult and tedious unless you have a plan in place and approach it from a perspective of slow and steady winning the race. Here is the most pain-free method to memorize that I’ve found:

My 7 year old listening to his playlist

Several months ago I started creating playlists on my computer that contained a chapter of the Bible that I wanted my kids to learn (we started with “the love chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13), a poem (we were currently learning about Emily Dickinson so I picked “Hope is the thing with feathers”) and a track that put skip counting to music. I purchased an iPod shuffle off of eBay for around $10 and loaded my playlist onto it. Then, once a day my kids started listening to the playlist with headphones. Just once through each day. Once through. Something magical happened. Over the course of the next few weeks the words dripped from their ears into their hearts and they had it memorized. Once they were able to recite to me what they had been listening to, we swapped out the playlist for a new one.

Every few months we review to keep what they have learned fresh in their minds. For the first few months this routine was in place for my older kids (12 and 10). It was working so well for them that I decided to incorporate my younger two (5 and 7). Surprisingly, their little minds absorbed the information in about 1/2 the time of their older siblings. I’ve been so blessed to hear them quote long chunks of scripture back to me that I’ve begun adding it into my routine as well. My oldest son has just begun working on the last (5th) chapter of the book of James and my daughter is just finishing up the 3rd chapter of James. What a thrill it will be for them to have an entire book of the bible tucked into their hearts and what an amazing habit to develop now. I keep telling my kids, “Just think how much scripture you could memorize over the course of your life if you continue this habit!”

See this in action:
If you’d like to get a taste for the fun blessing of listening to a little voice quote 1 Cor 13, click here or on the video below and skip to 4 minutes and 36 seconds to hear my youngest recite. If you decide to give this memorization method a try, I’d love to hear how it works for you!

In this video you can see my 8 year old quoting James chapter 1 (ESV) after just over a month of listening.

Step-by-step info:
If you would like to get more nitty-gritty details on how to implement this, my friend Katrina did a three-part memorization workshop video which you can see here on YouTube by clicking on the following links:
Part one
Part two
Part three

Learn the book of James or Jude via mnemonics:
While making my video today, I came across another resource that looked really great. Someone has taken the time to create a YouTube video for each verse of the book of James and Jude (via the King James Version) using mnemonics. What a huge undertaking! I could easily see how watching these videos one at a time until memorized could help kids learn (especially for those who learn in a more visual way rather than auditory). Here is a link to the YouTube channel where you can find these verses.

Some of my favorite audio resources for my playlists (affiliate links included):
ESV audio dramatized Old Testament (free download through Amazon)
ESV audio dramatized New Testament (free download through Amazon)
The Corner Room (ESV word for word songs from the books of Psalms)
Seeds Family Worship (fun songs using word for word scripture)
KJV audio dramatized Old Testament (free download through Amazon)
KJV audio dramatized New Testament (free download through Amazon)

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