Memory skills are both biological and experiential. In other words, you can be born with good or poor memory skills, but you can also learn to use them to their maximum.
Memory skills are very important to your child’s future academic success, so spend time helping them improve them. Here’s how:
Memorize with your child
Few things are as boring as memorizing alone. That’s why, even though I have strong memorization skills, I studied anatomy and physiology with friends in college.
Learn memory tactics
The book, How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week: 52 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Memory Skills, teaches multiple approaches to memorizing, one of which is sure to appeal to your child.
Harness the power of competition
The popular Bible Bee succeeds in getting children to memorize large portions of Scripture because of the competitive aspect of the activity. When the kids and I worked through the activities in How to Develop a Brilliant Memory, comparisons were naturally made, though I didn’t encourage them. While it resulted in some tears, it also motivated my kids to improve their skills. If competition doesn’t work for your family, offer a reward. That’s why competition works anyway; the reward is the placing and admiration you receive. My son memorized all the countries in Europe alphabetically to get a sweet treat and to get the appreciation of his peers.
Put it all together
Here is how we memorize in our family. We review together thoroughly and then give individuals who want one an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge. The kids honestly “fight” for the right to do this. We memorize Bible books and Word Roots (using English from the Roots Up Flashcards, Vol. 1) this way and we plan to memorize many facts together next fall using Classical Conversations.
What has helped your children commit things to memory?
Memorizing Scripture is important to me and to our homeschooling because it makes us less prone to sin, more likely to think the way God does, and better equipped to witness to our faith.
Other Bible Memory Approaches Didn’t Work for Me
My oldest was a preschooler when I started using Bible memory books with him. I was angry with myself for struggling to memorize Scripture with them, but I had a couple problems. First, the memory verses weren’t written in the Bible version I was accustomed to. Second, the books didn’t give me any other memory aids to help me learn the verses. Once the books were closed, the verses were quickly forgotten.
What is Memlok?
Years ago, I started a search for a means of memorizing Scripture that really worked. I looked up every form of software available, because I was convinced that the computer could help me and my children learn the Word the best. I found and began using Memlok, the only Scripture memory program that uses word pictures to help you remember verses.
The pictures were often humorous which meant that emotion aided the retention of the verses. Memlok, then and now, is a computer program (using more than one Bible version) that designed for one user at a time. As I had young children, I chose to print out business-card size flash cards that the kids and I reviewed, rather than use the program on the computer.
When my family grew, the cards were too small to see. I printed the cards out onto 8.5×11 card stock and we memorized them together that way. I posted the newest card in the kitchen where we could see it frequently. We repeated the verses together as a family and then I asked individual kids to say them, too. The real beauty of Memlok is the built-in review system that will help you remember verses forever! I kept the verses in hanging files based on when they were to be reviewed.
How I Use Memlok Today
Memlok has grown and changed just like my family. Today, I use Memlok’s computer review system on my laptop computer that is connected to our big screen TV. My kids enjoy using the new review options together (like clicking words to fill in the blank). I look forward to using the new option of creating your own pictures for additional verses I want to memorize. This means that Memlok can now easily be used in conjunction with any Scripture memory plan. Does your curriculum call for memorizing certain verses? Are your kids in Awana? Memlok is a great tool for learning those verses by heart.
I spoke with the owner of the program, Drake Mariani, by phone and he encouraged me to let my older students memorize on their own using the new mobile option for their ipods. Yep, the owner called me to talk about how I was using his program in my homeschool. Although memorizing together has worked well for us, I think independent learning is a good option, too.
Memlok is just $29.95, which includes use on any computers in your household. I have received nothing in exchange for this review. I just love Memlok and I love having committed many Scriptures to memory with my children.
What’s worked for you and your kids in memorizing Scripture?