Saturday, 20 September 2014

5 tips for making memorization fun for kids!

After a long week, I've come up with 5 tips for making memorization fun for kids. If anyone else has children like mine, this may come in handy.

memorization for kids

I've heard it said that all kids love repetition.  My kids did not get that memo.  They do not watch the same movie over and over.  They get bored of a song after they've heard it a few times.  They don't have a favourite outfit that gets worn everyday.  In fact, the only things they do repeat are the words, "I'm hungry" (about 70 billion times a day).  I should have remembered this fact about them when I decided to introduce scripture memorization.  The best way to memorize something is to repeat it.  Over and over and over.  Obviously, this went over really well with my kids.

When I first brought out the memory verse box, the kids were intrigued.  Until I dared to repeat the verse a second time.  The third time was met with stares of disbelief.  Was I really going to make them listen to it again?!  And then, I asked them to say it three times with me.  I wish you could have seen the eye roll that I got then.

Luckily, I never back down from a challenge.  I know that memorization is an important skill to have.  I know it gives the brain a good work out.  And I spent a long time making those scripture cards so we are using them!

I don't particularly like whining though and I want my kids to enjoy the things we do when home schooling.  So I came up with five strategies for making memorization more fun (for all of us).

My first tip is to get loud.  As a mother of four children, this is probably the only time you will ever hear me encouraging an increase in volume.  I suggest waiting until nap time is over and maybe leave some ear plugs in neighbours mail boxes.  Seriously though, they love this!

  • ask them to yell the passage as loud as they can
  • see who can be the loudest
  • send one person upstairs and one downstairs and see if they can hear each other say it
  • go outside and yell it 
  • play music loudly and see if they can make themselves heard over it

This one is a little more my speed!  Get them up and moving while reciting their verse or passage.  It doesn't seem as boring when your body is moving and as an added bonus, you can count it as phys ed!  

Have them recite while:
  • doing jumping jacks
  • running in place
  • doing head stands
  • jumping rope
  • bouncing a ball
  • clapping their hands
The possibilities are endless.  This is also a good opportunity to get the wiggles out if you've got a squirmy student. 

 I used to do this with my Sunday school kids every week and it is so much fun! Have them say it while acting like different animals.  My kids love being mice; making themselves really tiny and saying it in their squeakiest voice or tigers; growling it out while swiping their claws.  They also enjoy singing the verses.  I often name a tune for them to sing it to (Phantom of the Opera is my personal favourite.  Hilarious!).  Have them try it in different accents or have them make up actions to go with the words.

Games work really well in this house.  They don't have to be complex or involve any prep time either. 

  • race to see who can say it fastest
  • bounce a ball back an forth, saying the next word as you catch the ball...if someone misses, start again
  • write the passage out on paper and cut it up like a puzzle for them to reassemble
I remember in school, there was a chart displayed on the wall and for every Bible verse we memorized, another sticker was put on the chart.  That was motivation enough for me!  I worked my butt off and ended up memorizing quite a few verses that year! Of course, I am a little bit (some might say extremely) competitive so that may have been a factor too.

 You can give stickers for every verse memorized or a special treat when they've memorized a certain number of verses.  Maybe they can earn a 15 minute later bedtime or be excused from their least favourite chore (if it got me out of laundry, I'd memorize the whole Bible!). 

I'm sure every family can come up with their own reward system.

So there you have it.  My five tips for making memorization fun!  

Is memorization a part of your homeschool?  What is your strategy?

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