A few thoughts about that video

I had several thoughts in my mind when I decided to post the video. First of all, of course I am proud of my adorable little one. It is so much fun to listen to how much she learned and how she says words. I thought others would smile to see her too.

But I’ve gotten the feel from some of the comments that people are seeing my daughter’s memory as something unusual, not replicable by the ‘average’ kid. No. My kid is not a prodigy. She’s a smart, with-it little kid, but not abnormally so. I would venture to guess that at least 80% of kids her age could learn that verse just as well — some even better than she has– in the time that we’ve spent.

That’s really what I wanted to show– that Bible memory IS possible for normal kids, even very young ones.

And don’t think I’m some great person for doing this with my kids. I have been a mom for going on 21 years, and we did not get started on extensive Bible memory til THIS year. That thought actually makes my heart sad, to realize that I wasted precious years with my big kids. Yes, they learned about Jesus, and yes they did memorization here and there. But not to their full potential.

So when you’re watching that video of my little one, please don’t see a prideful spirit. Along with happiness over her accomplishment, I also feel a deep regret that I was not wise enough to give the same gift to my older children.

Of course God can and does work in my big kids’ lives in many other ways. I know that plenty of good stuff made it into their hearts, and I know that they love and trust God with their lives. They can choose to commit the Bible to memory as adults.

But in this one area, I wish I had been wiser from the start. So I’m here telling you– be smarter than I was– fill your little ones’ hearts with the Word. And don’t underestimate their ability.

{ 22 Comments }

  1. Amen, Mary!! I think we totally underestimate what our kids are capable of!

    I’ve been guilty of dropping the ball and being inconsistant with our girls and scripture memory….it has worked best when it’s part of a good routine.

    When my girls were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade, I used our drive to school every morning to work on Ps. 63 with them. In just a few months, they had the entire chapter memorized by just practicing for 3-4 minutes every morning.

    Thanks for the reminder – – I need to get back to that!

  2. I think it was beautiful. It drew my 6 yo into the room to listen. Kids are sponges. They soak up everything! How wonderful to give them something worth remembering rather than TV jingles!

    It’s like my older kids and my younger ones are part of 2 different families. Some things we used to do have fallen away because we’re so busy with teens. I try really hard to keep things fresh and find new ways to inspire my young ones because they are so influenced by the negative things the teens bring into the house. Not that they’re bad kids, just that they’re out there in the world while the younger 3 are still homeschooled.

  3. I wish I too had done this when mine were young, but as you say, thery can choose to do that now that they are adults. And you are so right about the ability of children! We tend to under-estiomate them in big ways!

  4. I”m not a mom, but I love your blog. It’s been on my google reader since right after the election and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your authenticity and humor and love for your husband and children, and mostly your desire to do all that to the glory of the LORD (on a good day or a bad day 🙂 ) . It’s really So encouraging.
    thanx!

  5. Oh, Mary, I didn’t see prideful at all. I saw a gentle reminder to all of us about what is possible for our children. Thank you for posting it.

  6. You are so right! I’ve found my 3 and 5 yo’s are perfectly capable of learning good chunks of Scripture. We have been working on an abc’s Bible verse poster, and it’s obvious that if I were more consistent with practice and encouragement, they could easily recite all 26 verses, not just in order but randomly. At 3, my oldest had ps 23 and ps 1 memorized, whole. Again, it is my fault that we didn’t keep practicing and keep it up.

  7. I didn’t take your post as anything but a Mommy proud of her baby girl’s ability to memorize her verses. Not prideful and boasting. I sometimes fall prey to the thought that my 7 year old is too young to do certain things, only to find out she has the ability and I wish I had done something with her sooner. I am now feeling the same way as you as far as Bible memorization. Why am I only just starting this now?

  8. One thing that really helped us get serious was to keep the laminated verses in the middle of the dining room table. This helps me remember to run through them every meal. If we aren’t rushed, we’ll do it a couple times. Sometimes we totally forget. But on average, we go through the verse 2-3 times a day, just by keeping them close by and aiming to review them each mealtime.

  9. Those are such wise words, for us to not underestimate our children’s abilities!

  10. Yes, but the one thing with motherhood is that you’re always learning yourself. There will always be sadness and regrets over things that with hindsight you wish you had done, but the best thing to do is to learn, accept and move on to the things you can do now.

    Tania

  11. Thanks, Mary! I was wondering how you worked through this passage with her, to help her memorize it? Just reading it over and over, or is there some technique that helps it “stick” a bit better?

  12. Okay..I love your blog. I could not play the video but thought the idea was great. I am inspired by this memorization thing. Actually, my dd came up to me with a pooh ornament book. She had memorized the few lines in it, much to her brothers amazement. I told her about your dd, and we talked about it and decided to work on the christmas story. We only started today and I wrote out one verse on a note card that we stuck on our door. We still have much more to work on. I think kids can do this much easier than adults. Dd had to memorize huge lines for programs at church when she was younger. She did very wonderfully. And I have high hopes to get them to memorize bible verses. So I am very thankful to you for bringing this up and think it is very cool. 🙂

  13. ET-
    ALL we did was say it all together as a family once or twice a meal for about 3 weeks. That’s it.

  14. I didn’t see prideful at all. Nor did I think “this is unattainable”. Instead, I was inspired to do this with my chidlren.

    (hugs)

  15. Mary, you’re being too hard on yourself! Praise the Lord that you’re teaching your kids now. Enjoy the present, don’t regret the past.

    Thanks for being an inspiration to the rest of us!

  16. Our children were memorizing by the time they were 2. We had them in AWANA and very early they learned. I think what is amazing to me is not many people think they can learn! I would read to my kids,and do to my granddaughter that I watch. I started early, like when they were tiny. It is not long before they are finishing the book and “reading” it with or for you. They memorize it. Mine were doing this before 2 and so are 2 of my granddaughters. Memorizing! Or the cartoon they have seen over and over and know what is happening next. Memory!

    When the church I was in first started AWANA there were parents who thought we were nuts starting kids at 2, but by the end of the year these kids had so many verses down it was unbelievable.

    I want to praise you for teaching her, it is a blessing to my heart to see a young one hiding the Word in her heart.

  17. So, how exactly did you do it? Just reading it at mealtime doesn’t sound like that was it, was it?
    AND thank you for this follow up post. I am going through a time of really beating myself up and this was an encouragement to me.

  18. Ok, I took the time to read the other comments and saw that you had responded to my Q already. Wow! That’s amazing to me that it was only at mealtime. Time to pick out some Scripture.
    Oh, can she read?? My first two kiddos read at 4, but #4 is 5 and is not ready yet.

  19. I started quoting my memory verses to my kids at bed time to help me memorize. Soon my 3 1/2 yr old was prompting and correcting me! It wasn’t long before she memorized the entire chapters of Psalm 103 and 139. Both chapters are over 20 verses long. It was then I realized the incredible brain of a young child. I suddenly felt a huge urgency to teach them as much Scripture as possible. Since that time we have continued to memorize large chapters of verses together. Most recently part of Psalm 119, Phil. 2 and Psalm 100. We are now working on Luke 2. The hard part is going back and reviewing. It’s been almost two years, and neither myself nor my daughter can say those Psalms from memory, though they are very familiar.

    My kids aren’t gifted either, just normal kids with minds like sponges. Like you I want my kids to soak up the Word of God as well. I think too often people underestimate the mind of a child.

    Great job mom!

  20. Well put! People totally underestimate their children. My 1 and a half year old son can’t recite bible verses yet (we haven’t tried), but he can tell you names of shapes and colors and a few letters by site. He can also tell you how many sides each shape has without counting outloud. Friends and family always mention how extra smart he is. He’s not “extra smart” for his age. He just has opportunity to learn and knows that we are proud of him and challenge him. Kids have wonderful potential to show how capable they are. Parent’s just need to challenge them and guide them. Good for you.

  21. Thank you for being real and realistic. I appreciate reading about an honestly normal family that has a normal mom. Often when reading blogs I can get caught up in what everyone else is doing and how I lack or my kiddos lack. It is so important to know that we all have to work and grow at being moms. I appreciate that there are many years to practice. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  22. I completely agree! I find it strange that people find this so unusual, but don’t find it unusual for small children to know the words to their favorite shows, books, or songs on the radio. I can’t wait to try this with my two boys 3 and 7. The oldest can tell you about lots of bible stories because he reads his bible over and over, but he doesn’t have any verses memorized yet.

    It would be great practice for me too, as I’d love to have more scripture stored away too. =)