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Children's Memory Work--Some Answers from Mama       Maria #222       DO 2934       Compiled May 94
--By Maria

       1. Question: What are the most important projects for the children to do for memory work?
       2. Answer from Mama: "I suggest that for memory work for our kids, we put the Memory Book song tapes (Songs of Life Collection) first & say, 'This is the first requirement, memorise these.'--Maybe not for the little tiniest kids, but at an age where they can sing along & get the whole thing.
       3. "Kids can learn longer verses--and a lot more verses--if we start them with the Memory Book Song Tapes & just let them listen to those at naptime & memory time, & teach them to sing along with them. Instead of taking half-an-hour to teach your 6-year-olds two or three verses, by sitting there drilling them over & over, just use the Tapes instead & sing along with them! Dance & raise your hands & jump around, & they'll learn the verses quickly! It's good exercise, too! They can understand the words, & if they can't, you can put any words they don't understand on the whiteboard or the blackboard & explain them. You should also make sure they're not singing words like 'cross-eyed bear' when it's 'cross I'd bear.' (Fam: Or 'the rat of God biteth on him,' instead of 'the wrath of God abideth on him!') The teachers should explain & make sure that the kids know the words & what's being said, & understand what the verse means & how to apply it."
       4. ({\ul \i Note}: In the "Word Curriculum," the verses from the first five Songs of Life Tapes [EDITED: "Memory Book Song Tapes"] are listed as the 5- & 6-year-olds' main memory project. Children younger than 5 years old can concentrate on the "Feed My Lambs" verses & "Baby & Toddler Verses & Quotes" as their main memory projects. If children under 5 listen to these Tapes often, then when they turn 5 it will be much easier & quicker for them to memorise the verses, since they will already be very familiar with them. They might even have a lot of the verses completely memorised already.)

       5. Question: What about memorising a lot of different chapters? Should we encourage large-scale chapter memorisation as a way to get them to learn a large quantity of Word?
       6. Answer from Mama: "I think the quality of the verses they memorise is more important than the quantity. I realise that in "Techi's Life Story" Sara suggested memorising chapters, & even mentioned that they had memorised Genesis 1. But now, in further considering & praying about it, & knowing how very busy our children are, & how many more meaningful verses there are for the children to memorise, I don't think they need to memorise all those verses about which day God created the fish & which day He created the trees & the grass & the sun & the moon & the stars. If they need it for a class on Creation, they can just get their Bible out & refer to it & show it to whomever they're teaching the class to.
       7. "I feel that if there wasn't anything more important for them to memorise, then yes, we could let them memorise that. It's a good story & an important story, & it's probably interesting to kids. But when there are so many other more important verses for them to memorise, not only for witnessing purposes, but for their own spiritual edification, encouragement, instruction & comfort, why should they be spending all that time memorising verses word for word about the first week of Creation? I just don't think that it's all that relevant or important that our kids memorise those verses, if they know the story in general & the point of the story. Dad has done some terrific classes on Genesis for the children, but he doesn't demand that the kids memorise those chapters word for word. Later, if they need to recall the details, they can just remember which chapter it is & look it up!
       8. "Memorising those kinds of things can sort of pit one child against the other, competing to see who's the smartest person.--And I'm afraid it can easily go to the heads of some of our dear kids who are better at memory work than others, those who can quote all these long story chapters on & on & on. Maybe some of our parents want to use it to show the public how gifted their children are in memorising the Bible, so they can proudly put their little kids up on the stage & say, 'Look what we've accomplished!' But I don't know if it's important enough to make our kids go through all that gruelling work just to show'm off, or to have them show off one against the other, in competition.
       9. "I think there are so many other more important things to memorise than those long story chapters like Genesis 1. And just because chapters may be easier to learn than individual verses is not a good enough reason to have our kids learning so many chapters when they should be learning more meaningful & useful verses! Maybe they can't learn as many independent verses as they can if they learn groups of verses in chapters, but the point is not how many verses you learn, the point is which verses you learn! Whether it's easier to learn chapters or verses is not the point. We're not just trying to do things that are easier. We're trying to do things that are going to help our people, build their faith & their foundation & strengthen them, encourage them, instruct them, warn them!--Not just tell'm a story! Whether they memorise any stories from the Bible or not, it's important that they learn the instructional verses, verses on Salvation, the Holy Spirit, healing, witnessing, protection, comfort, pride, jealousy, etc. Memorising those verses is going to do them a lot more good & give them the encouragement, edification, warning, conviction & power they need!
       10. "I don't mind people learning chapters. I think it's good to learn some chapters.--Like Dad has talked about in "Hiding the Word in Your Heart" (ML #1062, DB3). It's wonderful to be able to review a whole chapter for your encouragement & edification in times of trial.--Especially some of the real key chapters like Psalm 23, Psalm 27, Psalm 91, John 15, 1Corinthians 13, etc. I would recommend for any of our kids or adults who have not learned those chapters, that they just learn them from our Scripture songs, if those particular chapters have already been recorded. I know that the songs don't usually include all the verses, but you don't always have to worry about learning all the verses & everything perfectly in those chapters. Just learn the main verses from the chapters which are on the song Tapes. It's the quickest, easiest, fastest way, & the way you're going to retain it the best. For example, you don't have to learn every verse from Psalm 91. Just learn the ones that are in the two songs & you'll do fine! (Psalm 91 songs from the "Fear Not" Tape: "It Shall Not Come Nigh Thee" & "Therefore Will I Deliver Him".)
       11. ({\ul \i Note}: After receiving this answer from Mama, the list of chapters to memorise which had originally been considered for this "Word Curriculum" was greatly reduced.--And an entirely {\ul \i new} additional category for chapters was created!--The {\ul \i Familiarisation Chapters & Passages}! [EDITED: "See page 5 of "The Word Curriculum Student Record Booklet.""] A lot of these are key chapters that many of us have committed to memory. But rather than putting the doorknob too high by insisting that our {\ul \i kids} memorise all these chapters, we have not listed them as "Memory Chapters" but instead as "Familiarisation Chapters & Passages." That is, these chapters should at least be {\ul \i taught} & explained to the kids so that they are {\ul \i familiar} with them. And if a child or JETT or teen [EDITED: "or adult for that matter"] has already successfully memorised the individual verses & chapters from the memory work section, & they desire to commit {\ul \i more} Scripture to memory, then some of these tried-and-proven entries in the "Familiarisation Chapters & Passages" list could be considered.)

       12. Question: Should the children memorise the quotes from The Memory Book? Perhaps it is better for them to concentrate just on the Bible verses?
       13. Answer from Mama: "Personally, I think the quotes would be quite easy for the children to learn because they are written in simple language, & because they talk about things that are on the children's level. The quotes also use terms that the children can understand more easily than the terminology of the Bible. For example, one quote on the Holy Spirit says, 'The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an overflowing Baptism of Love!--Love for the lost, love enough to witness, love enough to win others to the Lord!' That explains specifically what the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is; whereas it would be more difficult to explain to the children exactly what it is by using only Bible verses. The instructions or the counsel in the quotes is so simple that a small child can understand it; whereas the Bible verses are much more complicated, not only because the language of the Bible is different than the language they hear all around them daily, but also because it is more adult.
       14. "Now, of course, when we are witnessing, it's preferable to use the Bible verses, because that's what other people will recognise as the Word of God, but witnessing is a different story. I think the quotes are much more useful for the children's personal instruction. And also, knowing it is straight from Grandpa, whom they can see in the Grandpa stories, makes it probably more special & more relatable to them.
       15. "I believe we've got a winning combination with both the Bible verses & the MO quotes, & I think it will be advantageous for the children to memorise the quotes. We adults who have been in the Family for years who are so familiar with the Letters & we know them so well, have gone far beyond needing to memorise those simple little quotes. We understand the principles & we don't need a "handle" anymore; we've grasped the entire concept. We can put things in our own words now. We can paraphrase it or say it however we wish & still get the point across effectively & accurately. We are so full of the Word, but for the children it is an entirely different story, & who knows how far they're going to get with their study of the Letters? There is so little time that these key quotes can almost be like an emergency shortcut to learning major spiritual lessons. So I believe that it is very important to give them this little basic foundation with these key quotes that are so simple I don't think they'll ever forget them."
       (End of Mama's answers on memory work.)

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