Letters to My Kids

The One with Memory Techniques

In reference to my post about memorizing quotes from John
and in response to a couple friends’ inquiries, 
I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some memorizing techniques.
You know, in case YOU decide to take the Psalm 119:11 challenge seriously. 
I’m hoping many adults in our congregation will join us.
Because seeing a quizzing/quote competition between the teens and the adults would just be epic. 
I get all giddy just thinking about it. 
There are so many possible techniques for helping YOU memorize verses 
(or anything for that matter).
These are options I have found helpful.
Maybe some of you will too.
Quote cards
I like to write down the verse on a notecard. 
With the reference on the back. 
I have a thick stack of these with each John quote written on them.
They are clamped together and they go everywhere with me.
I keep them in my purse for opportune memorizing or reviewing moments.
Sitting in a waiting room.
Working on mindless tasks–
like cutting scrap paper into small squares for notepads.
(Not that I’m the least bit obsessed with making use of every piece of scrap paper or anything.) 
Taking a walk. 
The walk thing is probably my favorite memorizing technique.
I probably look like a crazy person when I’m on such a walk, but I just pretend that no one sees me. 
Here’s what I do. 
With notecards in hand, I set off on a road less traveled. 
You know, because I like to avoid stares. 
Then I quote the verses out loud.
Be sure to quote the reference along with the verse.
That is, I believe, the trickiest part of Bible memory–
connecting the reference (i.e. John 1:1-2) to the verse. 
Though it may be challenging and seem somewhat unnecessary, this is an essential part of the quote verse process.
Because if you don’t know where to find the verse and you need to show it to someone, you will have hunt through thousands of pages to find it.
Not really the simplest way.
But if the verse AND reference are a so much a part of your mind that they cannot be separated, then you have truly hidden God’s Word in your heart 
and it can be retrieved in any moment of need.
For comfort. 
For battling temptation (as Jesus did in the desert.)
For giving proof of the Gospel.
For knowing the Truth that sets us free.
I think I’m a combination learner–
This is why the walking works so well.
I’m physically moving, keeping my brain active and engaged.
I’m saying the words out loud, meaning I’m hearing the verse to be memorized.
I’m reading the words on the page, meaning I’ll locking the appearance of the words into my mind.
So days later I can recall what the verse sounds like, what it looks like, and even what it feels like.
And leads me to my final point.
There is evidently a “Rule of 7” for learning.
It takes seven concentrated efforts to move knowledge from short term to long term memory. 
This means after I have initially memorized a verse I must make it a goal to review that verse at least once in the next six days. 
When I’m finally to the point when the verse just flies off my tongue at moment’s notice, I know it’s stuck.
But I keep reviewing these each week.
I don’t want to lose it!
works for me wednesday at we are that family

2 thoughts on “The One with Memory Techniques

  1. I´ve come up with a memorizing technique recently that has been quite effective for me. I write a new verse each week on the bathroom mirror with dry erase markers. Every single time I go in or out of the bathroom, I read the verse out loud, reading it or not, depending on how well I have it memorized. If you are anything like me, your bathroom visits during a day really start to add up, helping the memorizing go very quickly!

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