Memorizing Scripture Isn’t a Priority in Our Homeschool

I know. You’re probably thinking, “What is this heathen rambling on about now? Memorizing Scripture isn’t important to her!?”

Hear me out.

Memorizing Scripture is, in fact, very important to me. And we know that the Bible talks to us over and over again about the importance of knowing God’s Word. It’s our Sword, afterall, so yeah, pretty important.

So, yes, we do assign Scripture verses for our son to memorize every week. I’m even having him memorize them in English and Spanish. And while we want him to work hard to learn them, it’s not what’s most important to us.

The other night when my son was saying his prayers before bed, he asked God to help him not worry so much about things, like being afraid of the dark and other things. And as he prayed for this, he said, “Help me turn my cares over to You like that verse tells me to.”

We had been working on memorizing 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.” He had learned the verse in English fairly quick, but we were spending quite a bit of time trying to memorize it in Spanish.

When it is taking more time than I had planned for him to learn the memory verse, it can get frustrating for me, I admit. But when I heard my son’s prayer that night, it was a great reminder of what’s most important.

I realized that my son might not be able to quote the verse just right yet, but he had accomplished something more important: He had captured its meaning and how to apply it to his 7-year old life.

Every time we embark on learning a new verse, we discuss it. We talk about what it means, not just what it says. We ask questions and we really familiarize ourselves with each verse. We could have the talent of memorizing 100 Scriptures this school year, but what good is that if we don’t have any understanding of any of it?

And isn’t this concept one of the EXACT reasons so many of us choose to homeschool anyway? We often choose homeschool over “normal” school because we don’t want our kids to just memorize enough to pass a standardized test and then forget everything after the test. We want them to be able to study something in depth, to really learn the ins-and-outs. So why abandon that desire when studying Scripture? Isn’t that even more important in this area?

I don’t want my son to be memorizing Scripture just to check something off our list. What I’m tryingt to lead him to is a deeper relationship with Christ. I don’t want to teach him to just go through the motions. I want to help cultivate an environment for my son that fosters connection with God. I want him to learn who God is. And one of the best ways we’re going to have any hope of accomplishing this is to study His Word. To dwell on it and soak in it and learn it well. To inscribe it on the walls of our hearts.

It’s easy to get distracted by the quantity at the sacrifice of the quality, but this was a great reminder to dig into these verses this year and stay as long as needed.

If that means he only accomplishes memorizing 1 verse a month, I don’t care. Because at the end of it all, I don’t want my son to just be able to carry his Sword. I want him to be able to use it and use it well.