My nine-year-old was two years old when he began learning scripture. I'm not kidding. He was two. I had decided to memorize Psalm 91 just for myself when my baby was toddling around. Every morning over our breakfast together, I would read and recite the verses in this Psalm. Then throughout the day, I would quote as much as I could back to myself.
It was nearly Thanksgiving when I was either dusting or vacuuming the dining room and trying to remember my Psalm. I was stuck and kept repeating the same verse, trying to get my brain to remember the next one. My little McLane, who was playing nearby began quoting the next verse for me. I was thunderstruck! I looked down at him and said, "What did you say?" He, very easily, began to recite Psalm 91.
It was never my intent to fill his little heart with scripture. I was learning myself. I had never placed a lot of importance on scripture memorization. I had a few random verses in my heart from childhood, but mostly as I grew-up I memorized enough to get the prize or reward being offered and then forgot it.
At two, however, my little guy began his adventure with scripture memorization. By the time he was five, we had at least 25 verses memorized. There was never any pushing, we would just recite the verse over breakfast. Sometimes we would say them as we were playing or later in the day, but mostly we only recited them at breakfast. And he learned them...oh my how he learned them. His brother is just as quick to learn scripture as well. And they both memorized their poetry in the same fasion, quickly and accurately. We learn poetry the same way, we recite it each morning over breakfast.
Last year, our church began a plan of scripture memory. One verse or a series of verses is listed in the weekly bulletin and every Sunday we recite the verses as a church. The children must quote the verses from memory to one particular couple in the church. If they've memorized each verse at the end of six months, they receive a prize in June. If they memorize all the verses for the year, they receive a much larger prize in January. Last year, our Walker T. was the youngest child to receive recognition for memorizing all the verses. I'm sure some must think I drill and drill the boys, but I don't. We quote them over breakfast...that's it!
Since the church began it's scripture memory program, I've set aside our own verses. BUT I just read about Simply Charlotte Mason's plan for scripture memory. Check it out here: http://simplycharlottemason.com/progress/index.php/cm-time-savers/scripture-memory-system/
I'm going to be dusting off our old list of memory verses and begining a new program with our new school year. I'm so excited to be planning a full program of heart-hiding.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.
These are the verses that we memorized during the fist several years of their young lives. Maybe they would be a good starting place for you!
I John 4:18
I Corinthians 14:40
I Corinthians 10:31