Here’s the flow:
- Get there early to set up
- Challenge Verse
- Start of Class
- Memory Verses
- Homework and Break
- Question Time
Okay, we’ve covered set-up and getting started with the Challenge Verse. All of that takes place before class, so let’s move on the next few steps.
Again, keep in mind that I have an hour and half with my class, so if you have less time than that, you’ll need to tweak my system.
Start of Class
I really try to start on time, but if there are only a couple of kids there, and say, the weather is bad or the material we’re about to review is difficult, I’ll give a little more time. I don’t want to leave anyone confused if I can help it, but I also don’t want the kids to think it’s okay to wander on in whenever. And if we’re being honest, it’s usually the parents who determine when they get there!
I always open class time in prayer. Nothing revolutionary there. But from time to time, I review with the kids why it’s so important to do that anytime we are going to study the Bible. It’s important because we always want the Spirit to be our guide through the Scripture and God to be our teacher. We want to dedicate that time to Him as we are being obedient in study and sharpening each other’s iron, and we want the discussion to be fruitful. You certainly never want to set out to comprehend Scripture in your own flesh. Good luck with that!
After I pray, we go over the Challenge Verse briefly, and then the kids have the opportunity to recite up to three Memory Verses.
When I started the class, I didn’t include a Memory Verse component. I didn’t want to overload the kids or add any kind of performance pressure. The Precept books have Memory Verses for each week of study, and for a while, I gave the kids the option of reciting that at the start of class. But here’s what I like better.
I put together a list of 30 verses that I think they should know. I got some of them from a list our children’s pastor used a while back, some from Navigators Scripture Memory, and a few I personally wanted on the list. The kids can memorize up to three per week, which means they can get all 30 in a semester if they want to do that. For each verse they memorize, they get a piece of candy. There are prizes of increasing value at the 10, 20, and 30 levels. (I find out their favorite candy and get a large size box or bag for 10, $5 gift cards at 20, and I’ll have to let you know about 30 since nobody has gotten there yet!)
Here’s a download of my list; all of the Scriptures are in NASB.
And here’s a download of my handy-dandy chart to keep track of what the kids have memorized every semester. (coming)
The Memory Verse system resets at the start of each semester, and I use the same list every time. Wait, you mean they are just memorizing the same verses over and over? At some point, isn’t the challenge gone because they know them? Precisely. I’ll be thrilled to give incentive prizes over and over and over if by the time they graduate from my class, they know those verses by heart. Repetition, repetition, repetition! (See what I did there?)
(Next up, Homework and Break)