Memorization System Tutorial

These supplies are all you need for making an amazing memorization system.

  • 4 x 6 cards
  • 42 – 4 x 6 dividers
  • 4 x 6 card box
  • pencil or pen
  • something to memorize

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<li>4×6 Index cards</li>
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<li>4×6 Dividers</li>
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<li>An index card box</li>
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<p>It is frustrating for our children to memorize something and then forget it. This system solves that forgetting problem. Even if they memorized something three years ago ,when they were only 2, they will still remember it if you are faithful with this system.</p>
<p>Are you ready?<br />
<a href=I suggest that you  just purchase the type of dividers that you can write directly on. You will want 42 of them. (I found this set of dividers with a box and cards at a yard sale for $.50, so I’m creating my own labels.)

Label the dividers as follows, one divider for each label.

  • Daily
  • Odd
  • Even
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • First week
  • Second week
  • Third week
  • Fourth week
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • and so on all the way up to 30.


Your box should now look like this, minus the card in front. That is our next step. Write out whatever your children have memorized on the 4×6 cards, one passage or poem per card. Better yet, if your children can write, assign them a passage to write and skip handwriting for that day.

Place all of these cards evenly spaced (i.e. one card behind each divider or two cards behind each divider) throughout the whole card file except for the divider labeled “Daily”, the more thoroughly memorized the farther toward the back.

Now copy out any passages, etc. that your children are currently working on and place these behind the divider labeled “Daily”.

This is the hard part. Get this box out EVERY weekday. Recite out loud each card in the “Daily” section AND the cards behind the odd OR the even (i.e. if the date is the 27th then the odd) AND the cards behind the divider with the day of the week that it is, AND the cards behind the week that it is (If it is the 27th recite the cards behind the divider labeled 4th week), AND the cards behind the date (If it is the 27th, recite the cards behind the divider labeled 27). This is much easier to do than it is to read this explanation.

So the idea is that when you have nearly memorized a passage in the “Daily” section, you move it back behind one of the odd or even dividers. When you have no problem recalling that card every other day, move it back to the section with the days of the week, when you can recall it only reviewing once a week, move it to the section labeled “1st, 2nd, week, etc”. This gives you a full week each month of reciting that passage every day and then 3 weeks of not looking at it. When the passage is well in your memory, move it back to the section labeled with the numbers. This will have you reviewing everything you have memorized once a month.

When your numbered section gets too full you can move some cards out of the box all together, just rotate them back through every once and a while.

We recite our memorization box at breakfast each morning. All of the kids working on all the passages together. I just made this second box for my younger children. They  still do the box with the big kids, but I want them to have an opportunity to spend more time learning passages the big kids already know. So as I move cards out of the ‘big kid’ box, we move them into the ‘little kid’ box. We go over the ‘little kid’ box each day before I read aloud to them.

For those of you who wish for your children to learn a catechism this is how we do it. I keep the Shorter Catechism in our box and then I write a card like this “SC 26-30″ This means we will be reciting the Shorter Catechism questions 26-30, we look it up in the book so I don’t have to write out all of those questions.

You may also be interested in my post Bible Memorization for Kids, where I write about what and how our children memorize and include some of the other tools that we use to help with memory work. Tips for helping your kids memorize.

Read more Works For Me Wednesday posts at We Are THAT Family. You can see my other WFMW by clicking the WFMW category located just under the picture at the top of the page or check out my  homeschooling posts .

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31 Responses to Memorization System Tutorial
  1. Wendi @ Every Day Miracles
    March 16, 2009 | 4:58 pm

    What a neat and organized system! I’m so glad you shared it.

    Thank you so much for the comment you left on my organization post. I am so just in the beginning of getting things organized, but I am trying! :) You can certainly link to me any time – thanks for asking.

    [Reply]

  2. Nikki
    March 16, 2009 | 5:27 pm

    Fantastic system! I cannot wait to get started. You did an excellent job of explaining it.

    [Reply]

  3. Mandy
    March 17, 2009 | 12:32 pm

    This is great! Love it! I’m going to do it right now with my own verses! Okay…now it’s your turn, do share how you got this great 3 column blog and long header?!

    [Reply]

  4. Farm Fresh Jessica
    March 18, 2009 | 3:08 am

    I can tell already we are kindred spirits! I came over here from Mandy’s blog. I posted not long ago about my very similar system. http://farmfreshiowa.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-box.html
    I never thought about using it for the kids… GREAT tip. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  5. MomStarr
    March 18, 2009 | 11:06 am

    I will begin this very soon! Great idea! It reminds me of the prayer journal I have with dividers of the days of the week, daily, weekly, monthly. With blank pages for scripture assoc. with the prayer lists and for answers to the prayers.

    [Reply]

  6. ~*Michelle*~
    March 18, 2009 | 11:12 am

    Great tip! I love it!

    [Reply]

  7. Jenny Beth @ JenuineJen
    March 18, 2009 | 8:18 pm

    I do not homeschool but I have been working on teaching my children various Bible verses to memorize. This will be a good way to reinforce what I am teaching. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  8. Becky
    April 1, 2009 | 10:21 pm

    I would love to read a post on your memorization: what verses do you/have you memorized (and at what ages?). Also what literary pieces (poems, etc.) are your kids memorizing?
    Do you have a list (or could you post a list) of recommended memorization for toddlers/preschool age children? My 2yo can memorizes short passages, but I would like to find a little structure for our memorization, or some sort of plan for memorizing, with the goal that by the time they leave home they have memorized [whatever the goal is--to be determined!!!]. LOL! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  9. Gretchen
    April 2, 2009 | 10:49 pm

    I am just saying that I am pretty sure you are a genius. This is a great idea! I love reading your blog.

    [Reply]

  10. [...] found a wonderful idea on another blog.  The blog is called Raising Olives.  She has a great memorization system tutorial.  I have not made mine yet, but this is on my to-do [...]

  11. Sheryl Mize
    October 11, 2009 | 9:01 pm

    I have so enjoyed your website. I have learned much and am eager to try some of them.
    I just read an article from Heart of the Matter about reciting with different writing media. I think I’m going to write a memory verse on our sliding glass door with vis-a-visa wet wipe markers. It’ll engage them for sure! THanks for all your sharing.
    Sheryl

    [Reply]

  12. Holly
    February 18, 2010 | 6:22 am

    Kimberly,

    I just found this system you mentioned to me at Blissdom. This looks great & I have everything on hand to start it today:)

    Thanks So Much! I’m so glad to have met you. Your site has been a blessing to me.

    Holly

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Holly. It was wonderful to meet you at BlissDom as well. Let’s stay in touch.

    [Reply]

  13. [...] a cacophony of chatter, coughing  and requests to be excused to blow noses.  Went through our memorization box, laughed while Colby snuggled his slipper shoe.  Then the kids read (and laughed) about their day [...]

  14. [...] Each morning at the breakfast table Mark reads the passage of Scripture that he will be teaching from during family worship that evening. (I also read this passage to the children at lunch time.)  Mark is also reading and discussing “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” for the second time.  After Mark is finished we work through our memorization box. [...]

  15. Homeschool Greek | Raising Olives
    September 10, 2010 | 3:36 pm

    [...] to read and translate the book of John.   We will be incorporating our Greek vocabulary with our memorization box every morning at breakfast, so consistent review should be straight [...]

  16. Daily Bible Reading | Raising Olives
    October 13, 2010 | 5:21 am

    [...] about our Bible memorization system, or check out my other categories listed just under the header picture. Series [...]

  17. Teaching Bible: 4 Moms | Raising Olives
    January 6, 2011 | 8:32 am

    [...] We spend time memorizing Scripture every morning at breakfast.  (We use this memorization system.) [...]

  18. Stephenie
    August 31, 2011 | 5:43 pm

    I just want to tell you how nice it is that you have already worked this out, which makes it so easy for us to jump in and start. This is just the right system for us and I thank you so much!!

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  19. Dawn@OneFaithfulMom
    October 1, 2011 | 7:24 pm

    I just found this and am saving it in Favorites so I can get my supplies ready! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  20. Rita J
    October 17, 2011 | 11:20 am

    This is so perfect right now! We’ve been beginning memorization and I felt adrift and confused about how to organize myself. Thank you!!

    [Reply]

  21. Cari
    October 20, 2011 | 9:46 pm

    Another idea, instead of rotating back through the cards every once and a while after the number section is too full, the cards could be placed behind additional dividers (in another box, if necessary). The dividers could be labeled Odd Month and Even Month (for reviewing the verses every other month). Then placed behind dividers for quarterly review (four additional dividers – 1st one – Jan/May/Sep; 2nd one – Feb/Jun/Oct; 3rd one – Mar/Jul/Nov; 4th one – Apr/Aug/Dec). Next dividers would be for semi-annual review (six additional dividers – Jan/Jul; Feb/Aug; Mar/Sep; Apr/Oct; May/Nov; Jun/Dec). Annual review would come next with dividers labeled with the months of the year (Jan; Feb; etc). And last, if you want to wait this long between review, there could be two final tabs labeled Even Year and Odd Year.

    Sounds like we think a lot a like, but for me, if I just move some cards out of the box, they are most likely to be neglected or lost and not reviewed further!

    Love your website and “meeting” a kindred spirit. Thank you for sharing your heart and ideas with others. May God richly bless you and your family.

    For His Glory,

    Cari Dierking

    [Reply]

  22. Lindsey in AL
    October 27, 2011 | 12:50 pm

    We use this system and recently, building off a suggestion on the DHM’s blog, I added a small feature. I found that I wasn’t memorizing as well as the children because I was the one holding the cards while we recited. So I wasn’t reciting as much as reading. Now on the backs of the cards (mostly on the longer passages) I have the first letter of each word written in order. I can still look at the letters if we’re having confusion, but I’m not just looking at the whole passage. For example, the beginning of Psalm 19 “The heavens declare the glory of God…” is on the back as “T h d t g o G…” I find myself getting much stronger in our longer passages and that is a good thing. I can’t have the children doing better than Mom at memorization ;)

    [Reply]

  23. Jenny
    August 22, 2012 | 3:08 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Kim! We just started homeschooling this year, and have incorporated this as part of our daily routine. And thanks, Lindsey in AL for the suggestion for mom–I’m definitely going to do that! :)

    [Reply]

  24. abba12
    September 20, 2012 | 5:46 pm

    How do you manage the fact that some kids have memorized things others haven’t? Do you go through the entire box with a younger child so they know everything in it, it seems like after a year or two you’d just be constantly reviewing for the next child that’s been added. I know you say you have an olders box and youngers box, but even among your olders, your oldest has been memorizing many years more than the younger ‘olders’. When you review, do only those who were around for that card to be memorized recite it?

    I want to start some memory work with my eldest next year, but I feel confused for what happens when my next child is ready to begin. I don’t want to have to do memory work separately with each child, but if my eldest has a years worth of memorizing done when the next one starts, it would take a year for the next one to ‘catch up’.

    [Reply]

  25. Tasmanian
    February 20, 2013 | 2:51 pm

    I know this is an OLD post. But I just spent ten minutes scouring the 4 Moms sites to find it again, as I knew I had seen it. Just wanted to say thanks for your effort in explaining it. Hope I will become more immersed in God’s word and that I can demonstrate this to my children so they will be too.

    [Reply]

  26. Leslie B
    March 6, 2013 | 9:45 pm

    Thanks to this post our family finally implemented scripture and catechism memory into our day, starting about 8mos ago. We have seen so much fruit in our now 5yr-old and 3yr-old!! I have one question… The 5yr-old is nailing it, moving on quickly, but as the 3yr-old is picking them up I am noticing that he is mixing many of them together. Will this work itself out as we emphasize/clarify over time? Or is there something you do to help the younger ones listening the older ones?

    [Reply]

  27. Molly
    May 8, 2013 | 7:59 pm

    Thanks so much for the great idea! I love it, just got done creating my own notecard box for our family. My oldest is 4, so we are just getting started with memory work, but I hope some day our box is full!

    [Reply]

  28. Linda
    July 10, 2013 | 12:47 am

    We just started this system (thank you for teaching us about it!) and it is working great so far. But I have a question, We are working on Psalm 1. So in “Daily” we have the verse we are working on, currently verse 5, then verses 1-4 are somewhere behind “Odd”, “Even”, or one of the days of the week. How do you deal with passages like this? I ended up putting a card into the mix that says, “Review Psalm 1, all verses learned so far.” But it seems like there must be a better way.

    Psalm 1 might be a bad example. What if we were trying to memorize Psalm 119? We certainly can’t put all that on the “Daily” card.

    I’m stumped. Can you help me with this? :)

    Thank you!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    When we tackle portions like Psalm 1 we just write the whole thing on one card and go through it everyday. Even longer things like Ephesians 1 we tackle that way.

    However, for really long things (like Psalm 119 or in our case the Westminster catechism), I put passages on cards like you describe. With Psalm 119, I would probably do each letter of the Greek alphabet on a different card and move them through the box as we learned them. With the catechism I did a different care for each question.

    Here that helps!

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Yes, that does help. Thank you. :)

    [Reply]

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