Monday, August 11, 2008

Our New Schedule

Beginning Thursday I will have to have the children out the door by 8:15 each morning. This is 45 minutes earlier than last year...and we've been 'off schedule' for 3 months. So, in preparation (and to teach the children a bit more personal responsibility) I developed a laminated checksheet of sorts that each of the children can use in the morning to get themselves together.

We are practicing for the next three mornings so they can get the hang of it--and hopefully make Thursday morning a little less stressful. The 'plan' is to have each of the children responsible for their own morning preparations--with the 'carrot' for completing their list being a morning video or freeplay with the time remaining before time to load the car. I would love to not feel like I am nagging them all morning before sending them off into the world. We'll see how it goes!

One other thing I would really like to implement to our morning routine is a weekly memory verse that we discuss over breakfast and again in the car on the way to school. Although we read Bible stories nightly and discuss our faith as opportunities arise during the day, I have not been intentional about 'hiding the Word in their hearts' through Scripture memory.

I would like to put together a box of verses, but am struggling with where to start. The Word is ful of incredible truth, how do we decide which are the most foundational, yet easy enough for 4 year olds? So, I thought I'd turn to my favorite focus group...YOU! What verses have you found to be the best 'first memory verses' for your children?

Updated to Add: Ya'll never disappoint. What wonderful suggestions! Thanks so much. I know many Mommies (and their children) will benefit from your ideas.


Prairie Rose said...

In kindergarten (Christian school), we did ABC verses, a letter a week. They were pretty good at being some of the most basic truths and teachings kids would benefit from...and I still remember them all, in the ABC order, 30 yrs later... :) try this link:

wendymom said...

My kids always love verses that related to a story: example, Daniel or Noah, Baby Jesus, etc. It also provides me a chance to "tell" the story and explain how God used that person in the Bible.

I love Prairie Rose's comment above and I will be looking that up as well for mine. Proverbs has great little quick verses for little minds as well (and for big minds at that!)

I will be praying for you on Thursday as I am driving to take M to college!

T said...

Our church, as well as many others, offers a great program called Awana. There is a class for 3s and 4s (called Cubbies) and the verses in that class are great for this age group. Even if you don't have a program near you, you may be able to purchase the student book to use at home. It has a story, activity and verse for the week.

Pumita said...

One of my Sunday School teachers from grade school just "retired" from over 60 years of teaching at our church. In her retirement card, I quoted back to her one of the memorable verses I learned with her. It´s a simplified version of I John 4:10: "God loved us and sent His Son." I also learned I John 4:11 with her: "Love one another." I remember reciting them for the gold star reward chart so vividly.
You do a wonderful job with your children and family. Thank you for all the thoughtful reflections, and may the Lord continue to strengthen you in your calling.

Pam said...

I love the ideas shared so far, and I'd also direct you to Focus on the Family or FamilyLife for organized Bible memory per age group.

Yet, I have found with my three that the verses we started with are ones that hang with them even now, like these:

Ephesians 6:1-3
John 10:10
Psalm 84:10
Proverbs 15:1
Jeremiah 29:11
Psalm 23 (we did a verse a week)
Psalm 100(also did a verse a week, with 5 verses total) You can also find this one set to music
Psalm 121 (check out Casting Crowns)
Philippians 4:8
Proverbs 3:5,6
Isaiah 41:10 (you knew I'd suggest that one : )

These are all ones we've committed to memory, and my youngest was under four when we started.

I'll be praying for your efforts and for a sponge-like quality as your sweeties begin to hide God's Word in their hearts.

May He bless the intentional time you take each day and multiply it for His glory.

Mrs. M said...

i don't have children (YET!!) but a few faves of mine (that I think could be taught to kids, I was a nanny for 7 years!!):
Philippians 4:13
Jeremiah 29:11
1 Corinthians 9:24
Colossians 3:23
Phillipians 4:6
John 14:1

I also think there are numerous psalms and proverbs that would be perfect for your kids!!!

Cale and Kate said...

I have a two and a half year old and have already started using a book called "Truth and Grace Memory Book: Book 1" with her as a guide. It is a catechism that is divided into ages/grades with suggestions for Bible memorization, songs and basic foundational questions that they should be able to answer. I like it because it is a very tangible way to keep track of verses and to also keep in mind what truths her mind can start to understand. It's available on for about $6.

Kit said...

I am a loyal fan of your wonderful blog-I found you through 4 Silly Sisters.
I am a retired teacher and I just started a blog...May I add a link to your blog?
Thank you,
Kit Harland
Cleveland, GA

Nicole said...

Our church does ABC verses for the 3's and 4's during Mission Friends on Wednesday nights. It's a really fun way to remember verses!

Let me also HIGHLY recommend the book "Teach Them Diligently" by Lou Priolo. This is a great book about using scripture in raising your children. Love love love this book--need to follow more of the principles!

Amanda said...

I just started reading your blog the past couple of days. What an encouragement it has been to me. :)
My little girl is 1.5, so I still have some time before I send her off to school, but just trying to get her to understand "listen and obey" is a challenge. But really, it's still a challenge for me to that with Abba Father!

Have a great day, and I hope that today was a good starting ground for the new routine.

Ami said...

I began being more intentional about my kids' memory verses last summer. At the time, they were 4 and 2. These are the first 12 they learned and in the order we learned them. Eph 6:1, Ps 119:42, Philippians 2:14, Rom 3:23, Eph 4:32, Heb 13:6, Gen 1:1, Ps 107:1, I John 4:10, Deut 6:5, John 14:6Luke 24:23. I never had a goal in mind of 1 per week or 1 per month. We learned a new one after I felt everyone was ready. Have fun with it!

Chelsey said...

When I was younger, we had a cassette tape of Scripture memory songs by Steve Green. I found them on Amazon:

I can't recommend these enough. I was probably about your kids' age when I started listening to these, and I still remember some of them. You can get the whole album at Amazon or download individual tracks as mp3s. Maybe you could pick one verse and talk about it at breakfast, and then listen to the song in the car when you're on your way to school?

Mindy said...

I've been thinking so much about starting school again, how we've been off schedule for so long, and the fact that my 3 year old will go to pre- K and we will have a new born to add into the routine. I like your schedule that is laminated. I've been thinking of making something like that for each child to mark off. Do you have them get dressed straight out of bed or do you have them eat breakfast first so as not to get their clothes dirty?
Also - I've been working on getting my kids to learn some bible verses but have also been struggling with which ones are best to start with. Thanks for asking the question!!!

kwgarner2003 said...

I absolutely agree with the recommendation of Steve Green's 'Hide 'em in your heart' cd's and dvd's. I was given copies of them when my son was born 11 years ago. They are great!! I can hear a verse in a sermon that was on those cd's and recall the tune and sing it in my head instantly!

Mary said...

I have printed out cards from this website.

I'm afraid that they may be a bit long for your kiddos though. When he was younger he did Pioneer Clubs at church which had a memory verse every week. I love Prarie Rose's idea of the ABC's. That would be great for younger children.

Brandy Thixton said...

What a great idea! My mom did a similar thing when we were kids. We would get a quarter for every day we were at the breakfast table by 7:00am. That's how we earned our allowance.

I also love the memory verse idea. I am often surprised in Kid's Church at how many kids don't know (what I would consider) the "staple" verses from the Bible.

Way to go, supermom!

Nikki said...

Not that you asked, but one thing that we did last year (my daughter started Kindergarten & my son was in preschool) was create a 'breakfast list.' Every Monday we had biscuits and fruit, every Tuesday we had oatmeal, every Wed cereal with toast, etc. That way there was no argument about what to have and my sleepy-heads didn't have to make any early-morning decisions. And, I didn't have to spend valuable time making 2 different breakfasts. Weekends were FREE - I (or Dad, if he was home - he's an MD, too, so often was making rounds) was willing to make whatever they wanted!

Hope that might help with your morning rush. Good luck!

About Meg... said...

have you ever heard of steve green? he has these "hide 'em in your heart" videos and cd's. they're fantastic! my three yr old walks around singing them all day! they're untampered with scripture made fun! you can get them through

About Meg... said...

oops! just saw others recommended steve too! he's great!

Colored With Memories said...

i use steve green's cds/dvds too. they are corny and the dvds so dated, but my kids don't really notice that. i'll occasionally catch the hubby rolling his eyes though!

i really like your chart!

blessings to you as you begin this new season with your trio.

Mod Girl said...

Psalm 100 is a good starting point... doing one verse a week. Psalm 23 is also good. My boys and I have been focusing on these two over breakfast for most of the summer.

Anonymous said...

How about Joshua 1:9? "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”{NIV} Thought maybe it would help them be brave on their new {w/o mom} adventure.

Anonymous said...

Tried to comment earlier, so sorry if this is a repeat! We bought "Hide it in Your Heart for Kids" at our Christian bookstore. It sticks on the fridge with a magnet, and each laminated card has a verse chosen specifically to be kid-friendly and relevant. You can thumb through the cards, and display one in front at a time, whichever one you are working on memorizing. There's a "point to ponder" on the back of each card. The website listed on it is

I ditto the Steve Green CDs. You cannot help but memorize while listening to them. My sister-in-law printed out in large font and laminated the 1 Cor. 13 "love" passage, then cut it into short bits and put magnets (for the fridge) on the back of each part. They would work on one bit at a time and could put the pieces together as they learned.

Enjoy learning with your kids! Thanks for your blog...I enjoy reading.

psm260 said...

Someone else mentioned ABC verses. Sonlight sells a tape that sings verses in that manner -- the first begins with "A", next "B", etc. Very helpful!


Tara said...

Over lunch (when school starts it will be breakfast) I read two chapters of the New Testament each day. Next year will be the Old. We also go over Bible facts like # of books in O.T./N.T. and whole Bible, books of O.T./N.T., 12 apostles, names of the judges, 12 sons of Jacob, minor and major prophets, etc. My girls are 4 and 6 and I am amazed at how well my 4 yr old keeps up. They definitely are sponges at this age. They also WANT to learn this so much that they ask me if I forget.

I have noticed that people don't study this factual info much anymore although it's necessary to have a grip on Biblical history. I learned each of these things before I was in Middle School and still retain most, if not all, of them. It helps when I study the Bible to know this info so I can better see the big picture. Knowing who is who has helped me over the years.

We also go over the Bible verses the girls are learning in class at church so they will be prepared for that. And we also read "virtue" stories for character building.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I love the chart you made. Did you do that yourself or some sort of program. I've been looking for picture images to use to make charts.

I admit I am so not diligent enough in the bible memorization with my 3 & 4 year old. But two of the few they do know are Psalm 23 and the "Love the Lord you God...." (this is in the bible several places so you can pick in choose which one exactly to use). I even made up hand motions to heart, mind, soul, strength.

Good luck for Thursday morning. I've got and extra 10 days,yeah!

Aubrey said...

One of our favorite books is the 'My ABC Bible Verses' by Susan Hunt. We pick a letter per week and study the story and commit the verse to memory. Since we only do one a week, it will take us half the year to complete it. We also do Big Verses (that is what the kids call them). We have done Psalm 23, and The Lord's Prayer so far. It takes a bit longer for the kids to get these down because of their length and because they do the weekly verses, but we love to hear them 'teaching' each other. My kids turn 3 and 4 this month, so I feel sure your kids would love the challenge of the Big Verses!

Jill said...

Getting the Steve Green Bandwagon" The Hide them in your heart materials can't be beat.
We've also done little devotionals by ages that have a verse of the day. God And Me 2: Fun Devotions for Girls Ages 2 to 5 By: Lynn Marie-Ittner Klammer there is a boy version as well.
Great Chart. Have one for an 11 year old? He leaves each day at 6:50 so the rush starts early

Christi said...

I have enjoyed reading through the comments - I've gotten some great ideas for memory verses for my boys. Love the chart - praying it will be the key to easy mornings!

k and c's mom said...

We must all live in a parallel lives! My kids also learned the ABC verses (A-All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, B...I still remember them all!) And the Steve Green CDs/DVDs are a GREAT place to start, too.
Blessings to your three blessings on this Big Step in their lives!

Momma-of-5 said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only Mom worried about getting out the door on time. I totally stole your idea for the schedule. Hope you don't mind.

My kids are younger, we're still working on books of the bible, 10 Commandments, etc.

You're an inspiration! My trips just turned 1. I can't imagine when they're off to school...

Melanie said...

I also like the ABC Bible verses. You can order a large alphabet set or small individual sets from
A Beka.

Jenny said...

My kids had a set of ABC verses in Kindergarten. If I find a copy, I'll email them to you. Their teacher sang them to a little tune and it's amazing how my kids can still (2nd & 4th grades now) do those verses with the little tune. Best wishes this week as you begin the new school year!

Stacy said...

My oldest daughter is 4 and I have recently started thinking about how to help her hide the Word in her heart.

While driving to school a couple of weeks ago, it started to rain really hard and Emily said that she was afraid. I taught her Psalm 56:3...Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. We talked a little about God's hand of protection and moved on to something else.

A few weeks later, again while driving, it started to storm and Emily said "It's raining and I'm afraid. I should tell God that I'm afraid and I trust him." I really felt like she had an understanding of that verse.

So, I decided (and am still in the process of) selecting verses that I think would be applicable to things she will encounter in her 4 year world so that she can see that Scripture applies to her life just as much as mine.

Kara Lyn said...

ABC Bible Verses was what I was going to suggest but a lot of others already did. They are great. I remember learning them as a little girl. I like the idea of breakfast and again on the way to school to learn them. We always like to pray on the way to school so everyone remembers to show God's love to everyone they run into.

The picture idea is oldest came home from his first day of Kindergarten with a similar idea of homework and things to do from after school until worked great. We put them on the fridge.

Hannah E. said...

My thought is similar to the comment above by Stacy. I try to choose Scriptures for my three year old son to memorize based on the issues I see in his heart that need addressing. Right now, the big things I need to talk to him about when correcting and instructing him are selfishness (using Philippians 2:3-4) and lack of self-control (1 Peter 1:13a and James 1:20). So those are some of the verses we're saying a lot right now! I just looked up several versions on to find ones that have the easiest wording for someone his age to memorize.

I like hearing these recommendations and resources mentioned by everyone. I want to go check them all out! So helpful!

Hannah E. said...

Ok, just to add to my previous comment, we're in a tough season right now with discipline! So we have quite a few more verses we're using with our son than just the two mentioned. I'm so thankful that God's Word has power. Mine seem to not be doing the job lately! Trying to use HIS a lot more! Here are a few more examples of memory verses we're working on:

Choosing a good attitude at all times (Philippians 2:14)

immediately obeying (Ephesians 6:1)

working hard at our tasks, doing our best (Col 3:23, Matthew 22:37)

seeking forgiveness when we've done wrong (psalm 32:1)

offering forgiveness to others (Col 3:13b)

being kind to others, showing God's love (Ephesians 4:32, John 13:34b)

speaking truth at all times (Proverbs 12:19,22)

speaking words of encouragement (Eph. 4:29b)

giving cheerfully and serving others happily (2 cor. 9:7b, 1 Peter 4:10a)

Hopefully these help!

John said...

I just ordered from this company for the first time. You might like the laminated ABC Bible memory flashcards that they sell. They seem perfect for the age of your three.



JenWebb702 said...

I was browsing blogs and came across yours...I am so glad that I did because I was looking for ideas in regards to my four year old son and preschool and getting ready in the morning. Thank you so much for sharing your idea.