Monday, July 5, 2010

Great Expectations

As an eight-year-old child, I can remember my Daddy telling one of his friends, "If you only expect your children to sing songs like, "This little light of mine," then that's all they'll sing. But, if you expect them to learn all four verses of "It is Well with my Soul," then they can and will."

Up until that point, I hadn't thought too much about these things. Sure, people were always impressed by my memory of Scripture and hymns; but in my arrogance I thought, somehow, that I was responsible for it! I had no idea that other parents weren't as diligent as mine in teaching and developing memory skills.

Our school's curriculum would throw in random memory verses for us to learn, but they weren't whole passages like Dad taught us: Psalm 1:1-6, John 1:1-14, Isaiah 53:1-12, etc...

As I grew older, I became obsessed with learning the words to hymns. Dad would often catch me in the middle of the night, reading a hymnal by nightlight, to memorize the words because a song was running through my head and I couldn't go to sleep until I knew them all!

Then, teaching at a Classical Christian School was amazing! To actually be in a place that expected something of children-- and got it, was incredible! Many of the Scriptures that I had learned as a child were taught in the classroom. Not a few verses, here and there, but entire passages! For four and a half years I delighted in teaching the scriptures to little people and watching the astonishment on their parent's faces when they recited them verbatim.

Now, as a mom, I've been able to teach a total of eleven passages to my five and three year old; sixty-four verses altogether!!! And to be honest, I think they could have learned a lot more, if I was more diligent to teach them.

Using lots of hand motions and repetition, as well as taking small chunks at a time, it's amazing how fast they absorb the scriptures.

Once the passage is learned, we write the reference on a paper leaf and tape it to our "Scripture Tree" in the Dining Room. This reminds us to continually review the ones we've already learned.

Then, we all enjoy a walk to the "Bread of Life" bakery for a special, decadent treat---COOKIES!!!

Children will live up to your obvious expectations of them;
Just make sure those expectations are great!!!

Related Posts:
Mrs. Whatever-You-Say
A Nation of Appeasement
Boot Camp for Life