Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Mason’


Bible memory

I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
~Psalm 119:16

For years (and years) I’ve labored under the conviction that I am unable to memorize.  Ask my kids, as I’m often the brunt of their good-humored ribbing.  Take for instance my propensity to sing with gusto songs that should be very familiar to me, but songs I end up making up words here and there or humming (or more conspicuously, mumbling) a bit now and again when I realize (or don’t realize) that I no longer remember the actual words.  The fruits of memorizing Scripture is appealing to me, but planting the words in my heart and mind has always seemed out of reach.  However…

This makes a lot of sense to me.  My son-in-law recently directed his friends to a post that highlighted a simple, low-tech, low-cost method for Scripture memorization and review. When I found out this is the Charlotte Mason Method of Recitation, I knew that it would be specific and effective. I was correct.

Like many home-school moms, I learned to love and trust the gentle, but determined 19th century educator, Charlotte Mason.  Her reliance on “twaddle free” living books with noble themes and engaging stories really resonated with me. I instinctively knew I wanted this for my children and it eventually led me to embrace the literature-based Sonlight curriculum for our reading, history, and science lessons.

When given a Bible, a North Korean defector to South Korea said, “As a man who is full cannot understand another man who is starving, I do not think other Christians around the world would anticipate that there are people who desperately desire to read the Bible once in their lifetime.”

Most likely those reading this have unlimited access to the Bible, whether in print or on-line. I wonder to what extent we will answer for our cavalier attitudes toward God’s Word, behaving like glutted diners before another full course instead of hungry beggars seeking our daily bread. I wonder to what extent we will ever be forced to rely on what Scripture we have hidden in our hearts like our brothers and sisters in prisons around the world for their testimonies.  I wonder what peace would be mine (Ps. 119:165), what influences God might expand in my life (Ps. 119:46), what sin might be averted (Ps. 119:11), what joy might settle in my spirit (Ps. 119:7) if I had a greater storehouse and recall of God’s precious teaching and promises to me. This system allows an individual or family to add to their memorization file and monthly review their already memorized verses.

SimplyCharlotteMason shares the method here.  It requires only a recipe card file box, recipe cards, and 44 file box dividers with tabs.  Simply Charlotte offers free, printable Scripture cards and pre-printed divider tabs to get jump-started. Print directions for this memory/review system would be complex, but this 6-minute video presents the process in a clean, understandable manner. [The site also links to a free app for Windows 8 users if this old-school method seems inhibiting.]

To strengthen resolve, it would be helpful to hear real-life stories of how God has employed the memorized Word to bring Him glory, as well as the systems and the recitation methods others are using to successfully memorize Scripture.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
~ Psalm 119:103

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Using Zechariah 4:10 as his text, my good pastor reminded us this week to not despise the day of small things.  Despite our personal weaknesses and the seeming helplessness at times of God’s people, God is yet building his Church and continues to direct the affairs of men toward his sure and glory-evoking ends.


Not despising the day of small things is the theme of Maryellen St. Cyr’s very timely post. She builds on the thanksgiving of a personal favorite of mine, Charlotte Mason, to inspire us to raise our souls to rejoice in the everyday graces of God.


My Soul Rises

When I think about Thanksgiving I think of a people or a person whose soul rises beyond the temporal to the eternal.  The soul surveys a thousand good things from common life and ascends in praise. “How good is life, how joyous it is to go out of doors, even in the streets of a city! Surely a pleasant thing it is to see the sun! How good is health, even the small share of it allotted to the invalid! How good and congenial all the pleasant ways of home life, all family love and neighborly kindness, and the love of friends! How good it is to belong to a great country and share in all her interests and concerns! How good to belong to the world of men, aware that whatever concerns men, concerns us! How good are books and pictures and music! How delightful is knowledge! How good is the food we eat! How pleasant are the clothes we wear! How sweet is sleep, and how joyful is awaking!” 1

This is indeed an example of a rising soul! Yet, a rising soul is not a soul that rises only in appreciation for everything that pleases the self. The rising soul also emerges on an ascending path towards God in the midst of a world of suffering. The soul ascends in spite of the pain, in spite of the fear and in spite of the loneliness.

A heart full of thanksgiving surveys all of life. This way of being moves one on an emerging path to the presence of God – Excelsior!

Mason, Ourselves, 192.

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