Several months ago, I became aware of a fairly new homeschool company — Home School Adventure Co. — when I was asked to review the company’s flagship curriculum, Philosophy Adventure — Pre-Socratics, I was so thrilled with that resource that I couldn’t wait to use other products published by its author, Stacy Farrell.
Philippians in 28 Weeks was written to both supplement Philosophy Adventure and stand alone as a way for the whole family to study and memorize the entire book of Philippians in small steps spread out over 28 weeks.
Philippians in 28 Weeks utilizes a 5-step approach to memorization:
It is suggested that the book of Philippians be read every day, using a Bible or the set of memory cards that are included with the book. The idea is that if the book of Philippians is read every day, memorization will begin to take hold with little effort. I liken it to young children who are able to recite back a favorite picture book read to them every night at bedtime, or songs that are listened to repeatedly. The more you hear it, the more likely it is you will remember the words. Reading the entire book of Philippians takes about 20 minutes. So don’t be afraid to try it. It has made a difference in how quickly we are able to memorize when we do this faithfully.
We carry our memory cards with us everywhere. They are particularly useful on long car rides or while waiting for appointments, giving us the ability to read without carting a Bible everywhere we go.
Three opportunities are given each week to record — copywork, discussion questions, and a summary.
The copywork contains one verse each day. The verses are written in a journal style with lines for writing. We have used copywork in our homeschool a la Charlotte Mason since my son was very young. It is a useful tool for incorporating visual and motor memory (especially for young children) and has the added benefit of being able to include handwriting practice and grammar into your homeschool day.
The study part of the curriculum presents 3 discussion questions each week, giving your student the opportunity to not only memorize but reflect upon the meaning of the verses. These “Reflections” as they are called are thought-provoking and meaningful. For example, “Do you know a Christ-follower who lives a godly, albeit imperfect, life? In what ways is he or she distinctly different from those who do not follow Jesus?” I am so pleased with the depth of discussion that has occurred in our home based on these types of questions. They are very different from most Bible curricula we have used. Facts are important. Mind-stretching application is life-changing. There is room on these pages to jot down your thoughts.
The week ends for you student with the task of summarizing his insights and observations. About 3/4 of this page is lined for him to record his thoughts.
When the 28 weeks are complete, not only will your student have become a walking epistle, he will have created a beautiful journal filled with his own reflections.
Repetition is key to all memorization. Your student will be encouraged to repeat his current week’s verses daily. My son does this over breakfast. We find it helpful to have a certain time every day where we focus on both the reading of the book of Philippians and repeating the current week’s verses.
Review & Recite
Just like repeating, only this is everything. Once a week, your student should practice reciting every verse he has memorized so far.
At the end of each chapter (approximately every 6-8 weeks), a recitation chart may be used to “grade” your student as he recites all that he has memorized. We are just now at this point in our journey with chapter one. A “review week” is given just prior, with no new verses to memorize. This tool should be used during the review week. It works well to ensure that your student is reciting each verse correctly, word-for-word. There is a grading scale included should you wish to use it. We don’t really use grades in our homeschool at this juncture, so I have not used this tool. It would be quite useful, however, if you have a student who is not working diligently. It can give you (and your student) some insight into how much more work may need to be done (Is he following instructions?).
To help with accountability there is a log in the back of the book where your student can keep track of which activities he has completed. I have found this tool quite useful. When my son is struggling, it is easy to see why. Generally it means he has not read the book of Philippians every day, or has not completed his copywork.
Why Memorize Scripture?
Memorizing Scripture is fundamental to spiritual growth. Chuck Swindoll wrote,
I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified. (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).
It is important for all of us to be able recall Scripture, not just for the benefit of sharing with others, but for our own benefit as well. It helps us to internalize God’s truth and to call upon it when we are in need, whatever that need may be.
Paul wrote this epistle while imprisoned to show his affection and gratitude to the faithful Christ-followers in the Philippian church. It is filled with the messages of contentment, humility, and joy. In it he shares with the church at Philippi how to live a joyous Christian life. And it’s one of the shorter books of the Bible. This combination makes it a great book of the Bible to memorize, both for practical reasons and some that are likely heart-changing.
Using this 28-week approach as-is makes memorizing the 104 verses of Philippians attainable, measurable, and reasonable.
Admittedly, we have taken a much slower approach to our memorization of Philippians. We have not been diligent with keeping to the weekly schedule or following all of the recommended steps. I tell you this to help you understand that there is flexibility in using Philippians in 28 Weeks. On the flip-side of that coin, it would also be quite simple to speed up the process, especially if you have students with a bent toward memorization.
I believe you’ll find Philippians in 28 Weeks to be a useful Scripture memory and Bible study tool for your entire family. It would also work well for small group study such as homeschool co-ops, youth groups, or Sunday School classes.
Philippians in 28 Weeks is currently available as a print book (RV: $28.95) as well as digital download (RV: $14.95) in the ESV translation. I have heard that the KJV will soon be added.
About Stacy Farrell
Stacy Farrell fell in love with Jesus in 1991. She has homeschooled her two sons for more than ten years with the support of her husband of more than 20 years. She cares deeply about helping students cultivate and defend a biblical worldview. To that end, she founded Home School Adventure Co. and created Philosophy Adventure, The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions, and Philippians in 28 Weeks, and her newest resource, the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal. You can visit her blog at http://www.onlovingJesus.com. You will also read about Stacy’s experience surviving cancer in a series she is writing here at Hip Homeschool Moms — Snapshots of a Mother’s Cancer Experience.
The Giveaway (and a Free Gift for Everyone!)
For a limited time, you can download the Philippians in 28 Weeks Memory Cards for FREE (a $9.95 value). To receive them, visit Home School Adventure Co., place them in your cart, and use the promo code P28-FREEBIE at check-out.
And now for the giveaway. One of you will win a print copy of Philippians in 28 Weeks when you enter the Rafflecopter below!