Family meal times are a special time to come together and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship. We have been blessed to spend pretty much every dinnertime meal all together since we started a family. And as home schoolers, I get to spend every lunch hour with the children too!
When the children were very little, we found it challenging to keep them seated and establish the habit of patience and attention as they ate (or didn’t eat…).
We started reading books and scripture at dinner first to simply keep the children entertained! We had no idea it would turn into such a cherished family habit. There is rarely a meal time when we don’t read and pray together, which has been a rich blessing.
Beyond reading our scriptures and stories together, there are some other neat ‘habits’ we’ve found fun and engaging to establish as a family. I thought I’d share them today for Charlotte Mason Monday.
The Scripture Memory Box
It’s incredibly important to me that our family focus on memorizing scripture together. We haven’t always done so well with this but it is a work in progress. I am posting this today to also encourage myself to be more consistent with this, because it is so foundational to our walk with God. It is also a big part of the Charlotte Mason education – not only memorization but specifically memorization of God’s word.
A couple years ago, I found the Scripture Memory System on Simply Charlotte Mason. I found their instructions for how to use it incredibly comprehensive, so you can easily link in to the SimplyCharlotteMason.com site and follow along with their instructions and videos.
Here is how we use the Scripture Memory Box in our home.
First, I found the perfect little wooden box and actually spent hours cutting and pasting all the little tabs, creating it just like the one on the site. Then, I purchased a package of index cards and copied verses we had already learned or that I wanted our family to learn onto them. I stacked all the verses in the front of the box for future use. We would only have one verse to start with!
It’s very simple. We just write down the names of people, countries, organizations, people groups, cultures, issues, etc. on small pieces of card stock. (We are always adding to our basket.) Then, we put all those pieces of paper in a basket and draw from it at meal times. Whatever we draw out, we pray about during that prayer time.
This has been a lot of fun for our children, as drawing that card is exciting and interesting. It has also added to our prayer life and encouraged us all in the habit of interceding.
A recent addition to our Prayer Basket idea was this one – a Prayer Basket for Admiration. I really love the acronym for prayer, ACTS. A is Admiration, C is Confession, T is Thanksgiving, and S is Supplication. I suppose the first Prayer Basket was really one of Supplication (praying for others). But I was feeling led to focus also on our Admiration of God. (Makes me think we need to also include Thanksgiving and Confession in this mix… hmmm!)
Anyways, what I did one morning on a sudden inspiration was this – I started writing down praises to the Lord on little pieces of card stock. I just kept writing every attribute of the Lord I could think of and then opened up Psalms and kept right on writing. Then I pulled the ‘Names of God’ chart of the fridge and wrote down Hebrew names for God and their meanings.
My hope is to start (this week!) pulling two of these papers out of this basket every time we pray together so that we can also show the Lord our admiration in a fun and intentional way.
And upon request, I’m sharing photos of all our (up to now, I’m sure we’ll add more) cards for Admiration:
Praying this might bless you in some way with some ideas to deepen your family’s prayer life as you grow together.
(love and hugs)