Have you been attempting scripture memory learning in your homeschool household?  If so, do you find you start out well, and over the course of the year it starts to dwindle? Or, you find yourself setting it on the back burner when you need to pull everyone up to speed in their math, their English, their Latin lessons?  Or maybe everyone’s sleeping in a bit longer in the cold months of the year so you skip the intended verse learning after breakfast and get right to the nitty gritty of academics.  Well, you’re not alone.  This was my life.

I found we had pockets of success with Scripture learning only when we were accountable outside our family.  Our bursts of Scripture memory came when our twins memorized Isaiah 53 with their Sunday school class, and when another homeschool family, driven to put the Word into their childrens’ hearts and minds, asked our children to memorize with their children weekly over the phone.  These are all good options, but by and large, and by far our greatest success in this has come through Bible Quizzing.

If you’re not familiar with Bible Quizzing, let me give you a brief synopsis of what it entails, and how to get involved.  Hopefully you’ll find traces of the excitement of not just the friendly competitiveness that is found in it, but a thirst for wisdom, insight, and knowledge that come with studying and memorizing Scripture together with your local quizzing coach.

Quizzers between the ages of 12-18 meet weekly with the Team nearest them to recite verses, craft the art of jumping fast on the quiz pads, as well as answer as swiftly as possible in the thirty second time limit.  Most Teams have two or three teams of quizzers, consisting of four per team. Skill amongst the quizzers varies so don’t be put off if you think your child isn’t a strong memorizer.  Some may only memorize a few chapters in the entire year while other ambitious ones complete the entire portion (this past year’s being Acts 1-20).

There are various suggested methods to memorizing well for the numerous learning approaches your children may have.  In our household my eldest memorizes well by first reciting to herself and then writing out her recitation once, on top of reciting aloud to someone. For another who will be starting next year, he will listen to an audio recording to help him memorize.  And yet for others I’ve heard even recording one’s own voice works well, or learning to recite in a conversational tone or with dramatic readings also helps them retrieve the information better when it comes to quiz time.

There are currently eight chapters in southern Ontario in the Canadian Bible Quizzing League which include:  West Lincoln, West Niagara, Waterdown, Sheffield, Newmarket, Peterborough, St. Thomas, and Glanbrook.  We’re always looking to welcome more cities to the league!

Four times a year between September and May this league comes together for what is called a Quiz Meet, to compete with each other.  The best way I can describe it is “friendly competitiveness.”  Though competitive to be sure (complete with a coach per team, and “time outs” just as in a sport’s venue), it is also full of great encouragement for every member who jumps with correct and incorrect answers. I was pleasantly surprised in the first Quiz Meet I attended to watch other teams call out, “good try,” and add claps and high fives for teams within reach, to show joy for winners and encouragement for those who tried so hard but didn’t quite get the answer correct.

What I’ve appreciated most are the practice times together with our Quiz Master and coach. She has not only worked with the young people to perfect the art of jumping and memorizing, but has also poured biblical truths into their lives weekly, addressing issues in our world, and in our personal lives, through what they’re reading, and seeing how it applies to the here and now.

For us, we’re thrilled the Word is going in, and we pray the truths going into their hearts and minds will produce the fruit of what comes out of their lives both now and in the future.  Soaking in scripture is a reminder that the Word of God will “not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 ESV)

There’s no better way to understand Bible Quizzing and know it for yourself than by attending one of the Quiz Meets, or better yet, sign your children up for the opportunity to quiz next year, and start a new Team for the Canadian Bible Quizzing league in your city!

Written By Michael Zwart

If you’d like to know more about Bible Quizzing, please contact Michael Zwart at michael@biblequizzing.ca