This is another encouraging video of home catechization provided to us by our Facebook group member, Melissa Sutton.
In this video, we see that young children can learn to memorize the Catechism. A very young boy recites the Third Article and its meaning. He and his older sister recite the Introduction of the Lord’s Prayer, its meaning, and the Second Petition.
All young children need prompts when learning to recite the Catechism from memory. It is interesting in this video how mom uses both verbal and sign prompts.
Melissa is taking advantage of a pedagogical truth that was expressed by G. H. Gerberding in these words:
The child must be instructed. Begin early. Let it learn to pray as soon as it can speak. … We quote again from Luthardt: ‘Let it not be objected that the child cannot understand the prayer. The way of education is by practice to understanding, not by understanding to practice.
H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, pp. 49-50 (Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887).
Even quite young children have some understanding of the words when they first begin to memorize them. After they have the words well fixed in their minds by repeated practice, more and more meaning comes to them.