God’s Word is central to everything that happens at Ascension Lutheran School. That is why we begin each day with a short chapel service led by the pastor.
Ascension Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and follows the teachings of the Lutheran Confessions. All chapel services, religion instruction, and our Learn by Heart Memory Program, give children the basic tenets of the Lutheran Confessions, with an emphasis on Luther’s Small Catechism.
The memory program is organized on a three-year cycle and follows the cycle of the Christian church year. At the beginning of the school year, the parents and the children receive the memory schedule for the entire year. All the children in the family receive the same work, with lesser expectations for younger children, so that the families can work together to learn the material.
Each week, the children learn a Bible passage, a hymn verse, and a small section of Luther’s Small Catechism. Students are expected to work on their memory assignments at home with their parents, in the classroom with their teacher, and in daily chapel with the pastor. In this way, the church, home, and school provide an integrated partnership to enhance the child’s Christian education. The religion curriculum emphasizes an organized study and application of God’s Word.
Ascension Lutheran School’s memory program is a weekly study that includes a catechism section, a Bible verse, and a hymn verse. The Bible verse is related to the catechism portion and the hymns follow the cycle of the Christian church year.
The catechism study is repeated each year. The Bible and hymn verses are repeated every fourth year. The headings on the chart indicate what the minimum requirements are for the different grade levels.
Special arrangements may be made by the classroom teacher for new students not familiar with the program or students with special learning problems. Students are also encouraged to learn more than the minimum whenever possible.
Parents and students know what will be studied for the entire year. The organized cycle makes sure that no students miss any important material through the years.
All the children in the family are learning the same material so the family can work together. In chapel, students can hear other students practicing the same work. Chapel messages help students understand and apply the memory work.
Because the memory work is repeated within this cycle, students are familiar with the passages from other years and review is easier. Students will have repeated the entire memory program twice by the time they begin confirmation classes, which provides a solid background in God’s Word, the catechism, and hymns.
Parents are expected to be directly involved in helping the children learn the material by heart.
Parents should begin the process on Sunday afternoon or evening by going over the material to be learned for the week and concentrating at first on the Bible verse. By Monday morning’s chapel, students will already be familiar with or possibly have learned the Bible.
On subsequent evenings, parents should help students to learn next the hymn verse and finally the catechism. Teachers also will be working with the students on a daily basis to help them learn the work.
Kindergarten: No formal testing.
First and second grades: Students are tested orally on the Bible verse on Thursday and the catechism section on Friday.
Third through eighth grades: Students are tested in writing on the Bible verse on Wednesday, the hymn verse on Thursday, and the catechism on Friday. The written test format varies by grade.
Test scores will be used to calculate a memory grade for report cards.