At the start of 2019, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began a new meeting schedule that consisted of two hours of church, replacing the previous three-hour schedule. Members are now instructed to use that time to learn the gospel at home with the guidance of the Come, Follow Me— For Individuals and Families curriculum from the Church.
This gives families the chance to learn together. Many families, however, have members with a wide range of ages from adult to teen, tween to big kid, toddler to baby — all of whom need to be able to learn. It can be difficult to cater to all those age ranges, and the manual gives many tips. Here are some others to help you along if you find this to be a challenge.
1. Give the older kids assignments.
The Come, Follow Me manual is structured for purposes of study. It poses questions and gives ideas, but for the most part, it encourages individuals and families to study and find meaning. If you have older children, they can do this themselves. At the start of each week, have them read the passages and write down thoughts to share so they can help teach the little ones when you gather as a family.
2. Teach to the simplest learner.
“No person left behind” is a good motto to follow here, so it's important to teach to the simplest learner. Show a video, such as ones from the Church's Bible videos series. Act out or draw a scene from the scriptures. Play a game. As you do, you will find that even the older children will enjoy the process. You will also learn the simplicity of the gospel, and that will, in turn, keep your family centered in those small and simple things.
3. Make time for personal study.
Just as any teacher needs to be prepared for lessons he/she is teaching, so do you. Take time to study the material so that you can better teach your children, young and old. As you do, you will also learn and draw closer to your Heavenly Father.
4. Keep class open every day.
Even with those simple lessons, there will be tough questions to answer — especially as your children begin to mix what they’re learning at home/church with what they are learning elsewhere. This is why it is so important to keep the dialogue open even outside family study.
Conversion is the goal of this curriculum, as stated on the first page of the manual. Conversion happens when the gospel becomes a way of life.
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Arianne Brown is a mother of eight who loves hearing and sharing stories. For more of her writings, search “A Mother’s Write” on Facebook. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: A_Mothers_Write