Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sunday Night Gospel Study

I wish I could claim this idea as my own!

Awhile back I was bemoaning the fact that when we do FHE it never turns out right anymore.  We have a 12 year old and a 2 year old and three ages in between.  How do you have a successful FHE with so many ages, attention spans, and interests!!??!!

My friend, Katie, said that in her family they had Sunday Night Gospel Study for the older kids and then on Monday night a very brief (BRIEF) lesson for the little ones that's totally age-appropriate followed by lots of family fun.  She lets the younger kids practically run Monday night - they pretty much do anything that appeals to the youngest kids (they pick the songs, the activity, etc). 

So we tried it.  It's been fabulous for us.  My 12 and 11 (10 when we started) year olds are pretty much required to come.  My just-turned-eight year old son is allowed to come but not required.  We do it after the littles have gone to bed.  We've studied from Preach My Gospel, For Strength of Youth, Conference Talks, Scriptures, etc.  Whatever we feel is important - usually sticking to one for awhile before switching - based on the needs of our kids.  It's been a great way to reach the needs of both age groups without boring anyone to tears.  FHE has been so much less frustrating for us!


Andrea, I had some ideas about teaching time management.  Maybe you've already tried them or ruled them out, but here's what I was thinking.

Talking about time.  Such as, asking how long she thinks it will take to complete a certain job from start to finish, then timing.  My kids are always pleasantly surprised.  Using a timer that she can carry around with her.  Breaking tasks into very manageable pieces - maybe written out with a check box.  

I've been trying to work on the same concept with my kids.  They are required to come to me when a job is done and ask if there is anything else that they can do.  If they don't come, even if the job is done, then I always give them an extra job purely as a consequence to not coming.  If I notice that they are playing before the job is done, they also get an extra job.  Logan - my  most distracted kid - is getting really good at remembering.  It's also a lot of fun to tell him that he's DONE and can go play.

Recently I was reading an article - can't remember where! - that was a person talking about their jobs as a kid.  They said that their mother always gave them the "fun" jobs.  Her feeling was that anyone could clean the kitchen and wash the dishes, so she gave her kids the jobs that sounded more exciting and involved learning a new skill.  I thought the idea was interesting, and it inspired me to make sure that I remember to give my kids jobs that catch their attention.  For example, I love organizing so I usually keep those jobs for myself and give my kids something else, like the garbages to empty.  What I've discovered is that my 11 year old not only loves to organize but is GOOD at it.  The other day I had planned to go through the toy bucket while they were cleaning the play room.  She asked if she could do it instead.  She not only did a wonderful and thorough job (she tossed more toys out than I would have dared), but she enjoyed it.  I picked up the play room and starting sorting through some old papers that I wouldn't have had a chance to sort through if I'd been organizing. 

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