When President Russell M. Nelson announced the changes in Sunday services starting in 2019, I kind of panicked. First, because I was used to being dependent on Primary to provide my children with serious gospel learning in a classroom setting. And second, because I feel like I do not have enough resources to help them focus on gospel learning at home. When I say home, I am talking about an informal setting where we just talk and play and show videos. So when the announcement was made, I made it a point to look for ways to better the gospel learning experience for kids at home.
Aside from the “Come, Follow Me” manual, I have found a lot of things we can use to increase attention span and improve how we teach our children in a home setting.
Use Church Youtube Channels and Websites
There are a number of Youtube channels that showcase videos and even karaoke songs that help us deliver lessons to young children. The following links below are good examples:
lds.org is also a very good resource. Try the following links:
Make Object Lessons
It is sometimes difficult to give lessons on faith, repentance or the Atonement that are geared towards young minds. If we use day to day objects and situations that they can relate closely with, we may find it easier to teach them gospel principles. The Savior provided a powerful example in His use of parables. We can also make modern-day parables to share with our children the points of doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Grab Every Teaching Opportunity
A question asked, a moment that happened, at meal times, during commute – these are all teaching opportunities. It is ideal to sit down and talk to our children discussing topics from the “Come, Follow Me” manual. However, it is not the only time or setting when we can have a gospel discussion. The Holy Ghost can manifest truths to us and to our children in places and in situations when we need inspiration the most. We need not wait until we sit down and open with a prayer and a hymn. We can take advantage of every minute when a teaching opportunity is available.
Get Back to Basics (Scriptures, Gospel Art Kit, Family Home Evening Manual, Music, etc.)
No matter what new website or latest app, nothing can replace the valuable resources already provided for us. The scriptures must never be replaced when it comes to where we base all our lessons. The Gospel Library is replete with beautiful texts and images we can use to teach our children but what if there is no power or our electronic gadgets fail? Having a gospel library in print at home is a big help. It is fundamental. If we still do not have one at home, let us start with completing the four standard works – The Book of Mormon, The Holy Bible, Doctrine & Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. Eventually build a gospel library at home adding a book or two that can be used to increase gospel knowledge. This is a good investment so children will develop a love for reading and searching the scriptures.
It is a challenge for young parents with small kids to create a learning atmosphere like that of the primary classes they have at church. Gathering them in a formal setting is already hard enough. Getting them through the whole lesson is a Herculian task. We just need to roll up our sleeves and use the creativity that God has given us. Each family has setups unique to them. We cannot compare ours with others but we can learn from them. Let us open our eyes and our hearts for inspiration that may come our way as we strive to center our gospel learning inside the four corners of our home. This is an opportunity for us to practice more fully our responsibility to teach our children and nurture their testimonies.