Weekly Thoughts and Tips

January 2012

“This is the night we’ve waited for…”

By Jocelyn Christensen
January 27, 2012

Coming up with weekly family home evening lessons used to be pretty daunting—until we started using the Friend to help us with our lesson plans.

I start by flipping through recent copies of the Friend. When I find an article, activity, or recipe that I like, I rip out the page and make copies if necessary. Using sticky notes, I write down the lesson theme and any additional items we might need. I toss the lessons in a folder, organized by date, and before long I have planned three months’ worth of family home evenings!

To help us collaborate, my husband and I also keep an online calendar where we can both see and add links for lessons. Before he leaves work on Mondays, my husband checks the calendar so he can ponder the lesson topic on the way home.

Now, family home evening is still full of surprises, but the lesson topic is not one of them!

Breakfast with a Friend

By Tiffany Lewis
January 20, 2012

We have a pretty standard breakfast routine around here. It usually includes bowls of hot oatmeal, a sprinkle of frozen blueberries, and the Friend. While the kids eat, I sit at the table and read to them. I think of it as our morning devotional. It keeps the kids quiet and focused on their food, but it’s also a great time to discuss issues that come up in the Friend: Is anyone teasing them on the playground? Do they hear other kids using inappropriate language, and what can they do about it? Do they say prayers when they need help in school? What does the Spirit feel like?

I like to think that breakfast is about more than filling my kids’ stomachs. It’s about filling their spiritual reservoir.

Music Time

By Hilary Watkins Lemon
January 13, 2012

I always look forward to the start of a new year. It’s a time of new goals and new beginnings. January also brings new Sharing Time materials, including a song found in the Outline for Sharing Time. This year’s song is called “As a Child of God.” Here are some ideas for practicing and using the song at home:

  • Check out the “I Can Play It” section of this month’s Friend. Kids can practice a simplified version of “As a Child of God” straight from the magazine.
  • Listen to the song on ChurchofJesusChrist.org/music, or download the music to your computer or MP3 player. Vocal tracks are available in 10 languages!
  • Copy or print the sheet music for a family home evening activity. Children who are old enough can take turns leading the music. Youth with more experience could teach younger siblings how to lead music.
  • With your children, make your own visual aids to help learn the song’s words. Use old magazines to find images that represent key words, such as earth and family. You can also reference the Gospel Art Book for more ideas, or draw your own pictures.

Happy New Year, and happy singing!

A New Resource

January 2, 2012

It’s here! A new resource for parents, teachers, and leaders of children! Beginning this month, the Friend is publishing an online resource of additional helps for teaching children. Included here are stories, activities, and media that support the Primary lessons being taught in 2012. You will also find an index of ideas for different gospel topics. You can use these at home and in a variety of church settings. These ideas are all approved resources and can be used with full confidence that they are endorsed by the Church and meet the standard of teaching true doctrine.

It is a sacred responsibility to teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them learn to live it. You are doing much more than teaching a lesson—you are teaching children to know and love the Savior, and helping them to be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.