“How can I help my home teachers help my family?” Ensign, Feb. 1981, 15
R. Wayne Shute, former Regional Representative and presently Coordinator of Intern Doctoral Program, College of Education, BYU Home teaching is most successful when the families being taught are home teachable. Being home teachable means allowing your home teachers to give you the kind of help the Spirit intends for you to receive.
The question is—How does a family do this? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Become well acquainted with your home teachers. Learn about their skills, hobbies, work, and other interests so that you know how to involve them in your family circle. And help them get acquainted with you and your family, sharing information with them which you would want your friends to know.
2. See your home teachers as a resource to call upon for help. This is generally just a frame of mind. As parents, you have many resources available to help strengthen your family; you can call on schools to help you educate your children, police to protect you, bishops to interview you, and quorum leaders to lead you. View your home teachers as another source of help.
3. Involve your home teachers (perhaps gradually at first) in specific ways to help your family. There is a tendency on the part of independent and self-reliant people to resist calling on others for help. We tend to think that others have their own problems, that they are too busy, or that we don’t want to share too many problems with them.
It’s true that some problems are very sensitive, and it may not be appropriate for home teachers to help us deal with them. But there are many other specific areas where home teachers can be of great help. As your confidence grows in your relationship with them, give them a chance to help.
4. Decide which family goals your home teachers can review with you monthly. As a family, select specific goals for personal and family improvement based, perhaps, on the “Basic Points of Emphasis,” a list of goals dealing with missionary and genealogical work and temporal and spiritual welfare suggested by the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (see Ensign, June 1980, p. 70). Decide which ones you’d like your home teachers to help you follow through with.
For example, if you choose to work on having a year’s supply of food, clothing, and fuel, you might make individualized, specific goals such as the following:
Give your home teachers a list of these goals and invite them to check on your progress, remind family members about forthcoming deadlines, and encourage individuals to accomplish their objectives so that the family can reach its goals.
Great experiences await home teachers when they are called on to be useful and supportive to families. Great experiences await families, too, as they become home teachable and allow their home teachers to encourage and strengthen them in specific ways.