“Primary Answers ‘Most Popular Questions’” Ensign, Aug. 1981, 78
Changes in the Primary program because of the consolidated meeting schedule and the change in the curriculum year to January have produced a torrent of questions. Here are four of the most popular questions with clarifying answers.
QUESTION: Some of our teachers want to leave Primary during opening exercises and sharing time to attend other auxiliary meetings. What ideas can we share with them to help them understand why they need to stay with their classes for the entire period?
PRIMARY: There are several reasons for staying with the class, and the first is the security it provides for the children. Young children especially may be frightened at leaving their parents. When the teacher leaves too, they may become very upset. A second reason is that the teacher, by staying, communicates to her children that nothing is more important than being with them.
Furthermore, sharing time and opening exercises are times to reinforce gospel principles taught in class, just as class is a time to reinforce the principles taught during opening exercises. This gives the children’s total Primary experience an important element of unity.
We also think it’s important for the teacher to see the children under a variety of situations, thus learning more about their needs.
Some teachers feel that their need for spiritual growth cannot be met in Primary. We testify that actively studying the gospel in preparation for teaching it, and then putting those principles into action can lead to spiritual growth.
QUESTION: Why should the eleven-year-old Scouts meet separately from the twelve- and thirteen-year-old Scouts?
PRIMARY: Because they’re not deacons and cannot participate in quorum activities. Until they are twelve, they are the Primary’s stewardship. It doesn’t matter if a patrol of eleven-year-old Scouts is small. The individual attention gives each boy a better chance to learn skills, attitudes, and ideals; and he has more leadership opportunities.
Some of the older troop’s daytime activities might be appropriate for the younger boys. In those cases they could be included. Also, if distances are a problem, the meeting place could be rotated among the boys, the leader, and the meetinghouse.
QUESTION: Why do the ten-and eleven-year-old children need weekday activities twice a month?
PRIMARY: They need chances to live gospel principles they have learned on Sunday, opportunities to expand their talents and interests under Church leadership, and the strengthened relationship between teacher and child that comes from additional contacts. These weekday activities are also valuable opportunities to fellowship inactive and nonmember boys and girls.
QUESTION: How can ward Primary leaders use the ward activities committee to help with the all-Primary quarterly activity days?
PRIMARY: The ward Primary presidency organizes and supervises these activity days with the assistance of the ward Primary board, involving children in the planning and preparations wherever possible. The activities committee can assist when it is necessary. For example, if the activity were a dance festival, the activities committee could provide a specialist to teach the dances to the children for the festival.