“Sunday Stations,” Ensign, June 1989, 65
I knew that my children should be studying the scriptures. But when did they have time? Homework, practicing for music lessons, and other activities seemed to come first. I had purchased a set of scripture tapes for the children for Christmas, but they weren’t using them. How could I make time for the tapes without sacrificing time allotted to other valuable activities?
I was frustrated until a friend suggested that we try “Sunday Stations.” The idea worked so well that we have been using it ever since.
We plan our Sunday Stations for our four oldest children. They are old enough to work independently, so this frees me from having to constantly supervise. I set up four different stations in different areas of the house. In each station I put a different activity that is suitable for Sunday. I choose activities that the children enjoy but don’t seem to find time for.
Station one has a set of scripture tapes and a portable cassette recorder, as well as a few pillows for lounging. Here, the children choose a tape and relax while listening to their favorite scripture stories.
Station two has writing materials and the children’s journals. I tell them they can write about anything they like. But if their imaginations lag, I also have a jar with ideas printed on slips of paper: “The best thing that happened to me this week was …” “One thing I’ve always wanted to do is …”
Station three has the latest issues of the New Era and Friend magazines. Occasionally I target a specific article or story that I particularly want the children to read.
Station four has been especially fun, because I change it all the time. Sometimes I choose activities from the Friend or the home evening manual. Sometimes I give the children a scripture to memorize or several to mark in their standard works. Often I have them write letters to missionaries or grandparents. I may have them color pictures to use as visual aids for our home evening lesson or have them plan a family activity or service project. If the family has a specific need, I try to plan the station four activity around it.
The children draw numbers to decide which station they will start with. I keep a timer at station one, and the child at that station tells the others when it is time to change. Our children spend fifteen minutes at each station; that gives them enough time to complete an activity but not to become bored. The children rotate until they have completed all four stations.
Sunday Stations take only an hour, but their benefits have been many. Not only have the scripture tapes been put into service, but we have also found time for other projects we were neglecting. Best of all, our Sundays are more peaceful, more restful, and more spiritual.—Linda Garner, Sandy, Utah