“Helping Children Get the Most from Church Classes,” Ensign, July 2000, 71
Parents can help their children get the most from seminary and Church classes by following some basic principles.
Read to your children—young and teenage—and encourage them to read with you and by themselves. Make regular family scripture study part of their routine. Make good books available to them, and help them learn to enjoy reading. Children who develop a love of reading the scriptures and other good books will be better able to keep up in Church classes and understand the language used in the scriptures.
Help your children with a talk, project, or presentation they might have to prepare. Do not do the project for them, but be a dependable resource to them. Help them see the real-life applications of what is being taught in the presentation or talk.
Share positive experiences you might have had in your own Church classes. Praise teachers, and look for the best in the educational opportunities the Church provides. Your example will help your children keep an open mind and heart during their own Church classes.
Listen to your children. Give them a safe environment in which to share their feelings. The more interest and positive feedback they receive as they share with you, the more they will do it.
Expect good things of your children, and keep your expectations up so that they may rise to them. Follow up on your children’s reading assignments and seminary homework. Let them know that it’s important to complete such tasks so they learn to be self-motivated.
Applaud both the efforts and the accomplishments of your children. Honor the work they bring home by displaying it. Thank teachers and youth leaders with phone calls or notes of appreciation.
Participate in your children’s activities. Be a part of their education. Let them know that they are important by spending your time with them. This will help strengthen your relationship.
Provide a learning environment for your children. Make sure they eat a good breakfast, even before early-morning seminary. Help them get to bed on time so their minds and bodies get enough rest. Manage television and Internet access so that children can learn discipline and have the time they need to develop and to express themselves productively.
Children will try harder, perform better, and learn more when their parents are interested and involved. Parents can make positive contributions that will keep their children actively participating in Church and seminary activities.—Brad Wilcox, BYU 138th Ward, BYU 15th Stake