Monday, May 6, 2013

May Family Home Evening Plan

My plans are still working great at keeping me on track.  In fact, they're working so great, I wonder why I didn't try this before.  It doesn't take too long and it's awesome!

I do have one small confession (which probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone), I don't always exactly follow my plan.  Sometimes life sort of gets in the way or takes us in another direction.  And I've been going with the flow.  Me.  I know, maybe it should be surprising.

Anyway, my point is, make a plan, but be willing to change it if your kids ask you a good question or if you happen to get free tickets to go to a museum.  Any plan should be there to support, not restrict.  It's one of the many reasons I love them.

Just a quick review of my family home evening purpose.  First and foremost, our family home evenings are a place for us to be together, helping each other grow.  To meet this purpose, I try to plan family home evening's that helps my daughter meet some of her Personal Progress requirements and my son pass off some of his Cub Scout achievements.  In addition to this, we focus on teachings found in the most recent General Conference talks whenever possible. 

Now, onto May!

Week 1
We always spend the first part of the first Monday talking about and checking progress on our 2013 goals.  If you haven't made any yet, it's never too late!  The kids love to set their own goals, see what everyone else chooses and to set a few for our family as a whole.  It's a really great experience that we all love.

With spring finally warming up (for us, sorry if you just experienced a blizzard, that's just rude), this is a great time to talk about our earth and how we can take care of it (this will almost pass off Achievement 7 for my Cub Scout aged son in Wolves). 

This lesson is pretty short so you can get to the real fun,the activity.  We'll talk about respect, what it means in reference to people, animals, and our planet.  Next, we'll talk about how the earth gets dirty (I'm just talking litter here) and how we can help.  Is there recycling in your area?  What sorts of things are recyclable?  Are there other things we can do aside from recycling?  Things like turning the lights off or keeping your thermostat not too cold (or hot). 

After our short discussion, we'll head out to pick up trash around our neighborhood.  We'll just do a quick loop around our neighborhood, but you could go as long or far as you have energy for.  We are also going to use thin plastic (or rubber?) gloves I've got in my school-room to use for various projects.  Afterwards, my favorite thing to do is eat Popsicles outside (if it's warm enough) at the park, if you've got one close enough. 

Week 2
I found a great website called FHE in 5 that has a very fun series talking about prophets.  It uses the Primary song Follow The Prophet as it's spine (so there are 9 weeks to go along with the verses) and we're going to do the the first week for our family night. 

This is going to be another very short lesson so we can get to the activity portion quickly.  We will talk about prophets, sing the first verse of Follow the Prophet and then watch this short video from lds dot org about Adam and Eve.

Then we'll talk about how Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and how we can make our home like the Garden of Eden.  Which leads right into weeding our flower beds, vegetable garden and getting my kids started in planting their sections in the vegetable garden.  If you don't have a vegetable garden begging to be planted, you could plant in a flower pot or a plastic cup or whatever you have lying around.

Week 3
Makenna is going to be working on another faith value experience for her Personal Progress.  This time she's going to work on Faith #3 and before our family night she'll read about faith and how it leads to action.  She's chosen to teach us about the principles found in the 10 commandments and how living them requires faith.

I found another amazing FHE on Parenting in the Latter-days that I'll print out for her to give to us.  It's got a fun participation story where the kids get to hold up pictures whenever their word is said, some matching cards to translate the scriptural language of the 10 commandments into easier to understand kid language, a finger play to learn the story of Moses getting the 10 commandments and some more detailed information for older kids.  It's very well put together (like all her lessons) and will be perfect!

I'm also excited Makenna chose this particular topic because it goes along with one of the most recent General Conference talks.  I'll have her talk about that as she gets the lesson started to keep conference in my kids minds.  President Monson said, "A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God."  Now, he's not just talking about the 10 commandments, but we can talk about what truth we learn as we discuss each of the commandments and how we can be more obedient to them.

Week 4
For months (okay, years) I've been wanting to get involved in family history.  I feel like this great pressure has been building up inside me and is finally getting to the point where it's just about ready to burst.  And the pressure isn't really aimed at temple work (currently), I want to know about my family.  I need to KNOW them.  Where do I come from?  What are the stories of these nameless people that helped to bring me here?

I feel more than slightly overwhelmed, which is probably why I haven't done anything yet.  But I'm going to.  I recently attended the General Primary Auxiliary Training and when a 12 year old boy was asked what advice he would give to someone who wanted to start family history he said, "Just get started."  So I'm going to.

Step one: We're going to have a lesson on family history.  We'll start with some super cute videos about family history (probably just one of them, but I can't decide yet, they're so darn cute..seriously, you should watch them). 

After that, we'll talk about our family and use a cute object lesson I found at America Jane Speaks.  We'll make a paper chain with every one's names.  I'll have the kids pick a color for their section, Steve and I will be another and we'll add their grandparents in a third color.  Then, I'll ask them if they know who their great-grandparents are.  We'll see how far we can get on our chain (it probably won't get too far past grandparents without some help) and between now and the night we do this, I'm going to see how many stories I can rustle up about our closer ancestors.  We can tell the stories as we add each link to our chain. 

I've been wanting to start a family tree wall (since Memorial Day last year) and we'll start that also.  I've been waiting to figure out how to arrange them, buy frames, and pre-gather all the stories.  I'm just going to start, the organization can happen along the way, right?  We'll laminate the pictures and stick them on the wall.  I know, it's a little tacky, but it's better than that blank wall just staring at me (this way I can rearrange them until I find what I like best).  Even if we just start with us, it will be worth it to get moving.

On Your LDS Blog I found another fun idea for making a file folder game of a family tree.  This way, the kids get to know who their ancestors are as they place them on the family tree (over and over).  I won't have each of my kids make one, but I think we'll do one for the family and as we "find" more ancestors, we'll print out pictures to add to our tree.  Hopefully, it'll be overflowing in not too many months.

Good luck with your FHE plans for the month and remember, the most important (above ANYTHING else) is to have it.  It's not what or how, it is that you DO.  So, "just get started."

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