Friday, April 25, 2008

May 2008 Sharing Time

Objective: Scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening can strengthen my family.

Opening Activity: Have a large box house, filled with something very heavy. It has to be heavy enough so that the child CAN NOT MOVE IT !!! Invite a child to our happy home to see if they can move it. Read aloud the scripture Helaman 5:12,

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

Sharing Time: The large cardboard box should have removable cardstock features- windows, door, chimney, plants in the front… etc. Children will come up and choose features from the house and we’ll examine what makes a strong home and family life.

Questions for the removable features

1. What story from the scriptures do you know is true and why?
2. How often should you pray as a family? Have you felt the spirit in your home as you’ve prayed as a family?
3. What do you do as a family for family home evening? And if you don’t have family home evening regularly, what is something you could do together?
4. Please read 1 Nephi 19:22-23 (Encourage an older child to help if a younger child chooses a scripture reference) What does this scripture teach us?
5. Show me what we do with our bodies for prayer. What should we be thinking about during family prayers?
6. What are things I can do to encourage regular family home evening?
7. How can I help my family learn about the scriptures?
8. What are things I can pray for during family prayer?
9. Why is family home evening so important?

Possible songs to integrate:
Home CS 192
Search, Ponder and Pray CS 109
Family Night CS 195
Families Can be Together Forever CS 188
Scripture Power

Closing Activity:
Have someone again try to move the home then you recite from memory D&C 88:118-119. Ask them to do the same motions as you as you recite, to help remember this scripture and what makes a happy home (steadfast and immovable) and strong family.

“And as all have not faith (touch heart), seek (point to eyes) ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom( motion hand from mouth down); yea, seek ye out of the best books (make hands a book) words of wisdom; seek (point to eyes) learning, even by study and also by faith. (touch heart)

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house (make a roof with hands), even a house of prayer (praying hands), a house of fasting (touch belly), a house of faith (touch heart), a house of learning (touch head), a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God (point above)”

Bear testimony that family scripture study, family prayer and family home evening can make our homes happy and our families stronger.

1. Memorizing Scriptures... how often do we quote scriptures from memory in front of the kids? What is that showing children when we do or do not do this?
2. Be sensitive to your children's needs. Many often do not have a happy home. Try to keep things positive and remind them how much Jesus loved the little children. Tell them how special they are and that they can be an influence for good in their own homes.
3. Pictures to be posted soon on my box home.
4. Always post your objective, which should be the assigned week topic from the Primary Sharing Time and Sacrament Meeting Presentation. (Of course, let prayer and the spirit be your guide! But in general... yada yada, stick to the outline) Having the objective posted reminds you and the children what the point is.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stake Leadership Training Questions and Answers

Our Stake asked us for some ideas for leadership training. I thought I'd post my response.
Their questions are in blue and my ideas in black.

Any Sharing Time Thoughts? : I feel like if you are going to do a "game" you should not make it a competition between girls or boys, right verses left hand side... Try to use the whole primary! See how many points you can get as a single body and make sure to praise the children, "Wow. Look at what a great job everyone did working together!" I feel like we should do everything possible to encourage unity.

Any Quarterly Activity Ideas? : The Primary Sharing Time Outline for the year has monthly themes and the following ideas are based off each month's theme.

1. General Conference Review : Have different stations with activities based on talks from general conference.
2. Meet and Greet the Prophets: Have a luncheon where kids come dressed up as different prophets and share their knowledge of those prophets. Play getting to know you games as children have to do it as those prophets.

1. A Loving Home: Let the children role play and record them as they demonstrate what a loving home entails. Divide the kids into groups of 4 or 5 (depending on the # there) and give them costumes and situations. (E.G. It's FHE! show us how a loving home would do a FHE, or It's time to get ready in the morning. How does a loving home work in the morning?) Make sure to have plenty of situations. Encourage kids to be as creative as possible. Show the videos at the end.
2. Gingerbread homes: Help the children create and decorate gingerbread homes (graham crackers and cans of frosting work perfect!) Have a small lesson on what makes a happy home and have a paper for them to contract 3 things they will do to make their home a better place.

1. Go to visit the Reno temple.
2. Family History Day: Have the ward geneaology specialist come in and talk to the children. Have them make a family tree type craft, have the kids do interviews with some of the older members of the ward and scrapbook family pictures. Be creative.

1. Culture Day: Have different stations teaching about different children of the world. Have different food and fun facts prepared and an activity or game for them to play about that different culture.
2. I hope they call me on a mission: Do different games based on missionary lifestyle. (E.g. Scripture reference look up speed challenge, knock on door race- put a door a good ways away and then have them run and come back to tag their partner, 3 legged get to church race, find the investigator- hide and seek)

1. Make sacrament books to help remember baptismal convenants. Have some of the children who have been baptized share their experience.

Look for volunteer opportunities in the area! Schedule leaf rake ups for different members. Find a service project for the children to do!

What are we doing every week to teach scriptures to the kids? Recitation of the monthly scripture found in the sharing time outline. Using scriptures in sharing times as much possible.

What are ways to help the children develop testimonies? :
1. Make sure primary is a place where the spirit can be felt. Primary should have a loving atmosphere and be orderly.
2. Let them share. It's called sharing time for a reason. Adults tend to talk to much, remember you are a guide not a lecturer. Plan ample opportunity for them to share answers to questions or personal experiences. Repeating a little back what they have said validates that you are listening and that what they have said is important.

What are ways to involve children and encourage participation? :
1. Stop talking. Let them talk.
2. Be energetic and excited. You don't have to be irreverant or loud or boisterous. But when they see you are enthused, they will be enthused. You get what you give.
3. Don't put them down. If you are constantly telling them how irreverant they are or how disappointed you are that they can't listen they will believe you. You are the one who needs to learn how to get attention and keep it. Church is 3 hours, don't waste their time by being negative because they will then follow suit. Also, validate their answers to questions... it may not be the right answer, but so what... it's close! You can correct without being negative ( Where did Jesus atone for our sins? Child: Bethlehem! E.g. Wow! What a good memory. Jesus was born in bethlehem! Where did Jesus atone for our sins? Can anyone help? Child: Galilee! You are so smart! That is where Jesus taught during His ministry! He atoned for our sins in a place called the Garden of Gethsemane)

What are ways to prevent misunderstandings, especially for little children? :
1. Watch the words you use.
2. Explain simply.
3. Make things very visual for them. If you have a lesson about Joseph Smith, show them the picture of him, they might be thinking Joseph of Egypt. Always have the GAK (gospel art kit) handy.