Friday, January 15, 2010

Controversy?

Did you see and thoroughly read this?

It's important and you should definitely take the time to read it.

I have never questioned myself in doing this blog and I'll tell you why.

Moroni 7:16 "For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."

I FIRMLY BELIEVE IN TEACHING WHAT OUR SHARING TIME OUTLINE SAYS!!!

I in NO way am saying, "Hey man... go do your own thang, come up with your own ideas and party on." I'm not a Latter Day hippie intent on free lessons and bare foot (shiver....) fun with the kiddos. Please. Shoes on. Say no to athlete's foot.

True Story: Week after week I was at the Primary Piano. FAVORITE CALLING EVER. (Although I say that about every calling...) Being there gave me a unique perspective to see what worked and what didn't. Week after week I would see teachers struggle to keep the attention of Primary students. I would see teachers frustrated and crying. I would see nervous teachers who didn't plan enough or planned too much and then got really discouraged. Isn't Sunday and church supposed to be happy? What was going on?

It's a hard thing to go in front of 40 or however many children. This is part of their spiritual education. You want them to love church. You want them to come to primary and enjoy it. You want them to be able to feel the spirit so you can all be closer to Christ. Different ages have different learning needs. How do you meet these needs?

True Story: Sometimes... Ok... at least 2 times a month (for about 6 months) I would be asked to do a sharing time the morning of or the night before. How is that fair to the children? I had to be prepared!

I want to help people. I want to help children. I am my brother's keeper.
You'll notice these aren't full out lesson plans. They are little ideas BASED on the weekly theme.

I will say I've prayed and felt many blessings from doing this blog. In fact, in my very hour of need, this blog became a miracle ... an absolute miracle from God that raised my soul from the depths of despair and gave me hope when I thought the pain was insurmountable. I know it's inspired. I hope you too can feel of my heart's intentions.

44 comments :

bathroom lights said...

I love this post!

007 and the A team said...

The article refers to supplementing the manuals so much that the manuals aren't really getting used. I don't feel that's what your site is about at all. Rather, it does support the Sharing Time lesson plans but assists in finding creative ways to present that information to the children (not more). And the ideas are much appreciated!

Desiree said...

I think your blog is perfect, and I can tell that your heart is in the right place and that all your suggestions are right in line with the children's outline. Thanks for sharing that article, I too have been guilty of trying too hard to make my lessons too much, thankfully I saw that a long time ago. Simplify, the Lord has prepared it all already. That's what I try to remember.

The Fredericks said...

thank you so much for doing this site- I was just released- but your blog SAVED me every week- so thanks again and you will be blessed for your willingness to help!

Haley said...

I appreciate your blog very much. I don't feel that it's a justification to use this and other blogs like it, inconjunction with the Sharing Time Outline at all. I think your blog helps to expand on the principles that are related to our calling as given on pg 26-27 of the outline. We are to "use music to teach Gospel principles, teach a song, reveiw songs for learning and fun and use music to engage chilren." I think that as long as we are following these directions, whatever we add is icing on the cake. Thank you for what you do.

Emilee & Paul said...

The ST Outline doesn't give us much to work with, and now that The Friend Magazine doesn't have ideas in it either, I'm SO glad to have you blog to gather ideas from. Instead of coming up with ideas on my own or calling my sisters for help, that is what I use this blog for, and I will continue to do so forever and ever, so don't even think of quitting . . . EVER!! :) Thanks for all you do. Your ideas are always right up my alley and make ST something I look forward to presenting.

Henckel House said...

I think your blog is an invaluable resource and not because it adds information to already published church materials, but because it compiles or correlates already church published material together into one cohesive place! I can't tell you how many times I have clicked on a link from your blog to be connected to a church article or article from the friend. I don't think I will give up your website or sugardoodle any time soon - because I do feel they are both inspired and I cannot be thankful enough. Thank you so much!

mahonica (you ugly) said...

When I found your blog some time ago I was so relieved to have a place to come to feed my creative juices...as it turned out I always had plenty of ideas in the months when I was not doing sharing time! I loved being able to find an appropriate activity that would reinforce the message I needed to teach the children. I never once felt unsure of the said activity and whether it would subtract from the spirit or the gospel principle which was on focus for that month or week. I have since been released from Primary and now teach teenagers (gasp). As a result, I think I left my creative juices in Primary for the next presidency to recycle! As far as I know there aren't any blogs to help reinforce such principles as they are taught to teens. (sigh)You are awesome. I hope you continue to receive spiritual guidance which in turn gives much needed guidance to many others serving Primary children elsewhere!

Rachael Renee Anderson said...

Sofia, I use your site all the time to help with my sharing time lessons, so PLEASE don't stop, at least not until I get released. :) Your lesson ideas invite the spirit in a fun and creative way. They always follow theme of the outline specifically and I have been so grateful for your help. I believe that every teacher has their own unique style of teaching and we all could use different lesson plans that work together with our individual personalities. For me, that means options, which your site provides. I always find that at least one of your ideas fits my personality and allows me to pull of a lesson that invites the spirit, teaches the theme, and captures the kids' attention (at least partially :)) I only wish that you were on the correlation committee. :)

Liz said...

Amen and I agree with 007's comment. Keep it up.

all2gethernow said...

I am the chorister you saw from the piano! When I was called as the chorister, I cried, had a nervous breakdown, etc. It was very overwhelming. This has been, without a doubt, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. It has also, I'm sure you can guess, been the most rewarding. It is in no small part due to your selfless posts. They have saved me so many times. And, our primary has felt the spirit! Those children know their Heavenly Father loves them. I know that this mircale doesn't come from me, or even your posts... I know it comes from the Spirit guiding us. I'm so thankful for it.
I'm also so sorry that I am not as selfless and thoughtful as you to post my occasional (but not often) original ideas. Yours have helped me so much.
Thanks again!!

runningcaj said...

Thank you for what you do. We are all here to help each other in whatever way we have to offer. I could just hug you tonight. Your blog has touched me deeply.

Amy said...

Several years ago I was called to teach the adult Sunday School class. At first I did just what the woman in the article did. I was overwhelmed and felt that I needed to know more about the subjects before I taught them. All I got from "outside sources" was more confused and frustrated. I learned that if I use the manual and rely on the Spirit, I can teach a great lesson about principles like prayer and faith and repentance, even if I don't know the Greek word for something or the history of South America.
Now that I am in Primary, I am surprised that more people don't rely on the Spirit for inspiration. I do enjoy your site as a kick start for brainstorming (I haven't worked in Primary before) but I have yet to use a single idea. I feel that the Lord called me to this position and will give me the exact idea I need for the children in my stewardship. Even when I have used ideas from other sites in the past, I still altered it to fit the needs of my class.
I don't think the point of the article was that we should blindly rely on the church-published materials and nothing else. I think we should ALWAYS rely on the Spirit to ultimately lead us to the best way to teach the subject matter.

Melanie said...

I think you are doing a great job in giving us ideas while following the guidlines of the church. It was a miracle when I found your blog. I have felt the spirit with me everytime I have felt prompted to use one of your ideas. You are doing a good thing. I for one am very grateful to you for living worthy to be prompted to share you talents with us. Thanks for all you do! You have truly blessed my life.

Margaret said...

Keep it up! I love your blog. In my opinion it is lots of ideas to inspire you and get you going on the lesson. I don't think you are going against anything in the Church. We all need "brain jogging" sometimes and I think that's what your blog does. Good job!

Anthony and Lindsay Dayton said...

you have saved the day for me more than once and i couldnt be more greatful that this blog exits...i dont remember primary and my husband is a convert. so when we were asked to teach the CTR 5 class we were not sure what to teach, how to teach it, or even what to expect. this made the lessons fun and interesting for the children so they wanted to come back and lean more!

Jenks Jive said...

I agree with what has been said. Your blog teaches the gospel principles in the outline using creative ideas. The outline is just that, an outline, and specifically says to supplement it with your own ideas. Thank you for sharing your ideas with those of us who struggle to come up with our own ideas!

Recipe Share said...

I think your blog is amazing. I really appreciate the collection of ideas. I too think the article was trying to make the point that we need to not stray from the manual. As sharing time teachers, we are sticking to a manual that has very limited ideas for us and we are expected to come up with most of our own lesson material. It is nice to see what others are doing with this time. Thanks for your hard work on your blog!

lilreds_nicole said...

I have struggled with the Primary Outline this year as it doesn't give one a lot to work with. We have been told by our leaders that this is because we are to prayerful consider what is needed in our own individual ward and then carry out the weekly theme accordingly. I love getting on your blog each week as I alwasy find something that adds to what I was already considering doing! Thanks so much for all you do and the endless hours you put into it!
Hugs,
Nicole

Anonymous said...

I think that you are doing a great job on this site. Your plans go right along with the monthly and weekly themes. You have *wonderful* ideas.

Anne Marie said...

Thank you for your work on this blog. I feel that it in no way distracts and takes away from the essence of what we're teaching in Primary. Quite the contrary! You are giving ideas that beautifully supplement and add to what the church has given us Primary leaders. Keep up the great work!

Ann's ART said...

As primary president, let me tell you how grateful I am for your site. Ideally, we would all be able to take the three lines that we have been given in the Sharing Time outline and stretch them to filla 20 minute Sharing Time. I think we can all admit that we can't do that every week. That being said....Thank you for what you do.

Ann's ART said...

Sofia, I tried to find your email so I wouldn't have to write this in the comments section. If you'd ever like to do another give away on your blog, I would like to donate an item from my shop. I love your blog and would love to support you in your efforts!!

www.biglakeprints.etsy.com

Ann Gardner

Vennesa said...

Thank you for your blog. Having 2 weeks sometimes on the same topic in this new outline is hard. I need these ideas!!

The Children Sing said...

Thanks for the link to the article. I'm glad that this message is published and published because it is important. I think that as a chorister, my manual also includes my experience and abilities as well, and I'm sure there isn't anything wrong with sharing them with those who might benefit from it. That's what inservice is all about.

Anonymous said...

I have found the ideas here helpful in engaging the children in our primary to listen and be involved in our sharing time lessosn. I follow the manual but love the help and ideas you share. I think they add to, not detract from the lessons. Thank you!

Sister Reimers said...

Sometimes it takes a little push to get you moving in the right path toward a great sharing time. I enjoy your blog - I see absolutely nothing contrary to the Church's policy in it. It has been a life saver to me when my creative juices just weren't flowing. I would read your ideas and might use them or they would lead me to think of a way of presenting the theme for the week that would be better suited for my primary. Thanks so much for all your work!! Sister Reimers

k peters said...

Amen to what's been said. Thank you for your blog. Please keep writing.

Aloicoius said...

First of all, I LOVE your blog. It has been the inspiration for so many wonderful lessons in our primary. Second of all, in the manual at the very beginning of each month are the words "Supplement the ideas provided here with some of your own" and I have been inspired many times to use ideas from this site. It has really enhanced my sharing times and helped me teach the children about the gospel. Thank you for all you do!

Al said...

I just happened upon your site a coupe of weeks ago and love it. I had sharing time this past week and with such little to go by in the manual I didn't know how I was going to keep the kids attention. I love your ideas! I changed it up a bit to fit my primary's needs and so many people came up to me including the children and told me how much they loved the lesson. Keep going girlfriend! I believe 100% in what your doing. Primary needs to be fun so that the children will learn. I can remember back 8 or so years ago when I was a teacher and all that the presidency did was skit after skit, it got pretty boring. So thank you!!!

holly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holly said...

Dido what everyone else has said. Please keep blogging!!!

The Todd's Life said...

I could not prepare my Sharing Times without the help & inspiriation this site shares. THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR IDEAS !
Diane Todd

katie said...

That article isn't about you. You are so important to so many people. Keep on keepin on.

*And as a winner of the last giveaway, I think that you should take Ann's Art up on her offer. Winning Stargirl made my month! I loved the book, and could especially relate as I homeschool my kids. Who doesn't love an awesome freebie? Thanks again.

shannon said...

I am a primary chorister and have been for the last 3 years. I have had several other calling within the primary as well. In the case of teaching a class that comes with a manual, using it as the backbone to your lesson is key. Of course there are children involved and short attention spans for lesson. I feel like that's why we've been set apart--ti have revelation as for how we can be most effective as teachers. With that said...as a primary chorister, you don't have much to go off. Sure you have the outline with the weekly themes, but other than the song of the month and the weekly theme, you are left to your own creativity as to how you will present the song in a meanngful and effective way. I am so grateful that the Lord has given us creative and inspiring people such as yourself that helpme in piecing together a fun and memorable way to present and teach the song that also invites the Spirit. So thankyou for everything you do, 'cause you're wonderful!

Lori said...

I love the ideas you present. Our little Branch struggles to stay afloat. I need all the help I can get. I am the Primary President/ Counselor/ Teacher and my 5 kiddos get tired of hearing me drone on. I need ideas....I NEED a lot of ideas. Thanks for sharing yours.

The Budge Family said...

I too appreciate your work. thanks for all the ideas and they really do help me when life gets in the way and I dont have as much time as I would like to prepare singing time..Thanks!!!

{THE BOHANS} said...

I think what they are trying to say (I could be wrong) is about not teaching false doctrine- stick to what is in the manual. Read it, study it, pray about it then teach it from the heart and with the spirit. We had a teacher in a ward one time who did NOT teach from the manual but took doctrine and twisted it into skewed misinterpretations and false doctrine. wrongo-bongo. There are so many sites out there as well that totally go off on doctrine and ones own personal thoughts, questions and wanderings in the gospel. I love your site. You are spot on with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep it up and I love you!

Von said...

I appreciate your post, only because I think its wise to be cautious about our reasons for doing things. I think back to Elder Scott's talk about the Sunday school teacher who was trying to impress.

However, Sharing time is a different animal entirely. In the Sharing Time Outline it actually tells you to use your own ideas; no other manual will tell you that. If you were giving us ideas on how to make the CTR 7 manual lessons more exciting, then yes, there's a problem, but Sharing Time is expected to be different. Isn't that wonderful?

Andrea said...

Thank you for your wonderful blog. I always use your ideas and incorporate them with the scriptures and ideas found in the church outline. Thank You! I love this blog :)

sara said...

love you Sophia! ♥

Tirzah said...

The outline tells us to use the ideas there and to add to them with our own. With the internet, we can share other people's ideas, too! I love that! It is so hard for me to think of things to do every week. I love that you and others like you have recorded ideas to help us out! Thank you!

Chy said...

I love this post! Thanks so much =0)

Emily said...

I agree with Von, the sharing time outline tells you to add your own ideas. I also believe the article was refering to church manuals. There are people out there who stray far from the lesson or don't even use it and use their own topic!
Don't tell anyone I said this, but just the other day I was telling a friend about your site, I said,"I think the church should hire her to write the sharing time outline!" Shhhhhh.