Can I just say how excited I am for this Come Follow Me curriculum. There’s a lot of reasons:
- studying the same material across age groups
- home focus- which goes right along with some of my feelings about deliberate parenting
- multi-modal learning- it’s making my educator heart sing
- lots of opportunities to use my laminator- also making my teacher heart happy 🙂
- FHE whenever works best for your family (which relieved all of the guilt I have had about having community choir on Monday nights!)
- Family Home Evening ideas!
I keep thinking I should film the craziness that is Family Home Evening at our house but my 4-year-old is typically in his underwear and I’m not going to put that out there for the internet. It’s kind of a circus and I’ll admit that I have gotten to the point of yelling, and threatening, and time out. I’ve been better recently about keeping my patience and the kids have been a tiny bit better about listening. One of the things I noticed was that they could smell fear and lack of preparation; the weeks where we were just throwing something together went really badly. The past few months we started just using the Behold Your Little Ones manual, and that’s when I noticed that things started getting better and I think it has everything to do with my husband and I having a plan and being organized.
With the new curriculum I want to get even more organized and I figure if I take a day and get everything prepped for the coming month then we can have super low stress family home evenings after church on Sundays. And if I’m already doing the work, I figured I’d share with others and hopefully make things a little easier for you as well. So I’ll give you ideas for how to take what’s in the curriculum and make it work with little ones, and at the end of the post there’s a combined materials list for the whole month.
Dec. 31- Jan 6 We are Responsible for Our Own Learning
Prep Materials: plant, rocks, thorns/weeds, pot for planting, print/ laminate sower game
Song: Faith pg. 96
Lesson: Review the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13:1-23. If you are a super overachiever you could plant seeds ahead of time in rocks, among weeds or thorns, and in good ground and compare how they have grown. I’m not so good at the growing things from seeds thing, so I’ll probably just fill a cup with rocks, show the kids the weeds in the front yard (maybe pull some while we’re at it!), and buy a plant already growing in good soil. We’ll compare how things grow in different types of soil and talk about needing to listen well at home and at church so we can learn about Jesus really well. Then we’ll dig a hole (a favorite activity for my kids), put our new plant in, water it, and get it some sunshine (but not too much!).
Activity: Sower game
Jan 7- 13 Be it Unto Me According to Thy Word
Prep Materials: Christ’s lineage print outs, Pictures of ancestors, optional names and titles for game
Song: Family History- I Am Doing It pg. 94 (or go to the Family History Section in topics, there’s a surprising amount of songs in this category)
Lesson: Christ’s lineage is laid out. Below you will find an attachment with His ENTIRE lineage, do with it as you please depending on your kids’ reading and comprehension level. Then there are pictures that just have His most famous Ancestors. I plan to print those out, laminate them, and turn them into ornaments. I will do the same with pictures from our own family tree. I’m just going to go ahead and leave our Christmas tree up until we get to this activity, but you could make a tree out of paper, or just do the activity on the floor. We’ll first talk about Christ’s lineage and then put our own family tree together.
Christ’s Lineage Pictures
Christ’s Lineage (this is the entire lineage given in Luke 3 as a list, if your kids can read and have a decent attention span you may want to put the names in a bigger font and print them to put together as well)
Activity: Let the kids play with the print outs. I am going to print out 2 sets of our ancestor pictures and Christ’s lineage pictures and play a simple memory game. If your kids can read you may want to have them match the picture with the name and title (great grandma, great-great grandpa, etc.)
Jan 14-20 We Have Come to Worship Him
Prep Materials: Kid friendly nativity set
Song: Picture a Christmas pg. 50 or Nativity Song pg. 52
Lesson: Hopefully they remember a lot from having just gone over the story, it’s like Christmas Eve round 2! Use a kid friendly nativity set, if you don’t have one, you might be able to find one on clearance right now, or, I just have this little printable set. Put the characters (yes even the animals) in a bag and have the kids pull them out at random then talk about that character’s contribution to the story. Then have the kids tell the story the best they can (probably good to have the camera ready!!)
Activity: Just let them play with the nativity!
Jan 21-27 We Have Found the Messiah
Prep Materials: Flashlights (with pictures of Jesus if you want), Objects to find (could be church related, could just be for fun)
Song: Teach Me to Walk in the Light pg. 177
Lesson: Explain that Jesus is the Light of the World. Either make a room in your house really dark or wait until it’s dark outside. Give the kids a flashlight (you could tape a picture of Christ to it to help with the visual), then send them on a scavenger hunt. You could do church related things like a picture of the Prophet, scriptures, church clothes, etc. or just fun items, or a mixture. The final item could be some sort of Celestial treat!
Jan 28- Feb 3 Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord
Prep Materials: two mason jars, food coloring, water, bleach AND/OR a tea bag (with a string), a cup with water, a lighter
Song: When I am Baptized pg. 103
Lesson: You could do either of these object lessons or both to teach about baptism
#1- super simple and guaranteed to work. Fill a mason jar with water, the other one with some bleach. Talk about mistakes that we make and drop food coloring into the water with each mistake. Then explain that when we are baptized our sins are washed away- dump the bleach in and the water will return to clear.
#2- sorta complicated, and sometimes it doesn’t work quite right- you should definitely do a practice run! We used to do this on the mission a lot and would turn it into kind of a story and get really into it- until our mission president told us we had to stop playing with fire, I’m sure he didn’t expect to have that conversation with a set of sisters, but it’s really cool.
Take a tea bag (it can be any kind of herbal tea but the bag needs to be the kind that is folded in on itself with a staple and a string (as opposed to sealed around the edges) and preferably individually wrapped)
Tell the kids that the bag wants to get to heaven but it can’t. Toss it up in the air a few times to show that it can’t get there. It will need to go through some steps to get there.
1- It needs to have faith so first off it’s gotta leave the comfort of it’s wrapper (or box if they aren’t individually wrapped).
2- Now it’s out but it still can’t get there, put your finger on the string to “weigh it down.” Explain that it’s going to need to let go of the things holding it back by repenting. Take off the string.
3- Toss it up and down again, see that it’s doing better now but still can’t make it to heaven. Even though it repented and let go of the weight it still has some things that need to be washed away. Carefully take out the staple and empty the contents into a cup of water and explain that baptism washes everything away (but do NOT get the bag itself wet!) Now you should have a tube, carefully stand it on one end.
4- Explain that now it’s standing taller, it’s getting closer, but it still needs one more thing, the gift of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes the scriptures call this the baptism by fire because fire also purifies. Light the top end of the tea bag tube on fire and as it burns it should suddenly float into the air “up to heaven!”
Activity: Set up a washing station in the sink or bathtub with toys that are dirty.
Full materials list for the month
pot for planting
Pictures of ancestors
Names and titles for ancestor matching (optional)
Christ’s Lineage Pictures
Kid Friendly Nativity Set
Flashlights (with pictures of Jesus if you want)
Scavenger Hunt objects
2 mason jars
AND/OR a tea bag (with a string)
cup with water