Sunday, January 8, 2012

Simple FHE Plan for 2012 and Some Additional Family Scripture Study Thoughts

So we have our new scripture plan rolling and so far so good, although I did change from making a poster to using a 3 ring binder for our characterisitics instead.  Right now it is filled with blank pages and we will add characterstics and our characteristic sentences as time goes on and we discover them.  I think it will work well but we are still in the new transitional period and I am sure things will be revamped as time goes on.  I also realized that we are going to bite off even smaller chunks of scripture each day.  More along the lines of somewhere between 2-8 verses rather than 5-15.  We just took about 6 days to get through the introduction to the Book of Mormon and the 3 and 8 witnesses and I also planned out our readings for the next month and by the 5th of February we are only going to be at 1 Nephi 6.  Nice and steady. I think it will work, I guess we shall see.  It may take us a year and a half to finish this scripture plan or maybe it'll go quicker than I think and we will head into the Bible after this.  :) Who knows.  If anyone wants more details I'd be happy to share if you have specific questions, that is if I have answers.  Hey, I'll take additional suggestions and thoughts too.   

Now onto our simple FHE plan for the year....Gospel Principles manual.  Yep, that's it.  Nothing fancy or over the top but something so perfectly simple and essential that I don't think we can go wrong.  There are 47 lessons total which gives us leeway on 5 weeks out of the year.  We plan to go in order cover to cover but that may change as we see the need for a specific chapter as we go along.   We'll each just take turns on our week to take care of the lesson and can do whatever we wish with our chapter.  The first week went well. Our almost 5 year old sat and listened intently about our Heavenly Father.  He asked good questions and I could tell that he got something out of it. When it is his turn I'll help him write a lesson, more like a talk to give. He always does a great job when we do this.  He actually loves to stand up on our step ladder as he presents his lesson like he is giving a talk in church.  Sometimes he even gets out his play microphone to add to the fun.  It is good fun.  I am excited to continue to learn from this great resource and to teach our children these simple, essential gospel truths. 

Do you have a plan for your family FHE and scripture study in 2012?  I feel like I am usually floating from week to week and haphazardly figuring things out so I hope that these plans stick it out for the whole year and we gain something from it all. Here's to a good year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

BINGO New Year's Resolutions and a New Family Scripture Study Plan

So with a strike of the clock at midnight and a change from December to January a new year has begun.  Time to transition from writing 2011 to writing 2012.  Time to check in with yourself and say out with the old and the ugly and in with the new and the more worthy.  I really enjoy this new period of freshness. Of course each day can be a day of resolving to be better or the change from each month or week can bring a newness that stirs up change but there is still something about a brand new year that is so liberating.  I am excited. 

How do you make resolutions at your house?  Do you think up one giant goal and go forth?  Do you write it down in your journal?  Do you list off so many that there is just no way you could ever complete it all?  Do you involve your family or is it totally individual? 

How do you keep yourself motivated?  Do you tell your spouse or child so that you have some accountability to someone? 

I'd love to hear your New Year traditions.  I'd love to hear how things roll at your house.

This year we decided to try something new and kind of fun. I read in a comment on a blog during the last week or so someone who puts their resolutions onto a BINGO card.  I am not sure of any details.  They mostly put on their board simple things that they wanted to do as a family that year like build a snowman, or go to the beach, etc.  It sounded like a fun idea and I thought I'd try our own version of their BINGO idea. 

I thought about doing a card together but my son really wanted to do individual ones, so today we are all thinking about what our 24 squares will contain.  They must be measurable.  Something we can put a sticker on to say we've completed it or vastly improved.  We are going to see who can get BINGO first and then who can get black out first. 

Now 24 resolutions could be quite unattainable if made too large so we plan to have our BINGO cards contain a few more difficult and needed resolutions and somethings we'd like to do this year just for fun. 

For example, I'd like to dejunk and organize our entire home but that is quite a lofty goal and thus I have turned it into 7 different squares on my BINGO card and mixed in there I'd like to read a parenting book or two, run a 5k this summer after baby arrives, etc. 

Among the list that is slowly developing is this very important resolution of a Revamped Family Scripture Study  - Yeah, so we have been in need of a change for a while.    In the past we have done topical scripture study, gospel art kit scripture studies with direction, and more, but things have become a little laxed.  We have been reading (mostly telling) the scriptures every day but for the past little while it has been without much thought or real investment or purpose and that is about to change.  Now I don't have all of the kinks worked out but our plan will go something like this:

We are going to READ from the Book of Mormon directly.  We will focus on a particular scripture story or block each week.  In the January Friend they have THIS weekly reading schedule but I am not sure it will fit what I am looking for.  I'd love a schedule that covers the main stories and characters of the Book of Mormon but that does not require a cover to cover read.  I'd love to read anywhere from 5-15 verses a day but still keep some continuity in story lines and such.  Does anyone have a family plan you've created or something you've seen online that would work? 

Unless one of you sends me a perfect schedule I plan to use the Book of Mormon Stories book to guide me in my verse selections for each week.  Then we will read from the pages of the actual Book of Mormon, 5-15 verses each day.  I will sometimes use pictures for the Gospel Art Kit or Book to give visuals.  At the end of each week we will review the story we have just learned from the scriptures by reading the story in the Book of Mormon Stories book. 

Now so far this sounds like a typical family scripture study regimen but here is the twist.  We are going to be focusing on CHARACTERISTICS of people in the Book of Mormon.  I am going to create a poster (yea still have some work to do :) and as we discover worthy characteristics then we will add them to the poster in this fashion:

Nephi was obedient when he built the boat.

And as time goes on our list will expand and be added to.  We will also add how we have seen those characteristics in people in our family or people we know, for example the obedient characteristic may grow to look like this:

Nephi was obedient when he built the boat.
Bob was obedient when he cleaned his room.

I am hoping that this will help our little family to see the things we can improve in, how we are like those in the scriptures, and motivate us to be better.

I am excited to try out this year long Book of Mormon reading feast and to put this promise to the test:

President Marion G. Romney said:
'I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness' (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).

"These promises—increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness—are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God."

  "The Book of Mormon - Keystone of our Religion" - President Benson - Oct. 1986 Gen. Conf.  

We could use that!
So there is a little bit of what is going on at our house, so what's happening out your house this year?