So some of you have probably heard from me about my enthusiasm for the way our family studies the scriptures with our very young children (5, 3, 1). I’m so excited that I’m in the process of writing a little ebook curriculum with our reading schedules in it.
The problem I have in writing this book is that I don’t know much about the experience of other families in studying the scriptures with young children. So I’m calling upon all the Mormons I know to do a little informal research study for me. If you currently have (or had in the past) young children (say, under age 6), could you answer these questions for me in the comments? (Or via email if you’d rather be private.)
- When did you start reading the scriptures with you first child? When did you require subsequent children to be present at family scripture study?
- What did you read for scripture study with young children? Did you use the LDS Scripture Stories manuals? The actual scriptures? Other scripture story books?
- Did you do any other studying activities (ie memorizing, journaling, etc.) on a regular basis?
- How consistent were/are you at reading with your children? What barriers exist to being more consistent?
- Any other comments, questions, problems related to studying scriptures with young children would be awesome.
Thanks in advance for your input on my quirky little project.
Okay, I promise this post is way more awesome than it sounds. Also, it’s not really a hack just for Mormon parents. It just seems especially Mormon to me since we’re well-known hoarders of 5-gallon buckets.
I first read about this idea last week on Latter-Day Homeschooling as “Emergency” Homeschooling Survival Kits. The idea was to have three days of homeschooling lessons packed into three 5-gallon buckets, to be used on days when you’re sick or otherwise un-motivated to teach homeschool.
But, really, what mother with toddlers at home doesn’t need an “emergency sick day” kit? I’m pretty sure this sounds like the best idea ever to me. Pack a bucket (or reusable grocery bag) with a days worth of activities for your toddlers, then pull it out when you’re ill, or one of your kids is ill, or when the refrigerator breaks and you need to entertain children at home for the day with minimal effort. Maybe you’ve all thought of this idea before, but to me, it’s revolutionary. Why not be prepared for the inevitable?
My goal this month is to put together 3 emergency sick day kits for under $15 each. Here are my ideas of what to put in an emergency kit:
- New school/craft supplies – because nothing makes coloring suddenly interesting again like a new box of crayons.
- Stickers – a great activity I recent read of is to give the kids a million little stickers and a paper with a large shape outlined on it. Have them fill the shape with stickers. Sounds like 30 minutes of rest.
- Printed out craft instructions – something simple and non-messy but time consuming? Also ideal if it’s at the level a child can do by himself without a lot of help from (miserably sick) you.
- Coloring books & puzzles from dollar section at Target – really, any thing from the dollar section will work.
- Cake or cookie mix – both activity and comfort snack
- Picture book
- Clearanced toy from “the stash” – Do you guys have a stash? I keep a stash of under $10 children’s toys for birthday presents; they’re also my current “bad day” go to solution, but doling them out like this will keep them more under control. You could also do this a more expensive way and buy toys that you want to add to your toy collection, but not give them out until sick days.
- Children’s DVD – great for the last hour before your husband gets home when you really can’t do any more. Again, think of it as building your collection in a beneficial manner.
What do you think? Any other brilliant ideas for what to put in an emergency kit? I also like the idea from the original post to have emergency meals stored in your freezer. A great way to do a little freezer cooking without feeling like you have to live that lifestyle.
If you’re a follower of the Church-Hacker on By Common Consent, you may have seen this idea already. But in case you don’t want to read through all the comments on that post, here’s my experience with the idea of implementing a “cry class,” as we called it in my ward.
When we took our first newborn baby to church, we wondered what all the other parents were complaining about. Taking a kid to church is easy! They just sleep right through the whole thing. Then around six months (for us anyway), Monkey started becoming too aware to sleep in the unusual atmosphere of church. The battle to keep him controlled and quiet during meetings was only amplified when he learned how to crawl, and then walk (right into the corner of the Gospel Doctrine teacher’s table). We (or more accurately, my wonderful husband) then spent the next few months tiredly roaming the halls during the last two hours of church, chasing a grouchy or bored toddler, praying that Heavenly Father might hasten the time when he could finally enter nursery at 18 months old and provide some sanity to our Sabbath. (Or at least allow us to nap during Sunday School without interruption.)
This is where the cry class comes in. Continue reading
Sorry to everyone who read this post when it was published in very early draft form. That’s what happens when you mess around with publishing on your phone. Here it is in full splendor.
Family Home Evening (FHE) is a major, definable task of Mormon parenting, yet there are so many excuses for not doing it. When kids are young, it seems almost pointless since they can hardly pay attention anyway, but you know you need to get into the habit or it will be harder to start later. Then there’s the whole planning ahead thing: I don’t know about you, but I can barely keep up with sweeping my floor and cleaning the highchair, much less plan a meaningful, spiritual FHE.
So I’ve hacked FHE at our house. We pretty much rotate between the following FHE ideas which can be put together with only 5 minutes of planning right after dinner and take only about 15 minutes to execute when you add a song and prayer. Continue reading