Ever since Red was itty bitty, I have thought, “Oh good, now is the time to start doing Family Home Evening.”
But, as a baby he obviously had no attention span, and I didn’t think he’d get much out of it…so I waited.
When the Professor was born, Red was a year and a half, and I thought, “Great! Now’s the time. There’s two of them, so Red will be a good example to his brother and they’ll never know we didn’t do FHE their whole lives.”
Well, wrangling a two year old and a tiny baby to sit through a lesson on who Heavenly Father was or what baptism was all about…didn’t work out so great either. So I stopped again.
Finally, Fish was born and–you guessed it!–I thought, “Now’s the time!”
The thing is, the time was always, even when it was stupid and hard.
That being said, there is a season for all things…so I’m not going to beat myself up about not doing it. This year, I’m just going to be better.
Thankfully, where I’m weak in some areas, I’m strong in others.
And I freaking love scripture study.
It’s not necessarily that I’m strong at doing it always (one of the things I miss most about pre-momhood was the time to sit down and really study my scriptures) but my own personal love of it has translated into an insane amount of motivation to create that same love in my children.
Which leads me to my toddler-approved Book of Mormon scripture chart.
I made this chart last year as a way to read a little scriptures every day with my kids without trying (and failing, miserably and repeatedly) to read an entire chapter with a 3, 2, and only-a-few-months year-olds.
After we read the one or two verses, we discuss what we read. The success rate of that depends on the day, but we always try.
Reading a few verses a day has been a HUGE improvement to the nothing we managed before, while also inspiring some very unexpected conversations.
One scripture about hell (of all things) brought on a lengthy conversation where both my 4-year-old AND my 2-year-old asked questions about who Satan was, what the Plan of Salvation was, and how we ended up here on Earth.
It was a great conversation, and I spent the whole time praying that I wouldn’t mess up the retelling of it and plant some weird crazy seed of chaos in their brains.
(Does anyone else ever worry that the slightest thing will stick in their brain and ruin their psyche? Like hanging them upside down might spark a terrible fear of roller coasters or something? …no? Well, anyway.)
I based my list of scriptures on a person in the scriptures, following along with a book called Ites, which is a fantastic resource for kids. In fact, one of the “scriptures” each week is an entry from Ites, because I thought they gave such a good modern-English version that preschoolers (and younger, ish) can keep up with it.
I love it so much that I even have an affiliate link if you’re interested. Like with any of my Amazon affiliations, I NEVER promote anything I don’t use myself. And this book is lovely, even if you don’t use it for this particular scripture study chart.
I used the couple of scriptures that Ites references, plus all the scripture masteries for the Book of Mormon, and then some others that I felt were important or led into the next subject nicely. My goal was to maintain doctrinal integrity as well as story continuity, if that makes sense. I didn’t skip over things that were doctrinally deep and occasionally there are scriptures about arms getting cut off and people being burned alive.
Like I said, I read a verse about hell, and it led to great results. The death of Abinadi also led to some interesting 4-year-old insight.
I just don’t believe in dumbing things down for kids, even toddlers, at least in the sense of omitting things.
It’s like finding out where bacon comes from. Just tell them. They’re smarter and more accepting of straight up facts than you might expect.
Anyway. Sorry to get off subject again…back to the chart:
Bolded scriptures are scripture mastery.
Italicized are longer “stories”.
But what does all of this have to do with FHE?
Each Ites entry also includes an idea for FHE…and I JUMPED on that. Finally! A way to organize FHE that might actually get me to do it!
So I plunked those ideas into my chart as well. I rearranged some of the people to make whole weeks worth of scriptures, I changed some of the FHE activities from Ites that I thought a 4/3/2 year old wouldn’t really get or appreciate or pay any attention to, and there you have it. A scripture guide PLUS an FHE chart. My organizational brain is so pleased with itself.
Did I finish my own chart last year?
Yes and no.
We read a LOT of scriptures. We did better on scriptures than we’d ever done.
FHE sort of…fell by the wayside. Again. But we did 4-6 weeks of it, with a few more thrown in there sporadically, so I’ll accept the progress.
Since my family goal this month is to get FHE going again, I’m starting where we are in our scripture chart as our FHE start point. That’s Chief Captain Moroni.
(We took a break to watch the Light the World videos as scripture for a month, plus I only made the chart middle of last year, so don’t judge too much!)
((Besides, Moroni is awesome and starting the year with him is super inspirational!))
I’ve got my next scripture chart in the works for Doctrine & Covenants, so don’t be surprised if another scripture chart shows up and it’s plunked into the middle of the year.
I’m planning on editing this chart to include non-Ite scriptures and some talking points for days you blank when you read the scripture (“How do I have a discussion with a two year old about this??”), but for now, here’s the
This is the year for FHE! I can feel it! We can do this!
And I hope this scripture start is a good place for you and your babies to get started on scripture study…let’s build up their foundations early!
What helps your family do family scripture study?
Any great FHE ideas for toddlers you’d care to share?