Tonight, Panda was in charge of Family Home Evening.
A quick note: I really believe that a lot of the magic in Family Home Evening happens when the children get to plan the lesson and activity. When the kids were younger, I took an active role in guiding them in preparing the lesson. But they were still in charge. Panda is now nine, so she plans almost the entire lesson. I may give her a few ideas and hints on how to present the lesson if she is having a hard time with it, but it is up to her to think of content, questions, and an activity.
I feel like this is what makes FHE successful in our home. Each child has a stake in it – especially when they are teaching. They aren’t always getting lectured by my husband or me. Instead, they are also lecturing us!
I also try to let them have control of most of the lesson – figuring that as they teach, they are probably learning more than anyone else. I want them to learn the lesson that they need at that time, so I try not to butt in.
This being said, Panda was in charge of teaching a lesson on righteousness.
She is also working on her Faith in God. One of the activities suggests:
“Write a poem, story, or short play that teaches a principle of the gospel or is about Heavenly Father’s creations.”
I suggested to her that she write a play about righteousness, then we could make it into a movie for FHE. She was very excited about the idea.
She spent most of Saturday and Monday (we had the day off for MLK day) coming up with an idea and preparing a script. We called a few friends over, and they helped to make the movie. Then, Panda and I made a few edits to the movie, and it was ready for FHE.
Here’s how our actual Family Home Evening went:
Scripture Thought: Good books are as friends, willing to give to us if we are willing to make a little effort. – Gordon B. Hinckley (I’m not sure what this had to do with righteousness, but it is what Panda picked out for the thought…so we went with it. 🙂
Panda started the lesson by asking What is Righteousness?
What do you do to be righteous?
I always encourage my kids to ask a lot of questions in their lessons. This is handy because we parents can answer. Even when I’m not in charge of the lesson, I have many teaching opportunities during FHE – in answering the questions.
Since Panda asked these two questions, Homey and I made sure to emphasize that we are each born with the light of Christ -and that it helps us to judge what is right and wrong. When we are baptized and confirmed, we also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost who can also prompt us to be righteous.
We also pointed out that we learn to be righteous from the Savior.
And it isn’t enough to know what is righteous…we must actually have the courage to do it.
After the questions, we were pleased to watch Panda’s creation…
Afterward, she asked a few questions reinforcing the video –
What did Jessi do to be righteous?
What were Jessi and Emma after Jessi gave her cupcake to Emma?
Panda closed with her testimony
I know that it is always best to be righteous. Sometimes it is hard to give something up that we really want, but it is better to share. If we do righteous things, then we’ll be happy.
The interesting thing about this FHE is the direction it took – into kindness. If I had planned this lesson, it would have gone a different way. Maybe that wouldn’t have been bad, but I’m glad that Panda made this lesson. I feel like she probably learned something that she needed. She is a nine year old, and learning to navigate the world of friends, sharing, and sacrifice. It is good for her to relate being righteous to positive consequences such as warm feelings and friendships.
Overall, I have to say, I feel like our FHE went great. It was fun to watch the video that she made, and I could tell she was really proud about her efforts.
Check out what others were doing for FHE. And what did you do? Share with us. Leave a comment or join in the FHE fun and email me at chococatania [at] gmail [dot] com, and I’ll link to you next Tuesday.