Are you wondering where you’ll find time in your busy family life for exploring the new Come, Follow Me study guide for home and family? Are you committed to strengthening yourself and your family but worried about how you’re going to do it?
We’ve got some ideas for you for finding time and opportunity to explore and study and discuss without pressure or stress.
- Remember that the Come, Follow Me study guide is set up for weekly study. You don’t need to do the whole thing in one epic Family Home Evening. In fact, it’s far more effective done a little bit at a time. You’re not trying to find an hour; you’re looking for moments.
- Be reasonable about your expectations for young children. Consider about a minute of study and discussion per year of age until about the age of twelve. Then you can go to twenty minutes or so. When seen this way, you realize that the amount of time needed is not that much, even when done every day.
- If you have mixed ages, it’s helpful to have something at hand for younger ones to do while the rest of the family continues on. For example, you could consider printing out coloring pages (a simple search for “lds coloring pages” will return loads of options) or having other quiet toys. If the activity isn’t a verbal task (meaning that it doesn’t have its own words/talking), the child will still benefit from the study, even if the expectation for attention is removed. Keeping special toys only available during family study will help them stay fresh and interesting.
- Attach your study to an already established activity. For example, you already eat dinner. Could you remain at the table for a couple of minutes? Could you discuss while teeth are brushed or listen to the scripture block while rides to school are given? Could you take a moment at family prayer to share thoughts about the week’s topic?
- Vary the method. Watch videos sometimes, read sometimes, listen sometimes, draw sometimes, make a collage of pictures that reflect the topic, create a motto for the week, select a scripture for the week. The possibilities are nearly endless. Even if your calling isn’t to be a formal teacher at church, familiarize yourself with the Teaching in the Savior’s Way manual. You will find many ideas there for teaching with different methods and teaching to different ages.
- Print pictures from Come, Follow Me manual (simply right click and choose “save image as” to download them onto your own computer). You can find more images in the media library. The media library is also available as an app for your smart phone.
- Be outcome based, rather than worrying about how many times or how many minutes or how much you “got through.” In the introductory materials, a headline reads, “conversion is our goal.” Take the time to skim the week’s study guide and prayerfully consider your goal for yourself or your family. It may be to increase knowledge (and testimony) of a certain principle. It may be to learn a family story about how a family member lived the principle being studied. It may be to learn a new skill of gospel study. It may be to make a small improvement in one area of family life. If you have a goal in mind, then it becomes less about the task and more about the result.
- Start small. Sometimes in our eagerness, we get so excited about something new that we are like a bull in a china shop. We’re going to redo the whole thing! Our days will never be the same again! This enthusiasm typically wanes fairly quickly. Smart small. It’s better to do 20% of what you’d hoped to do than to have 100% in your head never done at all because it was too daunting.
- Connect the learning to things going on in your real live, that of your spouse, or that of your children. For instance, an early study topic is taking responsibility for our own learning. If you have a child in school, you could ask that child what it looks like in school. What behaviors does she see in class from kids who are or are not taking responsibility for their learning? If you are single, can you reflect on when you have taken responsibility for your learning in your own life?
- Keep a family journal about what you’ve studied. Not only will it help you reflect, it will also encourage you to continue. Don’t overthink this. A simple spiral notebook with notes in it about what you did will help. What worked? What didn’t? Did anyone have an interesting thought or observation? What family stories were told? This will help you see that those minutes added up to true enrichment.
Remember that this was designed to be a blessing to your family, not a stress. Experiment with what works for you, and know that there are no “right” ways. This is a world-wide Church, and the guide is for people from all different walks of life. If something doesn’t work for you, realize that it may work for others. It’s not a requirement; it’s an offer.
Best wishes to you and your family!