Tonight Bria and Chloe and I went on a teaching appointment with the missionaries. They are teaching a girl that is a year ahead of Bria in high school, and it was such a great experience for my girls to be in on a missionary discussion. They got the chance to share parts of their testimonies and I am pretty sure they learned a lot from the lesson, too.
The lesson the missionaries were giving was about scripture study. I must admit, I learned (or at least was reminded of) quite a lot, too. Basically, I realized that we aren't doing enough with family scripture study at our house, even though we do it pretty faithfully each morning.
I thought of a few ways we have been more successful in the past, and ways that we can be more successful now that the kids are older. I also know that when we are faithfully reading our sciptures together as a family our home is much happier than when we aren't.
Scripture study for children who aren't reading yet
One of the best ways to do scripture study for the littles who aren't reading by themselves yet is to use pictures. The Gospel Art Picture Book that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints puts out is excellent for this. It has artwork of all of the great stories from the scriptures with a small blurb on the back that you can read to your children.
My girls were always enthralled when I would pull out the pictures and tell them some of the stories from the Book of Mormon or the Bible. They loved those pictures and would commonly get them out just to look through them, which made my heart happy.
There are also some great board books of the scripture stories. We took these to church and had them easily accessible on the shelves in our home for the girls to look at. They loved these books, too. (Click the affiliate links below to purchase.)
My First Book of Mormon Stories Board Book
My First New Testament Stories Board Book
My First Old Testament Stories Board Book
My First Church History Stories Board Book
More of My First Book of Mormon Stories Board Book
Scripture study for early readers
Kids who are just learning to read might still feel a bit intimidated by the actual scriptures. You can use other books such as the comic strip type books the LDS church puts out, which may help them feel more comfortable with the words they have to read. Plus, there are still lots of pictures and that is always nice.
I do think it's a good thing to have them take a stab at the actual scriptures with your help. I feel that reading scriptures as a family regularly was one of the things that helped my girls learn to read well. There is certainly lots of opportunity for sounding out big words! The key is just being very patient with your children during your family scripture study and realizing that you may not get to read more than one or two verses at a time. But that's okay, you're creating an important basis in the Gospel for your children, and you are also helping them to create a daily habit of scripture study.
Scripture study for older kids
This is where we are, and I honestly don't think we have it quite figured out yet. Tweens and teens are more difficult than the younger kids in some regards, and I have found this is one of them. They don't want to read scriptures, they are on their phones the whole time, they aren't listening.
Still, we do it. I think that is the most important thing. I remember being a teenager and going into my parents' room each morning for scriptures. My dad would read to us, and I would just lie there all wrapped up in my blanket half asleep. Still, I sometimes got something out of it. And even when I didn't, I learned how important it was to my parents that we read scriptures together. So that was something.
I do want it to be more effective for my own children. This week we will be doing more than just reading. I am going to make a bigger effort to set up the story for the girls before we read so that they get more out of it. We are going to ask questions about what we have read. And The Maestro and I are going to add just a little bit of commentary to what we have read to help the kids understand the gospel principles that are part of the verses.
It's also important to begin to encourage them to do their own scripture reading at this age. We are good at having a time on Sundays after church where we all do our own personal scripture reading. Bria has to do hers for seminary on a daily basis (I'm thankful for seminary!), but I know we can be better at encouraging the personal reading, too.
I'd love to know how you make your own family scripture reading more effective, tell me in the comments!
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This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series.
To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home
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