Our Come Follow Me curriculum is continually changing as we work to finding what’s best for our little family. I want to keep it engaging yet relevant to the gospel centered topics. I had the idea to put together a little box that gave us a little preview of the month. As a family we will sit down together and go through the box, brainstorming what each object might be teaching us.
Here is what we have in our March Preview Box:
March 4-10: bandaids- to show that Christ can heal us
March 11-17: backpack- when filled with heavy things that represent our struggles, we can discuss how Christ can help us carry our burdens
March 18-24: flower kit, seeds, or flower pot- to review the parable of the Sower and talk about making our homes have “good ground”.
March 25-31: Swedish fish- talk about the miracle of Christ feeding 5,000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish
I know this will be a fun, inexpensive way to get our families excited about March’s Come Follow Me curriculum. It will also get their brains thinking about our Savior and all the ways He demonstrates His love for us.
Can you believe it’s already February? We are excited to share with you our free printables for this month. I know our family has really enjoyed the family history questions that Anna at IvoryBloom has created, so if you haven’t had a chance to use them I strongly recommend it!
I will be completely honest- our Come Follow Me has NOT gone as planned. Like at all. We missed two whole weeks due to sickness, soccer, an over abundance of missing schoolwork that we needed to catch up on, and to be honest a little discouragement. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed that I had to do everything, so like any productive person I ended up doing nothing. (insert face palm)
I have learned to let go of all the good materials and tidbits of bible information and lay hold of what’s best for my family. So are we going to memorize the map of Joseph’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem? We didn’t even look at the map! But that’s OK, because we are focusing on what our family NEEDS. Our current plan is to do the scripture reading, look for similarities with Buddhism (we are a mixed faith family), draw family history stories, and take advantage of Anna‘s fun activities that she plans. That’s all we can handle right now, but it is what our family needs.
My daughter has decided that she wants to get her personal progress award by the end of the year (she is a beehive and they are doing away with the program in 2020) and we have some executive functioning skills that are important for our family right now. Moral of this long winded story- PLEASE do not think you have to do it all. Acknowledge what your family needs and follow that path. Is it more important for your family to know the political history of the bible or the parables of Jesus or simply how to serve others? It is not for any of us outsiders to decide what your family needs, only you. If you are doing what your family needs then pat yourself on the back because you are implementing this program as it is intended. 🙂
On that note, I created a little dice game that would be a good review for January lessons. Or if you skipped a week or two, you can quickly learn about the scriptures that you missed. Click here to download.
I used these dice on Amazon, but you could assign each question a number and then roll regular dice to see what question to answer.
Sometimes a product comes around that is an answer to prayers, and this Study and Activity Guide just happens to be that for me. As a creative person I find myself with ideas swirling around in my head constantly and I was having a heck of a time organizing them all.
And I am fortunate enough to have received this product free to review for you guys. And oh my goodness… I am in bible planning HEAVEN. So much so that I wanted to share 10 reasons why I highly recommend purchasing this manual!
There are TONS of places to take notes. This is important, because the Come Follow Me program will work best as you personalize it to your family’s needs. I know as I was studying week 1, impressions would come to mind on how to teach my little family in a way that would be meaningful to them. If I didn’t have the space to jot those ideas down, they would be forever lost on a sticky note or list somewhere.
2. I LOVE the family home evening planning spaces each week. As you study the scriptures for the week ideas will come to you. Once you have some ideas written down in your notes in your Come Follow Me Study/ Activity Guide you can easily put those together to create a family home evening plan.
I am going to use little sticky notes to add in our Ancestor of the Week. I feel like connections to Family History are important for our family and this is a simple way to make this happen.
3. The dates are on the pages! So you don’t have to wonder when you are supposed to be teaching this with your family.
4. I love the FEEL of the guide. The cover and pages are a nice quality. And the binding is great because you can fold it in half as you are taking notes… making it easier to write.
5. There are some great additional ideas listed for you to use during your family home evening lessons or daily scripture study. They would also work well during morning devotional time!
6. The Study/Activity Guide works great with our existing materials and activities in our blog. The scripture passports can easily be added with the library pouch in the front of the manual, and all the calendars and organizational ideas work seamlessly as well.
7. I love the uniformity of the planning pages. You know exactly what to expect- 4 pages a week, family home evening planning guide, and places to take notes as you study the scriptures.
8. Because it’s an Activity Guide for the entire year, you can go ahead and jot notes down that you don’t want to forget in advance! For example. I have an inspirational easter egg hunt that I want to do with my family. I wrote it on a sticky note and placed it on the Easter Week FHE planning page. Easy Peasy and now I know I won’t forget!
9. The Study/Activity Guide is a great size. Easy to stick into your church bag so you can take notes while you are waiting for Sacrament Meeting to start. I love the idea of reading through previous weeks during Sacrament Meeting as well- what better way to ponder the importance of the sacrament then rereading your notes on His Life.
10. There are going to be additional resources you can purchase that will go with the Red Headed Hostess’s study/activity guide ! Of course you don’t need the guide to use these resources, but it’s a cool extension option that will soon be available.
I wouldn’t wait any longer if you are on the fence on purchasing one of these books… they would make a great Christmas gift for family members and you can start the New Year off with an organized plan on how using the new Come Follow Me curriculum.
Check out the Red Headed Hostess for more amazing products, too! I will be blogging about her darling lesson journal for kids VERY soon!!
With the holidays coming up what better way to share your excitement of the new Come Follow Me curriculum than with a journal gift! It doesn’t have to be expensive and yet it will help your family and friends chronicle their learning of the New Testament as they draw closer to Christ.
This can be anything from a ruled notebook, sketch book, bullet journal, or binder.
Find a pouch and add journaling supplies like pens, markers, stickers, glue sticks, and scissors.
Don’t forget to print off some journaling pages and scripture passports to get them started on their journey!
I am typing this post because this very topic hits close to home for me. Anna at IvoryBloom and I are hoping that we can share some ideas with you if your family’s religious beliefs are not all the same. I think the key things to remember is RESPECT and LOVE. And building your family foundation on common ground.
Maybe your spouse belongs to another religion or a sibling has chosen not to be a Christian. You can still use the program in your home. Do what works best for you. We can follow the Savior on different levels- even if it’s just pulling out the moral of the story and applying that into our lives.
Click on the images below to download some ideas to help your family navigate the new Come Follow Me curriculum for your mixed faith family.
Some ideas for families with young children:
Remember that Christ loves all members of your family. He will help you as you prepare these lessons to meet the needs of the family that He loves deeply and unconditionally.
The new Come Follow Me curriculum is meant for everyone! Sometimes we come across ideas online that would work great for families with young children. We wanted to share with you some ways that you can make the Come Follow Me curriculum work for your older children and help them to develop a closer relationship with our Savior.
Click on the image below to download an idea sheet from IvoryBloom to help you navigate this curriculum with your teen. There is a great interest survey on the bottom of this printable to help you understand how to better teach your teen.
As always, listen to the Spirit while planning your lessons. Not every child, no matter the age, will learn the same way. God will help guide you as you prepare to teach your family.
Themes can be a great way to make your bible lessons more engaging and fun. “Traveling through the New Testament” would be a great theme that would work for families of all ages. Check out some ideas from our blog and IvoryBloom!
Make sure to chronicle your adventure in your travel journal! This will be your personal guidebook of your journey throughout the New Testament.
Pack your bags! Pack special travel bags with journals/ journal supplies and bibles. Don’t forget some travel treats for your journey. 🙂
Use maps! Print out maps of different New Testament locations. Use google earth to zoom in on what these locations look like today. Click on the image below to visit lds.org where you can download this New Testament map.
Here is a planning sheet that you can print to help you plan your travels through the New Testament.
What better way to kick off your study of the New Testament than with a New Years Eve party? New Years Eve just happens to fall on Monday, so it makes a perfect family night activity. Just tweak your festivities a bit to include the New Testament and you are ready to go!
Testimony Time Capsule
Our favorite idea is to create a Testimony Time Capsule with your family. Have each member of your family write their testimony and/or their prior knowledge of the New Testament on a piece of paper. You can also have them write questions of things they want to learn about in the New Testament. Place the papers in a container- I used a shoebox we had laying around- and hide it away until the end of the year. At the end of the year have your family members rewrite their testimonies and/or what they now know about the New Testament. Pull out the time capsule and see how their learning has grown!
If you are crazy like us and *try* and stay up until midnight, add in some fun bible activities throughout the night. Make a paper chain countdown with favorite bible verses to read throughout the night. Put together a puzzle of the Savior. Watch little clips of bible videos while snacking on treats. Wear party hats while reading stories from the New Testament. After setting off confetti poppers talk about how God can make our hearts pop with love as we learn more about Him and follow His example.
Remember to make this a fun experience for your family! Anna at Ivory Bloom and I are both so excited to help your families be more converted to Christ. 🙂
You might have heard about the New Testament Come Follow Me curriculum the church has released for 2019. Maybe you are overwhelmed about the whole thing and don’t know where to start. Or maybe you are excited and just want more ideas to add to your teaching tool belt. If so this blog post is for you!
First things first, don’t be stressed out thinking you have to do a bazillion new things or that this curriculum is designed for professional educators. This program is designed for YOU. For your family. Doesn’t matter where you are religiously, your family dynamics, or your current knowledge of the New Testament.
In fact, if you look at it closely, it is actually a simpler approach to what a lot of you are already doing. This curriculum is family scripture study and family home evening lessons rolled into one (with the added bonus of church teachers going over the same topics on Sundays). For those of us who are old enough to remember the old family home evening manuals you know how easy they are to use. This program is similar and aligns beautifully with the New Testament and our goal of conversion to Christ.
In this post we interchangeably use the phrases “family scripture study” and “family home evening” but they both refer to the same thing- a special time each week where gospel learning takes place in the home. We plan on using this new curriculum on Sunday and then spend one day during the week doing an activity that corresponds with the lesson. Do what works best for your family.
One of my FAVORITE quotes by Steven Covey is to “begin with the end in mind”. We ultimately want to begin with the end goal of conversion- no matter where we are individually on our spiritual journey, the goal is simply growing and strengthening that relationship with the Savior.
To help carry out that principle of beginning with the end in mind we find that it helps to have a game plan before beginning the program. This blog post covers some basic tips that can help you plan your year- to ultimately make this the best year of family scripture study EVER!!!
You are about to embark on a journey of the New Testament with your family. You have your scripture suitcase and your excitement to read … all you need now is your passport.
The scripture passports list each week’s reading passages. Kids can get stickers or small stamps to place on their passport as they complete the weekly reading assignment. It would also be super easy to just color in the circles. Just think- by the end of the year your child could have 12 completed passports that show their adventure with the New Testament.
You can use these passports as bookmarks- easy peasy! You can also place them in cute little library card pockets and place them in little bible books or bible journals for your kids. What is a bible journal? Read on…..
Our kids might say something like this if they could articulate some of their worries about church:
Mom, I am having a difficult time connecting topics from week to week in church and would really like a strategy to help me make those connections. It would be great to document my learning in a fun way that is individualized and yet can help me remember the scriptures.
We know making personal connections and reflecting on your learning is an INCREDIBLE tool we can use during family scripture study.
And what better way to document all of this than with a cute journal or bible book. 🙂 This will be the place where kids can write questions, summarize the scriptures they just read, draw pictures of their favorite bible stories, add pictures of faith centered family field trips (more info on that at the bottom of this post), insert stickers, cut and paste little charts and information about the weekly topic… whatever works for you and your family!
The goal of this journal is to have a physical reminder of each family member’s conversion to Christ through the New Testament.
Everyone will journal differently, and that’s OK. My husband has agreed to write notes and reflections on a google doc. That is what will work best for him. My daughter will probably include dragon pictures on several pages of her journal and that’s ok- this is a book of her conversion, not mine- and I want to keep this a positive experience and not one where I am dictating my personal opinions.
We will have printables for each weekly theme for your family to use in their scripture journals as they see fit. You can have them make a collage of their favorite quotes, answer some of the questions, … whatever will work best for your family.
To download the introductory journal pages, click on the image below. This will include some printables you can use in your scripture journals before 2019 to prepare for the year. There is also a list of some ideas of what to include in your journal/ supply kits.
We can’t emphasis enough the importance of making connections to solidify your learning. Whether it’s through previous experiences or things that you are going through today, take the time to reflect on how the scriptures and gospel topics connect to you. The scriptures will mean more to us if we can make them connect to us.
Connections to Family History
We can make connections to our scriptures through family history! We are both genealogy nerds and want to share what we have learned about our ancestors with our families. One way to incorporate family history connections in your gospel study is to find a story of an ancestor that goes with each weekly theme. You can place the story and a picture of that ancestor (if available) in a family history binder.
Imagine- by the end of the year you could have 52 stories of ancestors! If you can’t find stories that go along with each weekly theme, share conversion to Christ stories or stories that you feel will benefit your family the most.
You can also make great connections to the scriptures through service! Christ was the ultimate example of serving others. Let Him guide you to others in need of a helping hand.
Allow others to serve your family by sharing their conversion stories with you. Take advantage of grandparents or people in your ward. Be sure to include what you learned in your bible journals. We also had the idea to take pictures of your child with the person they interviewed to help them remember their experiences.
Click on the January 2019 Questions for grandparentslink to download a list of interview questions. It’s a good idea to share this list first with grandparents or those your child will be interviewing so they can have time to ponder on how to best answer the questions.
Keeping your ideas organized can make for a more efficient family home evening or scripture time. Believe me- I have wasted so much time sorting through ginormous stacks of papers looking for things. Organization now can be a wonderful framework so you can focus on the meaning of the lesson and not have to worry about those handouts that mysteriously disappeared.
There are several ways you can organize your printables, learning materials, and ideas. Choose a system that works best for YOU. And don’t be afraid to change it up a bit if it doesn’t work for you… For us, organization makes us happy (and partially sane) and so finding the right system was important. But not everyone is like that- you might thrive better when things aren’t so structured and that’s totally ok! Just take what works for you and OWN it!
Here are a few ideas that we came up with:
This is a great solution in keeping those handouts, lesson plans, pictures, etc. sorted.
Pros? Folders are inexpensive and store materials neatly. This system allows you to easily add materials for upcoming lessons- you could even organize materials for the whole year if you’re feeling adventurous!
Cons? A lot of extra work if you don’t plan on having handouts or extra materials.
I love the idea of grabbing our plastic drawer for the week full of activities and journaling supplies, plopping down on the couch, and starting our family scripture time. That’s the beauty of the plastic drawers. They are clear so you can see what materials are inside, they are big enough that you can add some craft materials or a church DVD, and you could plan a few weeks in advance.
Pros? It’s beautiful, organized, and allows you to add bigger items that a file folder can’t .
Cons? Expensive. And there’s not a drawer for every week of the year (that would be REALLY expensive) so you would have to change out contents of the drawers regularly. But it’s so cute that I think it might be worth it!
This is a great option for those that want the efficiency of file folders but with the added perk of portability. You can easily grab this and carry your family home evening plans without papers falling everywhere.
Pros? Prices range depending on your budget, it’s easy to carry, and you can close it.
Cons? Like the plastic drawers, there aren’t enough spaces for every week so you will have to update your files every so often.
Mapping out your activities and ideas is a great way to organize your thoughts. As you read the lesson each week in preparation to teach your family, impressions will come to mind on different strategies or materials to use that will make a difference. Write these down. The Spirit will guide you on how to teach this curriculum specifically for YOUR family.
Our family home evenings will follow a basic outline- song, prayer, lesson, reflections, etc. Nothing too over the top. Using a simple structure like this each week will help our children to begin teaching gospel centered family instruction.
You are not alone if this whole curriculum thing sounds a bit confusing. A calendar is a great way to visually map out when you are teaching each topic and when you are learning about that topic in church. It’s also a great way to add special family activities or service projects during the week that correspond with your weekly lesson.
Your new family home evening/family scripture study curriculum can be EXCITING for your kids! How, you may ask? The first thing is to be enthusiastic yourself. Find something you are genuinely excited about- maybe it’s the extra time spent learning the gospel with your family, organizing the materials, making bible journals with your kids, or helping your kids be more converted to Christ. Let that excitement- however small- be the spark for your family night flame.
Here are some other ideas to spark excitement:
Mission: New Testament
If you choose to do scripture journals with your family, why not make getting their supplies a great adventure!
Prepare your kids by making this activity like a top secret mission. You can create intriguing invitations with manilla envelopes that explain their mission (escape room or scavenger hunt), special security name badges, … all very official to peak your child’s interests.
We came up with a fun little escape room that is sure to get even teenagers excited. If an escape room seems like too much work, we came up with a simpler scavenger hunt that can be used in your home. Both of these activities have the same prize at the end: their new scripture journals or notebooks and supplies.
Give your family the power of choice while learning gospel topics. A basic tic tac toe board allows kids to choose three activities to complete (as long as they are in a row). Anna had a great idea to laminate the boards and reuse them every so often.
Use the power of parties to make learning fun! Have a New Year’s theme party to kick off your study of the New Testament. Host a little heart party in February to get your kids excited to do service for others. Grab some glow sticks and have a night party in the dark talking about the power of Christ’s light in our lives. It can be as simple as inviting neighbors over and munching on popcorn while watching bible videos.
You may want to have little celebrations with your family as they complete their scripture passports or memorize scripture verses. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
Teaching is a great way to learn. Give your child time each week/month to share their favorite parts of the lesson or their favorite pages in their bible journals. We plan on having small neighborhood sharing times which will work GREAT for me since my tween is all about her friends right now. I imagine our sharing times like a combination of show & tell and a mini book club. I don’t think it will take longer than 15 – 20 minutes to share and eat treats. Keep in mind what will work best for your family- maybe a community sharing time is too intimidating for your shy child or your teen would enjoy having an online sharing time using social media.
Faith Centered Family Field Trips
Mix it up by taking your family on a special outing to help them deepen their understanding of the gospel principles discussed each week. If you talked about the beautiful earth God has given us- head over to the park or outside in your garden and chat about their favorite things about our world. If you talked about temple work- drive to the temple and walk around the grounds. Stop by the laundromat and talk about how just like washing clothes, repentance can make us clean. While learning about the miracles of Jesus, go to a bakery to pick out some yummy bread (or visit a local fish market) and talk about how Christ was able to feed a large crowd with just five small loaves of bread and two fish. If you are at a loss on field trip ideas have no fear- we will have some suggestions for each weekly theme.
Again, do what works best for YOU. Don’t worry about what the neighbors’ are doing because their family needs will be different than yours. And worrying about keeping up with someone else might prevent you from getting those specific impressions from the Spirit that will help you and your family be more converted to Christ.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT US
I am SO blessed to be working with a professional graphic designer on this project. Anna‘s initial enthusiasm for the new curriculum got me super excited (I get easily excited when it comes to lesson plans haha). We are two moms with two different talents who wanted to use these to help you implement this program into your home.
LOOKING FORWARD TO UPCOMING POSTS…..
Here are some upcoming blog posts that might help your family implement the new curriculum:
Using the Curriculum with Mixed Faith Families
January Activity Plans
For more information and ideas, visit the following links:
comefollowme.lds.org – this website has pretty much EVERYTHING you could ever need to start the Come Follow Me curriculum: the manuals, links to media resources, instructions… please check it out.
pinterest – we have created pinterest boards that might aide you and your family in using the new curriculum at home. There are so many cute bible ideas that are out there on the web! We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to our lessons. 🙂