Category Archives: general conference

10 Ways to Ponderize the Scriptures with your Family

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I knew as soon as the conference talk was given that the word “ponderize”, which means to ponder and memorize scriptures, would become a huge movement for church members. I have already been invited to join a Facebook Ponderizing group and I have seen and heard family and friends eagerly open up their scriptures to ponder and memorize. This simple little made-up word has sparked a fire in scripture study!

I have been thinking of different ways that I can share this excitement  with my family. I have a daughter who will be baptized this month and it is important for me to teach her how to learn to apply and understand scriptures. I came up with a list of 10 different ways that we could use this principle of ponderizing with our children and family… because learning scriptures can be for EVERYONE! You can pick one of these ideas or combine different ideas to come up with a unique way to study the scriptures with your family.

The Ponderizing Pail

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This would be a fun way to include all your family members in the Ponderizing process. During your next family home evening, have each member of your family write 3 (or more) of their favorite scripture verses on slips of paper. I do want to make a quick note here that quotes from modern day prophets and apostles would make great ponderizing material, too! Fold up each slip of paper and place them in your ponderizing pail. Explain to your family that each week somebody will get to pick a paper from the pail. The scripture on that paper will be the one your family will ponderize for that week. At this time you will need to explain to your kiddos what the word ponderizing means. It might be kinda fun to have them predict the definition.

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Have the youngest child choose a paper from the pail. Read the verse together as a family. Have the person who wrote that scripture explain why they picked it. Then place the scripture somewhere that everyone will see it. Throughout the week, make references to that scripture. Use specific sentence prompts such as “This scripture helped me today by...”, “I applied this scripture today by…”, or “As I was thinking about the scripture, I felt that I needed to…” It may seem silly or awkward to use prompts, but I promise you that it will teach your kids how to verbally express their feelings about the scriptures. You will be their scripture comprehension role model! At the end of the week, during your next family home evening, have a little testimony meeting allowing kids and parents to share their experiences with the scripture of the week. Then repeat the process!

The Ponderizing Picture Frame

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Choose a scripture to ponderize with your family. You may want to use the Ponderizing Pail method. It might be more beneficial for your family to take a few minutes at the beginning of your family home evenings to pray and search the scriptures together to find the verse(s) that speak to your hearts. You could even designate one person each week to choose the scripture you will be ponderizing. After choosing your scripture, write or print the verse. Place the verse in a special picture frame located somewhere your whole family can see it on a regular basis. There are SO many cute picture frames you could buy for this activity. You may decide that instead of doing just one verse as a family, you each want to choose your own. If that is the case, how fun would it be to get picture frames from the dollar store for each family member and paint and/or decorate them. This would be a great way to get kids excited about their scriptures!

Ponderizing Journal Blank Template

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You may decide that you want your kids to keep a journal of their weekly scripture. I love journals! For younger kids, it may help them to have a template to organize their scripture study. If you choose to go this route, click on the link to download the ponderizing scripture template.

At the top of the page either write or paste a copy of the scripture. Throughout the week kids can draw pictures of what the verse means to them. Older kids can write their thoughts and feelings on the verse. Maybe your child had a great experience where the scripture helped them to make a good choice. That would be a great thing to record. Place the journal pages in either a family or individual binders or journals.

The Ponderizing Family Notebook

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If your kiddos are older, you may decide that you don’t need templates. A fun way to get family members engaged in a scripture is to make a ponderizing family notebook. The scripture is written or pasted at the top of a blank notebook page. Throughout the week, family members can record their thoughts, feelings, even questions underneath the scripture.

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The benefit of this is that there is only one notebook, so everyone can see and learn from each other. You can answer each others questions or place a smiley face next to thoughts that you enjoyed reading. This is another great way to model for younger kids how to start thinking about the scriptures. And it will be a great way for those family members who may by shy to communicate their feelings.

A New Twist on a Popular Memorizing Method

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A few months ago I came across a great way to memorize scriptures at Simple Charlotte Mason. I love it! I love that you only work on one new scripture to memorize at a time, and I love the review of past scriptures. It is amazing!!!

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I was thinking about how I could take this great memorizing system and apply it to ponderizing. Since it just focuses on memorizing, take it to a deeper and more meaningful level by writing thoughts, feelings, and experiences on the back of the index card. That way you are not only focused on memorizing the scripture, but you also have a place to record  your ponderings. As you review past scriptures, take the time to read and reread the back of the card. We can so quickly forget what we have learned!

Ponderizing Podcasts, Videos, & Puppetshows

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Maybe you have a child who doesn’t like writing  (haha I know NOTHING about what that is like!) For those audio/visual learners try recording a podcast or video of your family scripture of the week! During your next family home evening, choose a scripture (either with the ponderizing pail or through searching and choosing together as a family). Record your family reading the verse. To help your children memorize the verse, you may decide to have them make up “scripture cheers” or take familiar tunes and “sing the scripture”. Once the verse is memorized, record them either saying it or performing it! At the end of the week, record each family member sharing their thoughts, promptings, experiences, etc. with the verse. If kiddos are shy or want to try a different method of sharing, have them use puppets to express their learning. Puppets would also be a great way to verbally model how we “think” while reading the scriptures.

Have a technologically minded family member take the different recordings and put them together into one video. It may take longer to use this method, but what a priceless way to remember your family during this stage… this is a wonderful future family history gem! And those visual learners will love watching and rewatching (and therefore helping them to remember) these scripture videos.

If all of this video editing sounds too complicated, just record the family reciting the verse and maybe one thought or insight they learned. You can quickly send that video clip to other family and friends who are ponderizing, too. 🙂

Color the Verse

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This is a simple way to get young kiddos involved in the ponderizing process. Type the verse using a block font such as KG Red Hand or KG Let Her Go. Print the verse and let your child color it! If you have multiple little ones, I would make sure to print enough so everybody has their own. 🙂 Place the beautifully colored verse somewhere the whole family can view and admire. Your young children will feel involved and included!

Ponderizing Pillowcase

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So this idea may seem over the top. But some of us like to do crazy things. I was thinking about how many times I do my best pondering on my pillow right before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. I thought it would be fun to take an old pillowcase and, using a fabric marker, write the scripture reference for the weekly scripture. Older children may enjoy writing the reference themselves. Right before you lay your head down on your pillow, read the reference. See if you have the scripture memorized. Think about what the scripture means to you. Set goals for the following day based on the verse. Fall asleep each night pondering the scripture. Every week add a new scripture reference and before long you will have a pillowcase full of verses and a wonderful new habit.

Ponderizing on the Whiteboard (or Chalkboard)

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During family home evening, have family members choose a scripture to ponderize together using the Ponderizing Pail or through scripture searching together. Write the reference and complete verse on a whiteboard or chalkboard in the kitchen or another area of the home where everyone will see it regularly. Every day, erase one or more words. See if your children can still say the scripture. By the end of the week it should be memorized. To help encourage pondering of the scripture, if room permits leave space at the bottom of the board for people to write thoughts, feelings, experiences, questions, and insights about the scripture. If there is no room on the board, use colorful post it notes to place around it. That way there is plenty of space for everyone’s responses!

Ponderizing Popcorn & Pajama Party

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My daughter LOVES having family sleepovers. They are probably one of her favorite things. Once a week (or month, or year…), preferably on a Friday or Saturday night, have a special popcorn & pajama ponderizing party in your living room. Set out sleeping bags and blankets. Sit in a circle and share scripture verses that you have learned together while eating popcorn and treats. Then hold a special testimony meeting where each family member can share experiences they have had that have strengthened their relationship with Christ. Encourage them to share their testimony of the scriptures. End the night with family prayer and a family sleepover.

A great twist on this activity would be to hold the pajama party outside. Set up a tent in the backyard. A fire pit would be a great place to sit around to make yummy s’mores and share testimonies and feelings about the scriptures (girls camp anyone?). We always need s’more scripture sharing time! 🙂

 

I hope these ideas will help you as you ponderize the scriptures with your family. I think one of the most important things that you can do throughout the process is to share your thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences, and insights with your family as much as possible. Don’t worry if it seems awkward or not eloquent- that’s not what is important. The spirit and example you are teaching your children is priceless. If you are afraid you might forget throughout your already busy and hectic day- set a timer on your phone, change carpool time to ponderizing time, or have your children remind you. If you are passionate about ponderizing, you will make it a priority.

I am so grateful for the scriptures and the guidance they have given me. I am excited to share this joy with my family!

Happy PONDERIZING!!!

General Conference Cups

This weekend is General Conference for my church and we are so excited! And how are we going to keep our little daughter entertained during four 2 hour sessions of spiritual speakers? Well, honestly we won’t get her to sit still for THAT long- but I thought this idea would help!

The basic idea is that every time a speaker says a word (or discusses a topic), you get a treat from the cup. I plan on filling my cups with small treats such as skittles, tootsie rolls, and other dollar store candy. I doubt that I will start with all ten cups- so we will most likely use different ones for each session. I LOVED the idea of using clear plastic cups because (a) they are CHEAP and (b) I have the advantage of taping the categories inside the cup which protects the paper and gives it a semi-professional look.The topics are things that I felt my family and I needed to hear: love, scriptures/book of mormon, family, temples, Jesus Christ, prayer, prophets, faith, and gratitude. And my daughter wanted to learn more about being kind and obeying. Yay for that topic!!! You could also add in other topics as well- such as sacrament, Holy Ghost, fasting, humility, tithing, or modesty.

This cup idea can easily be applied to other areas- you could choose a few different vocabulary words and every time you hear that word in conversation you get a treat. Or use it while watching an educational movie with key words written on the cups. Or use them during FHE while reading the lesson or talks from the Ensign.

Happy Teaching!

General Conference Easter Eggs

My daughter was extremely excited to watch General Conference this year. I was so proud of her for  desperately wanting to see our prophet and apostles speak. (Or so I thought… she told me later she liked conference because of all the treats. At least she’s honest. I always enjoy the yummy treats, too.)

In order to keep Boo’s interest in watching all 4 sessions of conference, and since Easter was around the corner, I came up with this idea:

Conference Easter Egg Hunt
Supplies: 15 plastic easter eggs, 15 small prizes or treats ( I would make 1 set for each of your children- so if you have 2 kids use 30 eggs, etc)
  1. Print mini pictures (or cut up an old Ensign) of the 12 apostles and first presidency. 
  2. Tape pics to plastic eggs.
  3. Fill eggs with prizes or treats.
  4. Hide eggs. Make sure you hide them in the area that you will be watching conference…. you don’t want to kids to leave the room. That sort of defeats the purpose :).  Or you can be lazy like me and instead of hiding the eggs just toss them all in a basket. 
  5. When an apostle or member of the first presidency speaks, have your little one search for the egg with his picture. Great way to learn the names of our church leaders.
Extension: Write simple summaries of each of the talks. Place each of the summaries inside the conference plastic egg with the church leader’s picture. During family home evening, have each of your children pick an egg. Read and discuss the summary. If possible set goals as a family to apply those teachings.

General Conference Cubes

Conference cubes- I have learned the best way to engage a child in a learning activity is to speak to their interests. I have a wonderfully energetic and vivacious daughter, and so anything gross motor is FABULOUS.  I thought it would be fun to use our Education Cubes to play an interactive conference dice game. (Check out the Education Cube website- it has been a fun addition to our learning time activities! You can purchase the soft cubes with clear plastic pockets from CP toys ) If you don’t have these cubes, number dice would work- just assign each activity a number.  Some of the activities will engage my daughter in the talk, while others will keep her mind busy on church related activities.

The game is simple: throw the dice to see the activity you will be doing during the next conference talk! You will need six different activities (one for each side of the dice) Here is a list of what we have come up with…

  1. Book basket- thumb through church books, scrapbooks, church magazines, children’s book of mormon, and various church pictures we have on file.
  2. Magna Doodle (or blank notepad)- Listen to the speaker and draw different words or stories that are mentioned in the talk. This could even be used as a pictionary game where the parents draw (if the child is artistically challenged) and the child guesses what is being drawn. (Hmm, this might work as a sacrament activity as long as it is played quietly. I think I will have to try it!)
  3. Church flannel board stories. In my mind I see it all perfectly- the speaker mentions a scripture story, my daughter whips out the corresponding felt story set and does a perfect reenactment of the story alongside the speaker. In all reality, that probably won’t happen. BUT simply playing with church related flannel board stories is an appropriate Sunday activity and definitely realistic. If you don’t have felt church stories, no worries. Chocolate on my Cranium has TONS of free downloads that you can prepare in advance or have the kids color and cut them out while watching conference. 
  4. Try some of the Conference for Kids activities mentioned on SugarDoodle. I especially like the ideas from A Little Tipsy and Mormon Mamma. There are also church related dot-to-dots from My CTR Ring. I am thinking that my daughter can do a conference packet if it is only during one talk. We’ll see.
  5. Do-a Dot pages- these are pages that your kid can stamp using either dot markers or bingo marker pens (found at the dollar store). There are several mini-marker pages and magnet pages that work well for this at Making Learning Fun.  There is also a bible related page on DLTK. I thought I would be brave and attempt my computer graphic skills by making some LDS related dot pages…. this is what I came up with (check out this post for more)
                                                   
  6. Special treat cup. This wil be just a little tupperware container with fun treats. Conference just wouldn’t be the same without treats. Conference is a time of nourishing both spirit and stomach. 🙂
Other ideas that I have thought about doing:
  • having my daughter jump on our little exercise tramp during one of the talks. It would meet all her energetic requirements, but lacks a little on the reverence scale….
  • pulling out our I Am A Child of God Quiet Kit, but that gets used a lot on Sundays and I want to try something new! 
  • Conference bingo from Latter Day Chatter… darling but maybe something we will try when Boo is just a tad older!
  • favorite quiet board games
  • magnetic letters/shapes
  • a LOT of cute ideas at the Family Home Evening Ideas blog
I hope you and your kiddos have a wonderful time listening to General Conference!
Happy teaching!

General Conference Folders

With just minutes to spare before LDS conference begins, I got our conference folders ready. The folders have writing pages for me, so I can take copious notes and write the things that speak to my heart. I found the cutest pages at Prepared Not Scared…. And can i just say that sight is amazing!My daughter’s folder has some cute activity pages I found at SugarDoodle.

For all those that are watching conference today and tomorrow- I know we will find the inspiration and spirit to guide us through the next 6 months!
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