Here are the notes from our presentation on family home evening last Sunday afternoon. If you would like to download the notes in PDF, click here. (Both these versions have been corrected.)
Family Home Evening: What Works for Our Family
Fifth Sunday Presentation, November 30, 2008
• We started holding family home evening as a newlywed couple to create a habit.
• We try to follow a weekly rotation: (1) service activity, (2) sharing from Church magazines, (3) game night, and (4) lesson.
• We start family night with calendaring. The kids feel important and recognized.
• Lessons need to be less boring!
• The kids love “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”
• Important that our children hear our testimonies in the home.
• We put the children in charge of the entire home evening.
• They like to reteach what they learn in Primary.
• At the end of the lesson, we go around in a circle and tell what we like about each other. We don’t allow repeats, so the kids are anxious to go first.
• It is important to teach eternal principles in a peaceful setting rather than in the heat of the battle.
Brother and Sister Jackson
• Use a Lazy Susan from Wal-mart to show the rotation of duties.
• Conductor hat and train whistle for the person who conducts family home evening and gathers the family.
• Conductor passes out a small Primary songbook and baton to someone to lead the music, a prayer hand goes to the person giving the prayer. They pass around a smiley face ball for sharing good news, and a medal for those doing show-and-tell or sharing talents.
• Treats are always served on a silver tray.
• Have kept all lessons over the years in four file drawers.
• College kids come home and still want to participate. “If you keep doing it, when does it ever stop?” —Sister Jackson
• “FHE Plus. Fun, Have Everyone Participate, Positive.” —Brother Jackson
• We just always had it.
• Called the kids to see what they liked about it growing up.
• The kids like it and will push you, “Is it time for home evening, Dad?”
• Tailor make the activities to fit ages of children, meet the needs of the family.
• Very important to just spend time together.
• Treats were the highlight!
• The best part of family night is after 8:30 pm, when the kids are in bed!
• (1) Spend time together as a family. (2) Get everyone involved.
• During a plan of salvation lesson, one of the children said, “I’m going to end up in the stars.” He realized that he wasn’t being nice to his brothers.
• One night a month all the children had personal interviews with Dad.
• Played a game where everyone closed their eyes and answered questions about a person, a room, etc. Taught the children to be very observant. Now they remember everything!
• Child sat on lap and got tickled if he or she got a wrong answer to a question.
• Neal Maxwell asked not if we had gone through the temple but if the temple had gone through us. We likewise can ask the same question about family home evening.
• We started having family night when we were first married and will continue to hold it as a couple after the children are gone from the home.
• Being regular and consistent will have a greater effect than you know.
• Bear testimony in the home regularly. Family night is a place to do that.
• It is important that your children hear your heartfelt feelings about them, the family, and the gospel. Nothing will draw them closer to you or the Church than hearing your honest, positive feelings, face to face.