Reading Scriptures with very young children & FHE

Louise - posted on 04/23/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have three kids ages 1,2 & 3. We've been praying and singing hymns everyday, but I would like to add scripture reading and FHE to our routine. So I have two questions:



1) How do you read with your young children? (book on tape, read while they play, read children's versions of the scriptures??)



2) How do any single moms with small children go about having FHE?



All thoughts and ideas would be wonderful!

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Honoree - posted on 05/14/2009

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I have a 1,3 and 5 year old and I've had to make adjustments to scripture reading in the last year to keep their attention. The number one rule is to keep it quick and simple. I've been taking a story from the "Book of Mormon Stories" book (the one with pictures and simplified stories) and reading that to them on the first night. Then on the second night we find the actual story in the Book of Mormon and read just a few scriptures. I try to be animated and explain exactly what each verse is saying or what it means. Then you're done and the next night you quickly review what you read about the night before and read a few more scriptures and so on until you finish the chapter. You'll be amazed at what they remember if you put it into kid terms. One of the apostles said that even if you're only reading one verse a night, and even if you feel like your children are getting nothing out of it, you're still teaching them obedience and creating a healthy habit. They will remember when they're older. Good luck! Same with FHE, keep it quick and simple. A couple songs, a very basic lesson and prayer and they're good. You'll feel like you've accomplished something and they'll learn and LOVE the family time together. You probably already know this but a basic rule in regards to attention span is 1 minute for every year of age. So your 3 year old has an attention span of three minutes approximately. They learn very quickly if it's presented in their terms. Sorry for going on and on. Hope I was of help!

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Roz - posted on 04/07/2010

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I agree Angie..the consistant reading for 5 minutes a day will keep the Word Alive. Short stories that you retale..my children and grandchildren love it when something comes up and I tell them a quick little story about one of the main characters in the bible or book of mormon that reminds me of that same thing. It doesn't have to be long winded, or fabulous..it helps them liken the scriptures to themselves. Then when they are older, they'll remember something you said.

Angie - posted on 04/05/2010

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Sometimes just reading out loud while the kids are eating their breakfast is a good way to start...they are just too young to sit still and listen to more than one verse in my experience. I have 3 girls ages 8, 6 and 3. As long as it's consistent is what matters...not the content as much at this early age. :) Hope this helps! :)
Angie

Marianne - posted on 01/09/2010

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Hey, if all you do for FHE is sing some songs and play a game or tell them a scripture story--you've done it! I love the idea of getting them physically involved in the reading or telling of a story. My one and two year old do not sit still for books, so I prefer to tell a story. Act it out. Get a flannel board story kit. The key is having that family time.

Natalie - posted on 09/16/2009

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Here is how we do scripture study. My kids are 4 and 3. I just started and it seems to work pretty well. I have them use their hands. So if I come to the word mountain they put their hands in the air, for water they make waves with their hands. Plus I make it really exciting when I read with lots of voices. We read from the scriptures.

Diana - posted on 09/02/2009

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The best things for FHE with small kids is the new nursery manual. Not only does it help prepare for primary but it has some really great lessons and gospel principles that children this age need/can understand.
I have a 1 1/2 year old and though she can't understand the scriptures i read them strait to her. Every morning while she eats breakfast I pull out the book of mormon (that way she is stuck in a chair and can keep her mouth and fingers busy while I read) and then i remind her in words she can understand what we read about the day before and then i start reading. I usually just read 1 chapter makes it easier to keep her attention. Then after I am done reading I try to simplify what I just read. I explain to her what is happening and any gospel principles I think she can grasp!

Jen - posted on 08/19/2009

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Yes!! Use the nursery manual!!!!!

Use the real scriptures even with the young ones. Have them repeat a verse. You say two words, they repeat. they take turns having a repeat turn. It does wonders to start them on the scripture language as early as possible. We start in the womb. :) Seriously. We have six kids. They will feel the spirit. They will learn to love it. Start with just a verse each and then you can build if they are wanting more.

Stephanie - posted on 07/24/2009

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I have 5 children - ages 1,2,3,4 &6. We do scripture study 2 different ways in our home. In the mornings we read from the scripture reader books for children that the church puts out. That way the kids get familiar with the scripture stories themselves. In the evenings, we read directly from the scriptures. We read a chapter a night and everyone (except the non talker) gets a chance to "read" a verse or two. For example, when it's my 2 year old's turn to read, we have him repeat the verse one word at a time as we read it. That way they get used to the language of the scriptures and they feel so grown up being a part of it. They love to have their own turn to "read". We've been doing this for years and it helps them be more reverent in church on Sunday because they've had practice during the week and I can already see in my 2 oldest that they have a good understanding of what is being said in the scriptures. It's also helped my son be a better reader too!

I am not single, but because of my husbands work schedule, I often do family home evenings alone with my kids. There are a lot of things you can do. With children as young as yours, I'd stick to a short-ish lesson. You can use the nursery manual or pick a picture from the Gospel Art Picture kit and tell the story and/or discuss the principle the story teaches. You could also pick a primary song and teach it to them as a lesson, or you could find an article or For Little Friends story from The Friend to center your family home evening around. There are lots of possibilities. BTW, there will be nights when you feel like it's just not working out, even when you have a good routine, but just stick to it. You'd be amazed what they pick up when they are rolling around on the floor pretending not to listen...

Courtney - posted on 07/23/2009

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buy the book of mormon stories and all the other ones. i bought them for my son and he just love them because they have the pictures there so they can feel like they are there.

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I'm with Vilate, we read from the kids scripture stories books, we have a 7, 4, 2, and 5mth old, our eldest can read at a 10.7yo level but still likes to read the stories with her little sisters. We ask our 2yo to see if she can see Jesus in the pictures, this way it keeps her interested in the story. Our 4yo loves scripture study, we ask them questions at the end of it, that way they learn and keeps them interested in the story as they know there's questions at the end that they have to answer.
FHE is easy, just make it something simple, we have a chart with who is doing what that week (we help with the 2yo obviously), it has, opening prayer, closing prayer, hymn, scripture, lesson on it and our names on it, we put a star next to the name and under the thing they're doing that week (obviously we get more than one for someone each week, but they don't mind). Have a look online friend.lds.org if you don't get the Friend magazine it has ideas for FHE on the last page, the girls always like the play charades at the end of FHE, if you think of an activity that they would like to do at their ages tell them they will get to do it if they listen carefully to the lesson this week (I know it's hard with a 2 and 1yo, but the 3yo will be intereted). HTH.

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We have two little ones. (2 years and 7 months) Every morning before we get up, when the kids wake up we put them into bed with us and we read from the book of Mormon - just a few verses. Then I explain the story to my 2 year old. Sometimes we get to do half a chapter, other days only 4 verses. It's something.

FH is a differnt kettle of fish. We are struggling with getting this one into our weekly routine.

Nadja - posted on 06/05/2009

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I have a nearly 4 yr old and a nearly 1 yr old. I am also the ward Nursery Leader - I can't tell you how much my calling has made a difference to how I teach my own children at home. I see how much the children take in and understand and have made a promise to myself that I will never underestimate my own children and their capacity to learn.
The Nursery Manual "Behold Your Little Ones" would be a great investment for your children. It isn't overly expensive and has thirty lessons all aimed at children under 3 which work well for FHE.
We also learn doctrine and scriptures through the songbook. We have games to learn the songs and we read the scripture to go with the songs we're singing.
There is a great blog at http://toddlerscripture.blogspot.com/ she gives a great scripture study program that she uses with her 2yr old that we are just beginning to use.
We also use the Book of Mormon Stories, New Testament Stories etc as bedtime stories too, the children like the pictures, and my 3 yr old likes being able to remember what is happening by the pictures (does that make sense ? lol)
We have some of the tapes too, these worked with my son until he realised Book of Mormon Stories doesn't look the same as the "proper" scriptures LOL
Let your children look at and touch some "proper" scriptures - show them where the scripture story you are reading can be found, they'll already have a keen interest in them by the time they can pick them up to read themselves.
Sorry for such a mega-post, I am well known for going on a bit LOL

Vilate - posted on 05/23/2009

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We have 6 kiddos and they are close. We read with the scripture picture books! Just one story a night.

Good luck!

Karli - posted on 05/12/2009

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you could always try to get a nursery manual and use it as F.H.E. lessons theyre already geared towards kids and they dont talk about mother/father roles. with my one year old we read the book of mormon for families they have some picture and we only read a few and it was hard to get her to sit in the begining but a few days in to it she'll fold her arm by herself and sit and listen til were done. just stay consistant and they'll learn.

Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2009

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I started reading the scriptures with my kids when my son was 3. We just read for about 5 minutes a night. I didn't think that he would get anything out of it but I wanted us to get into the habit of reading the scriptures as a family. I was amazed at how much he really comprehended! As for FHE, there are really good ideas on LDS.org

Jessica - posted on 04/24/2009

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they are probably geared to mother/father but with a little tweaking they should work. it will take tome planning on your part to make it work but being a singale parent takes planing to get thing done so it should not be to hard. I know that some of the boooks that I have seen have lesson that you can start teaching at a really young age. but it sounds to me like you are having minie FHE meeting at your house now singing songs and starting with a prayer and then some scripture studdy. (just add a activity to tie it all togetther) and a special treat. U are doing awsome. the fact that you are trying say so much.

Louise - posted on 04/23/2009

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I just bought the Book of Mormon reader so I guess I'll try that.



As far as the FHE lesson books go, I feel theya re all geared to a mother/father type family. I am a single mom to three really young kids so don't know how to go about getting all three involved in a lesson and such.

Jessica - posted on 04/23/2009

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u can find FHE lesson books at some church bookstores and as for the schriptures I don't know if they still have it out but they use to have a book called the Book of mormon reader ( I think) it goes throug the book of mormon kinda like a comic book lots of pic but gets the stories across.

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