One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool my children was so that they could have time for the most important habits in life. Personal scripture study was at the top of my list. Now I’m not talking family scripture study; I am talking about personal scripture study for each individual child.
Last year, I was having a hard time coming up with a personal scripture study curriculum for Crew. I had a solid curriculum for Elle and Croft, but we didn’t have a good plan for Crew. I’m all for reading straight from the Book of Mormon, but that was asking a little too much if Crew were to be reading on his own and actually getting something from it.
When I approached my husband with my dilemma, he replied, “Is it (personal scripture study) really a big deal? Does he need to read his scriptures? I never studied the scriptures when I was his age.”
My response was, “EXACTLY. Neither did I, and we both suck at personal scripture study now as adults. Imagine if we had cultivated habits earlier in our lives?”
Chad can never argue with my pure logic.
So with Crew I had to ask myself what my goal was. Was this a “reading” assignment or a gospel learning assignment? Did I want him “reading” every day or did I want him “feeling the Spirit and understanding the gospel better” every day? I decided the point of personal scripture study was more about feeling the Spirit and learning the gospel than it was about actually reading.
Crew ended up watching Mormon Messages and reading articles from The Friend and the New Era last year for his personal scripture study. It was a little weak and not exactly what I had hoped for, but it did get him thinking about spiritual things each day.
This school year we have a new plan for everyone because everyone is getting older and more capable.
Here is our curriculum for the kids’ personal scripture study this year:
Elle (13)- Elle reads directly from the Book of Mormon. She reads the real deal. I feel like this year was a great time for her to start because she needs to read it for her Personal Progress Virtue project. But also, when ninth grade starts, she will need to be reading whatever scripture is on the seminary curriculum, so she and I both wanted her to read the Book of Mormon this year before she has required reading in other scriptures. Because we delayed her start time at junior high (see this post), Elle does her reading before school. I love that she has this spiritual start to her day.
Crew (10)- This year Crew reads from the Preach My Gospel manual. This guide is topic based rather than chronological based. There is regular writing on specific topics coupled with scriptures to look up. Preach My Gospel gets Crew reading actual scriptures, but it directs his learning more. It is concise and user friendly. I let him use the iPad to navigate between the various scriptures because there is so much skipping around between books.
Croft (8)- Croft continues to read the Scripture Readers on her own which are adapted versions of the scriptures. Book of Mormon Stories, New Testament Stories, Old Testament and Doctrine and Covenants Stories are available. She can make it through all four standard works in a year.
Locke (5)- Locke and I read from the Scripture Readers together each morning for Locke’s personal scripture study. As you can see, it is first thing in the morning before anyone has gotten dressed or combed his/her hair. Sometimes I will read and sometimes he will read, but he is not disciplined enough or a good enough reader to embark out on his own. This does take some of my time (only about five to ten minutes), but I enjoy the one-on-one time we have together. I put “Read Scriptures” on his chore list before school to remind him that this is one of our priorities.
I try to stay with materials that the LDS church has printed as much as possible, but here are some options that were recommended to me by other homeschooling moms. I might check out these resources for future years:
Not every day is perfect. Sometimes Elle falls asleep while reading. Sometimes Crew closes the book as fast as he opened it, claiming he read for the day. Sometimes Croft gets distracted and forgets to read. Sometimes Locke’s eyes glaze over while I read. But I am still hoping that my kids are developing life long study habits at a young age. I am hoping that their knowledge is increasing and their love of the scriptures is getting rooted deep in their hearts. And I am hoping that they are miles ahead of me when they are my age.