Family Home Evening Ideas

September 27, 2008 | 25 comments
By

After almost three years, we’ve just about made it all the way through the Bible in felt. These have been great FHEs for us. Now I need something new.

The thing is: I can’t face having to think of an FHE from scratch every Monday. I need a series so that I have a designated topic to work with. Before our Bible series, we’ve done a Book of Mormon series, Ten Commandments, Articles of Faith, and prophets of the Restoration. But I’m running out of lists. What should we do now?

Tags: ,

25 Responses to Family Home Evening Ideas

  1. James on September 27, 2008 at 11:09 am

    General conference reports. The lesson giver summarizes key points and shares at least one personal insight for the rest of the family.

  2. Researcher on September 27, 2008 at 11:22 am

    We’ve been keeping things simple lately: a section out of the missionary guide, a few verses of scripture, and then sing through the songs that are going to be sung the next Sunday in church.

  3. Naismith on September 27, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I hear you, we are the same way. We are currently using Preach My Gospel, with older children.

    In a few more years, the “strength of youth” pamphlet will be great for your kids; we had a good time with that.

    I don’t know if the distribution center still sells Walk In His Ways, which is designed for multi-aged primaries in small branches, but that would be excellent for your children right now.

    The Gospel Principles manual might adapt well.

  4. jeans on September 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I second the suggestion for Gospel Principles. It is fantastic, the chapters are simple enough for kids and it might be good if they’re not ready for Preach My Gospel. GP is one of my favorite Church publications ever, it’s concise without being terse or oversimplified. And it’s got 47 chapters so it might keep you busy for a year or more.

  5. jeans on September 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Also, consider Karen Lynn Davidson’s book on the stories behind the LDS hymns. The hymns might be another “series” for you.

  6. m&m on September 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Preach My Gospel, ch 3 is my vote.

  7. m&m on September 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Or conference talks, each person with their own copy of the Ensign.

  8. Ginger on September 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Why don’t you start again with the things you have done previously?

    Also, the LDS Living section on Deseret Book’s website has a weekly lesson they can send you.

  9. BruceC on September 27, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I do a 2 minute church history segment. Sometimes it comes from one of the old teachings of the prophets manuals. In the begining of many were “excerpts from the life of….”. And they are pretty short. Sometimes it comes from our own family history. Sometimes just general church history. My goal is to expose them to enough church history so that they aren’t surprised like I was. Not every topic is appropriate for all ages but it is a start.

  10. C Jones on September 27, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Is anyone familiar with the “Teaching the Topics and Themes” course that was published by the church in the mid 80’s? It was a 3-ring binder formatted manual, and included a big box of visuals and a filmstrip set. You could also get a similar set called “Teaching the Scripture Readers”. I hesitate to mention it because I don’t think it’s in the catalog anymore, but if you can get your hands on a set, you can pretty much put a lesson together in a few minutes on any gospel topic or scripture story.
    I know that these turn up on used LDS book and auction sites occasionally.

    If you would like to see an excerpt of the contents and one example, here is a .pdf of the 5 page section on Baptism.

  11. anita on September 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    we’ve done the same themes as you for the past few years. as other comments suggest as well, this year we went through the strength of youth booklet with one value a week–and that actually worked fine for little kids (mine are ages 4-11)–they each got their own little wallet copy and we learned the relevant scripture with the value. we’re currently doing PMG too since we have grandparents on a mission and thought that would be a good way to connect. i like the conference idea and think it would be a good idea to do the 12 current apostles too. another series we’ve done is women in the scriptures. and for those who are just starting, when you do the latter-day prophets for 16 weeks, it’s fun to make their favorite dessert for each one (we don’t know JS, BY, and a couple of the other early ones, but the others all have recipes like “ezra taft benson’s favorite lemon meringue pie” or “david o mckay’s baked apples” in the lion house cookbooks, and with GBH and TSM there are reports of favorites like almond joy candy bars and burnt almond fudge ice cream).

  12. anita on September 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    i also like to coordinate the songs, so with our ten weeks of the 10 commandments, there is a great primary song no one knows that lists them all, so we sang that every week until they knew that, and then there is the latter-day prophets song to sing every week for them, and the articles of faith songs (which are a little painful), and the songs on the books of the OT, NT, and B of M. after your several weeks/months of a series, they’ve really learned them! and i agree with Ginger, that after a few years it’s worth repeating. kids are older, they’ve forgotten–you could have a four year cycle just like gospel doctrine :-)

  13. makakona on September 27, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    we’re lame. we just use the appropriate primary manuals.

  14. nita on September 27, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    The primary manual idea is good. When I was a primary teacher, I felt overwhelmed by all we were supposed to try to do in the class. You can get the lessons online and review them,etc. Usually there are relevant scriptures,etc.

    Also the “Gospel Standards”, I think there are 13 or so, they are done w/the Faith in God program. I don’t know how old your kids are but as an assistant activity day leader, activity days is designed to support parents in this program. So you could do something related to this.

    Also remember lessons don’t have to be sit down stuff. Go and do fun activities such as play games. Or read a quick scripture about service in your car as you drive to visit someone in your ward- whether to bring a meal to missionaries or do something for a widow or other lonely person in your ward.

    It is getting into holidays. But all year there are those w/severe needs. Read the script that says “of some have compassion making a difference” and then find someone in a community for whom you could make a difference. (ie maybe visit someone at a nursing home,etc).
    Just bring your family for a brief visit, say hello, listen to them and sing,etc.

    I used to work w/those who had profound intellectual/physical disabilities. They lived at a state facility. Opportunities to volunteer are many- ie you can sign up to make birthday cakes, read books,etc. There was a family there who would bring Easter baskets to the client’s on one of the units each year. In another situation, there was a client who never had family visitors, I used to wish there was a local family who would visit him and “adopt him” in just visiting every now and then.

    See if your kid who is taking a music lesson (if applicable) could perform a song at such a place!) Currently I work w/the elderly, a while ago one of my coworkers brought in her teen son to play his violin- they loved listening to this. Something like that might be fun to do as a family. There are places all over the world that need help.

    Going over conference talks is good- that is what we’ve done in our singles FHE.

    Perhaps another idea would be to review past prophets top talks w/them- ie Benson’s on pride,etc and just help them get familiar w/older prophets.

    Another idea- family talent show. (a family in our ward invited me to their family talent show that they did w/another family. It was really touching, also as it was Christmas they had a special Nativity acting out at the end).

    OK just a few ideas from local single sis who finds the idea of FHE great in theory, but basically a totally alien idea but it is good to know there are people who truly do have and honor FHE.

  15. nita on September 27, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    The primary manual idea is good. When I was a primary teacher, I felt overwhelmed by all we were supposed to try to do in the class. You can get the lessons online and review them,etc. Usually there are relevant scriptures,etc.

    Also the “Gospel Standards”, I think there are 13 or so, they are done w/the Faith in God program. I don’t know how old your kids are but as an assistant activity day leader, activity days is designed to support parents in this program. So you could do something related to this.

    Also remember lessons don’t have to be sit down stuff. Go and do fun activities such as play games. Or read a quick scripture about service in your car as you drive to visit someone in your ward- whether to bring a meal to missionaries or do something for a widow or other lonely person in your ward.

    It is getting into holidays. But all year there are those w/severe needs. Read the script that says “of some have compassion making a difference” and then find someone in a community for whom you could make a difference. (ie maybe visit someone at a nursing home,etc).
    Just bring your family for a brief visit, say hello, listen to them and sing,etc.

    I used to work w/those who had profound intellectual/physical disabilities. They lived at a state facility. Opportunities to volunteer are many- ie you can sign up to make birthday cakes, read books,etc. There was a family there who would bring Easter baskets to the client’s on one of the units each year. In another situation, there was a client who never had family visitors, I used to wish there was a local family who would visit him and “adopt him” in just visiting every now and then.

    See if your kid who is taking a music lesson (if applicable) could perform a song at such a place!) Currently I work w/the elderly, a while ago one of my coworkers brought in her teen son to play his violin- they loved listening to this. Something like that might be fun to do as a family. There are places all over the world that need help.

    Going over conference talks is good- that is what we’ve done in our singles FHE.

    Perhaps another idea would be to review past prophets top talks w/them- ie Benson’s on pride,etc and just help them get familiar w/older prophets.

    Another idea- family talent show. (a family in our ward invited me to their family talent show that they did w/another family. It was really touching, also as it was Christmas they had a special Nativity acting out at the end).

    OK just a few ideas from local single sis who finds the idea of FHE great in theory, but basically a totally alien idea but it is good to know there are people who truly do have and honor FHE.

  16. nita on September 27, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    here is a copy of the gospel standards that is used w/Activity Days as stated in my previous post. Each of these could tie in well to FHE topics. I copied and pasted from the idea door website, but I think links are disabled here so no actual link:

    MY GOSPEL STANDARDS
    I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.
    I will remember my baptismal covenant and listen to the Holy Ghost.
    I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
    I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
    I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
    I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
    I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.
    I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
    I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
    I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
    I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
    I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
    I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple, serve a mission, and do my part to have an eternal family

  17. JA Benson on September 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    We occasionally use chruch dvds. The kids love them and retain the messages taught. Also they are great in a pinch. We are often in a pinch.

  18. Jennifer on September 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I found flannel board figures on the friend website. Just search \”flannel board figures\” and there is at least 60 lessons there with a story (or the scriptures to read for the pictures). I enlarged them and post them on my blog so that others don\’t have to enlarge them and I also post song ideas and activity ideas.

  19. Kathy on September 28, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Go to http://ldslivingmagazine.com/subs/show/6 for Family Home Evenings completely prepared. They have the thought, songs, scripture, lesson, story, activity, and even the refreshments planned out for you. It doesn\’t get better than that. Just sign up with them and they will send you an email every Monday morning for you to prepare. A new subject each week. For instance:

    Prophets, Apostles, Leadership, Melchizedek Priesthood, Aaronic Priesthood, Plan of Salvation, The Holy Ghost, Knowledge, Kindness, Family, Exaltation, Follow the Prophet, Testimony, Be Extraordinary, Temples, Priesthood, Truth, Revelation, Faith, Repentance, Mothers, Purity, Priorities, Do Not Procrastinate, Do Your Best, Service, Godhead, Resurrection, Sacrament, Scriptures, Joy, Sacrifice, Pure Love, Missionary Work, Strengthening the Family, Enduring, Equality, Preparation, Names of Christ, Remembering, Serving the Lord, Self Reliance, Tithing, Gratitude, Revelation, Priorities, Forever Families, Stand for Truth and Righteousness, Integrity, and so on and so on….

    Also, go to http://ldslivingmagazine.com/subs/show/25 for other Family Home Evening ideas.

  20. Roland on September 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    FHE Felt Story ideas –

    Kids always need a refresher course. You may want to start from the top with Book of Mormon stories again. It’s probably been awhile.

  21. Alison Moore Smith on September 29, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Our kids range from 4-21, so it’s a challenge to interest everyone.

    I like the Preach the Gospel idea. A few years ago we used the old missionary discussions for a series of lessons.

    We’ve started doing Emergency Preparedness lessons once per month, based on the handouts on the topic from our stake. The kids quite like that actually. We’ve also done life skills, like balancing a checkbook, etc. And I still really like the FHE manual.

    About once per year we sit down and ask the kids what topics they are interested in. We draw from those quite a bit. And, of course, we throw in topics that WE think they need to hear. :)

  22. Michelle on September 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Julie, I don’t have any suggestions for you, but was interested to take a look into what you have done in the past. Did you finish up the Book of Mormon like the outlines you posted online? Did you search for the accompanying materials each week? And can you give me an idea of what your family scripture study looked like each week? We are just about that stage of our family that you were at 4 years ago, and these ideas are exciting to me. I would appreciate a few more details! Thanks.

  23. Julie M. Smith on September 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Michelle, our family scripture study is different now than what I described in those posts. We wait until after the 3yo is in bed and then we read a page of the BoM, with each person taking turns verse by verse. Then we talk for a few minutes about what we read. Then everyone has a piece of candy. :)

  24. Sally on October 2, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    This all is lame.

  25. dozynuabund on November 19, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Reason why is great to be a gay :P
    You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. Joke ;)