Saturday, October 11, 2008

Game Changer

We have a new family scripture study program.

We used to read five to ten verses of scriptures each night. I did anything I could to make it interesting. On cue, I had Grace trained to say "For behold." We tried acting out the scriptures as we read them. We even made play-doh figures one night. Something had to capture her interest.

Nothing did.

She refused to listen. She jumped, she sang, she squirmed, she screamed.

And she dreaded it. After chasing her down, calming her complaints, and while binding her in a hug to prevent her from bolting, her final plea was always a desperate, "I'm too tired for scriptures. I have to go straight to bed!"

That's serious distaste for scripture time, people.

Something had to change. I could just see Grace's teen years: ditching seminary, avoiding Sunday School, refusing to be "churchy."

Okay. That might be a little over the top.

But I did feel obligated to do something to make scripture time a little more bearable. This was the point that I remembered my mom's old stand-by (how could I forget?): being good should be fun. Otherwise why would anyone do it? And isn't this the reason we have commandments anyway, to make us happy?

This is more popularly known as the "spoonful of sugar" philosophy--courtesy Mary Poppins.

So scripture time is now fun. We choose a scripture story. I display a picture or a prop (rocks for the Jaredite Journey, or a fort for King Benjamin's final speech), and we read a few selected verses scattered through the Book of Mormon. (THE Book of Mormon, not any watered down nonsense.)

And then we test. To make sure Grace learned something. Anything.

I think it's working better if last night is any indication.

After a pleasant 5 minutes of reading and story telling and discussing, I was quizzing Grace on the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.

"Grace, what promise did the people of Ammon make to Heavenly Father?"

"No killing," she simply (and accurately) stated. And then she very thoughtfully added, "Oh! And! And! .... don't waste water."


Close enough.

1 comment:

  1. "Something had to change. I could just see Grace's teen years: ditching seminary, avoiding Sunday School, refusing to be "churchy.""

    Those exactly describe my teen years. And I LOVED family scripture study when I was little. We each had our own missionary style BOM and we drew pictures of what was going on. I drew the best pictures, and looked forward to it every day. Didn't make me like Sunday School and Seminary any more as a 15 year old though. I'm not trying to worry you or anything, but how much a little kid likes family scripture study doesn't predict how much they'll like church as they get older. I wouldn't worry.