Sunday, June 21, 2009

SEMINARY at home for primary-age children

A friend emailed, asking about how we do our version of "seminary" for grade-school students in our homeschool. She also asked a few other questions, which I'm happy to answer, but my reply started getting really long, so I decided to break it up into sections and post it on my blog instead of boring her to tears with a rambling novel-length email! Here's the first installment:

I started doing "seminary" a couple of years ago, 3rd grade I think, but only because I didn't think of it sooner! The way I do it could be adapted for any age, though. Kendall likes to think she's doing things like the teenagers, so I used that to my/her advantage - when she found out that the teens go to seminary she really wanted to do it. I went to the church's seminary website and looked up their curriculum (I decided to do the book of scriptures that we're studying for the year at church instead of the book of scripture they would be studying in seminary for that year. Like, this year I think seminary did New Testament, but we did Doctrine & Covenants at home instead. I thought it would help her to retain the info if we went along with the same scriptures/stories they would be using in Sunday School/Primary).

They have the materials for all 4 years on the website, so you can pick whichever one you want to do. The website has the whole student manual/workbook and other things (pictures, timeline, audio files for scripture mastery verses and related seminary songs). You can print out the pages from the manual as is, or copy the text to a word document and modify them if you want. This year, I was able to give Kendall the worksheets pretty much as-is because they aren't too complicated (I do leave out some of the bonus questions if the assignment was getting too long!). I have her do a section (or part of a section) of the manual every day, and I also give her a list of vocabulary for the week (included in the manual) and we do a quiz on Fridays.

When she was younger I modified the assignments to be more age appropriate (I'd type up a similar assignment with shorter, simpler wording). Also, when she was younger, I also focused more on the scripture mastery, too. I found some mp3's with the verses for the year set to fun music or hymns and she liked listening to those. There are also websites where you can print the flashcards, etc. I think I remember you saying that your daughter likes memorizing, so she'd probably love doing that for "seminary". We haven't done great at working on the scripture mastery this year, but I want to do better at that over the summer. When I was looking for more materials to use for our seminary, I just typed in something like "seminary Doctrine and Covenants helps" or "LDS seminary printables" in the search engine and found a lot of helpful websites.

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