LDS Church Resources
The LDS Distribution Center is a great-but generally untapped-resource.
When our family began homeschooling in 1991 I knew the journey would be challenging. I was prepared for so many things-curriculum preparation, the need to study, reading with my children, the shock of family and neighbors. One thing I was unprepared for-had never even really thought about-is how to teach? How do I present new information day after day and have it be exciting, new, interesting each time? One thing I did not understand adequately then, and am just beginning to see now, is the number of resources given by the Church to assist me at home all week long. (Oh…to be able to go back and use what I know now!)
As you consider the upcoming school year and the needs of each of your children, go to the Lord and ask to see with His eyes and then dive into the manuals, handbooks, websites, music, etc. from the Church and you may be amazed with the volume of helpful material and ideas that were put there “just for you”. Such as…? Consider the following:
• Use the books “Faith in God” for your older primary age children. There is one for girls and one for boys. The booklet for the girls is a fabulous way to prepare your daughters for the Personal Progress program in Young Women; the boys’ booklet helps with goal-setting and leads into the Scouting and Duty to God programs of the Aaronic Priesthood.
• Learn the music for the Primary Program as a family. Sing every hymn in the hymnbook in order. Learn the history behind the songs. Listen to the music CD’s from the seminary program.
• Use the Cub Scout and Boy Scout books and kits for studying science, art, history, health, etc.
• Make use of the goals in the Personal Progress and Duty to God programs as springboards for individual school goals throughout the year. Get involved in family history, service, mentoring and employment opportunities and in-depth literature and scripture study.
• Familiarize yourself with Preach My Gospel. The principles, goals and testimony-building materials are fantastic! It makes for great devotional and Family Home Evening lessons. Wow.
• The manuals for Primary, Sunday School, Mutual and the adult classes have great quotes for penmanship and memorization. You can find events throughout history to study, principles to learn and work on as a family.
• Use the Friend, New Era, and Ensign for story time, poetry, memorization materials, games, Family Home Evening, devotionals, cooking, music, history, you name it! Create three-ring binders by category and files for games, activities, and recipes. Take them apart and make use of them!
• Display pictures from the Gospel Art Kit in your home. Use nice frames, stick them on the fridge with magnets, whatever works for you.
• The manuals produced for the Institute program are helpful for personal and family scripture study. (The Old Testament is so much more understandable if you have the explanations regarding the Law of Moses, etc.)
• There are materials for cooking, home storage, money management, all sorts of life skills. The Church Almanac has great Church history, maps, current information on the General Authorities, mission, temples…
• Use Teaching, No Greater Call. Um…let’s see…use Teaching, No Greater Call! If you are unfamiliar with this manual, get one and read it. You can learn about working with children-your own and others. The lists of teaching methods and ideas are amazing. Learn the material with your teens. Practice it. As your children watch you grow in your ability, you are encouraging them to improve as teachers as well. This will help them be more effective missionaries, mothers, and instruments in the Lord’s hand.
This list is by no means exhaustive, in part because what you need to find for your homeschool may be different than what I have needed to find. Whatever your situation, be assured-when we as parents feel the prompting to gather our family and take the responsibility for our children’s education and development, the Lord is not going to leave us without help. No, you cannot produce everything for your years’ curriculum from the Church publications. But you can discover ways to create an atmosphere of love and learning as you become familiar with all He has provided.