Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner
When I first began teaching Primary, I would ask the children, before they left for home, what our lesson was about. Invariably, they had no idea, or remembered a minor point of the lesson, but not the purpose. Today, to make sure the parents know what the lesson is about, I send a weekly newsletter home with the children. I created a template and then I simply copy and paste from the online lesson, so it takes only a moment to create. I sometimes remove things to make it all fit onto one page. The newsletter has the following items:
Lesson number and title
Purpose of lesson
Scriptures read and scripture or church history stories told
Finger plays and action rhymes (I try to include the actual words so they can do them at home.)
A list of songs from the lesson
The main points of the lesson (taken from the bold headings)
An at-home suggested discussion or activity
Next weekís topic
My contact information
The parents often tell me they use this to plan Family Home Evening or Sunday reviews. They can, of course, read the entire lesson online, but each lesson has more than can be taught, and the newsletter tells them what I actually intended to cover that week. Since I frequently have little investigators who need extra attention, I know the children will get the parts of the lesson we didnít get to that day.
I created an email list for the parents who have email. I occasionally send an email to the group about an important aspect of the lesson. If a lesson was particularly humorous (not by design, but because Sunbeams are creative in their comments and questions) I fill the parents in. I also email individual parents to let them know of something particularly entertaining or inspiring a child said, or of a particular kindness performed by their child.
Whenever possible, I pass along compliments to the parents after class, since the children are retrieved from my room. I like them to know the good things their children did. Primary is important, and I want the parents to know about that part of their childís life.
On occasion, I even send notes directly to the children to compliment them on their behavior. I particularly like to do this when the majority of the class was in a silly or wild mood, which often happens in a class where so many children are new to church, and one child kept it together and behaved, despite the chaos. This takes powerful self-control and I like to reward it. At the same time, it lets the parents know Iím paying attention.
It takes just a few moments each week to maintain meaningful contact between class and home and itís well worth the effort.
Max's Attic: Book of Moromn Stories about Faith