Also, sometime shortly before school starts, I recommend watching the documentary On the Way to School. It moves slowly (it's a documentary, not an action show), but it's so eye-opening to see what getting to school is like in other parts of the world. Even better, it makes them appreciate what they have. At present, the film is streaming on Netflix. It's entirely G rated.
Back to School Family Home Evening
PreparationFor this lesson, you will need lined school paper, a writing implement, and a "Shield of Faith."
I used the May 2015 conference issue of the Ensign. There is a photograph of President Monson on the back. See how I used permanent marker to take it to eleven?
Or you can print a shield here. This shield is actually in a shield shape, with pictures and words for faith, prayer, repentance, and forgiveness, and a little picture of Christ in the middle.
For the General Conference Connection, I have used an excerpt from the talk "Yes We Can and Will Win" by Elder Ulisses Soares (the previous link has the full text and video), where he tells the story of a young man who refused to view pornography on his friends' cell phones.
An excerpt was included in the May 2015 New Era under "Stories from Conference" (scroll down to see it)
A simpler children's summary appeared in the May 2015 Friend under "Conference Notes." This is what my family used (see images below).
"Choose the Right," Hymns 239
What are some temptations you might experience this school year?
Answers might include teasing, cheating, bad words, giving up, bragging, etc.
Write the temptations in big letters on separate sheets of lined paper.
How do we know what's right?
Answers might include conscience, reading the scriptures, praying, or listening to the prophet.
[Child's name], will you hold this? It's the Conference issue of the Ensign. You can use this as your shield of faith, because we have faith in what the prophet teaches us during General Conference. Is your faith strong enough to protect you from the temptation to (read the temptation on one sheet of paper)?
Playfully wad the sheet of paper, then toss the temptation ball at your child, and let them try to deflect it with their shield. Repeat with other temptations, allowing any other children a turn as well.
General Conference Connection
Invite your family to read (or listen to) whichever version of Elder Ulisses Soares' story of a young man resisting looking at pornography (or "bad pictures").
If you are using General Conference Notebooks, give each member of your family their own copy to glue in their notebooks. Encourage them to write down what they can do to be "Strong Like Moroni" and resist temptations.
This tradition is new for this generation of our family, although it sounds like it's been around other Latter-day Saint families for a long time. Each of the children get a turn getting a father's blessing from Dad. I usually request one, too. Just for fun.
If you have reverence issues with the younger ones, you could set up coloring pages in a different room, then call them in when it's their turn.
Your family's favorite playground game, such as 4 Square, shooting hoops, or jump rope. (Our rising 6th grader had a fever, and the other children needed their backpacks double-checked, so we actually skipped the activity this week).