A Two Night Split
During the adult session of our Stake Conference, the new stake president and his wife shared an unusual tactic for Family Home Evening that they used in their family: split it into two nights.
On Sunday night, they would have their spiritual lesson, then Monday night would be free for a larger family activity, like swimming.
For our family, that solves two puzzles at the same time: what to do as a family on Sunday and how to have more time doing physical activities, like swimming and biking, as a family.
We're trying it out. The kids are funny. We got more done, but they don't like it when we mess with their weekly rituals (like pizza on Fridays).
Last night, we went to an indoor bounce place as a family and had cake and ice cream there (okay, it was a birthday party, but we were counting it). Come 8:00, the kids were asking "What about family night? What about treat?" They didn't like being told that we had already finished it, but I think they just wanted more cake and ice cream.
Our 2016 Family Home Evening "Curriculum"
Cory and I had a good discussion about this one. We decided we would give ourselves permission to vary from our plan if something else came up that we felt was important to cover, but otherwise we will be using the Priesthood/Relief Society lesson topics for our Family Home Evening lessons.
One of the perks of this is that Cory and I will both have listened to a discussion on the topic earlier that day at church, which may bring some interesting stories and ideas to mind. It will also greatly simplify preparation.
1st Sunday: The First Presidency Message, a General Conference Talk, or Parents' Choice
2nd and 3rd Sundays: Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, one chapter
4th Sunday: Teachings for Our Times, a.k.a. General Conference talk (Bonus! I currently teach this in Relief Society, so I can prepare Family Home Evening lesson at the same time as I prepare for Relief Society! Much easier.)
5th Sundays: probably a discussion of whatever the Bishopric felt was important for our ward
Now, last week was Stake Conference for us. What did we do? Well, our Stake Presidency told us at Stake Conference that they wanted every family to have a "Sabbath Day Plan," so we discussed and filled in ours.