Our Stake has been in the pilot program of the new youth curriculum for six months. It has been a wonderful experience teaching these lessons. We have been pleasantly surprised at the excitement the girls have exhibited and the questions they have raised. The Spirit has been with us and testified of many of the principles we have taught. It has been an uplifting experience for us as leaders and teachers.
Here are ten things we have done that we have found work for us:
1. We counseled as a YW board and discussed the teaching material in our meetings prior to introducing the subject for the month ahead. Is there a need that can be met by teaching a specific lesson?
2. We met as a counsel of Youth Leaders and teachers to discuss the manuals and the needs of the youth in our ward.
3. At the end of each month, we present the YW with a list of the topics for the lessons outlined in the upcoming month. If there are more than four, we ask them to choose which topic they feel would help them or which about which subject they would like to learn, numbered 1-4 by interest. We also ask them to choose a topic they feel they would like to help teach and allow them to participate in teaching a part of the lesson.
4. After the topics are chosen by the YW, we inform the Sunday School teachers about which doctrinal subjects the girls have chosen so the lessons can be coordinated and built upon. (The YM are teaching the same monthly lessons but they are teaching subjects their YM have chosen or what they feel meets their needs.)
5. We have made use of the videos at Youth.lds.org.
6. The YW are encouraged to freely discuss the topics or ask questions. Each is given a notebook that is kept in our closet and brought out for Sundays to record their thoughts, impressions, or questions as well as any notes they wish to take.
7. At the end of each lesson, we generally ask the girls if there are any questions they still may have and try to determine if we need to continue on this topic for the next Sunday to continue to teach the principle.
8. At the beginning of each new Sunday, we ask about the challenge or lesson from the week before. Did they follow up? What was their experience? The use of their notebooks or a handout given will help them remember the challenge for the week.
9. During the week, we are using Facebook messaging to remind them of the challenge early in the week and tell them of the upcoming topic so they will be prepared to share their thoughts, questions, or individual challenges.
10. If it is indicated, we inform them of the Personal Progress Value this lesson applies to and whether or not the challenge will help them fulfill a goal.
This new curriculum has been a blessing to me and I have seen it as a blessing in the lives of our girls! It is exciting to have them learn and develop testimonies of the fundamental principles of the Gospel.