As you know, the suggested Seminary assignments for home study Seminary students is not an easy schedule to keep. Each day students are expected to read vastly different amounts of material, which can lead students to be frustrated that they can not allocate a given amount of time to seminary activities at home, and they may quit the program all together. This chart is intended to help home study teachers overcome some of that difficulty. If you want to keep all your students together and help them complete the Book of Mormon together as a group, use this chart and the corresponding teaching suggestions to alter the lessons to suit the needs of your students.
My pacing and lesson chart shows the correlation (or lack thereof) between Seminary lessons and student reading. It includes a student reading chart by week. The reading chart has been paced to require approximately the same amount of reading per day, which in the case of a 32-week course is just 10 minutes per day on a 7 day week, or 15 minutes in a 5 day week. I’ve included suggestions on how to alter the lessons in the manual to fit with student reading better, which is how I pace my lessons for my daily Seminary class. In my Seminary class I’ve found that when students are all together in their reading, they participate better during class because the lesson material matches the questions they have about their reading. I’ve also found them more likely to read their scriptures and complete the course. The same principles should hold true in a home study course.
For home study Seminary teachers:
- Home study students need to read for 10 minutes every day, 7 days per week, to complete the entire Book of Mormon plus opening chapters in 32 weeks.
- When do you hold your weekly meeting for Seminary? Is it on Wednesday evening? After church? The date of your class may affect the way that you make weekly assignments. If it were me, I’d aim for a 7-day or 5-day per week calendar whenever possible. The 4-day per week schedule in the manual is very difficult to maintain, especially if your students are most likely to complete their Seminary assignments before school. (I’m speaking as a former home study Seminary student here). Help your home study students by creating assignments that take approximately the same amount of time to complete each day.
- The lesson schedule is written for 4 weekly assignments with one day off for the lesson date. Poll your students to determine when they are most likely to complete their Seminary work. If they do it before school, it will be difficult for them to develop a habit of working on activities only 4 days per week as suggested in the manual. Consider creating a 5-day schedule for those students to use so they can keep up on Seminary whenever there is a school day — even if that day is a lesson day. You may even need to create multiple calendars for student needs.
- If you go with a 5-day calendar for home study assignments, assignments should take no longer than 40 minutes to complete each day. That time includes 15 minutes of reading and 25 minutes of work from the student study guide. 40 minutes 5 days a week plus a weekly group class period equates to the approximately 250 minutes of lesson time that a daily seminary student would receive.
- If you go with a 7-day calendar for home study assignments, assignments should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. That’s 10 minutes of daily reading and 20 minutes of work from the student study guide. 30 minutes 5 days a week plus a weekly group class period equates to the approximately 250 minutes of lesson time that a daily seminary student would receive.
- Home Study teachers can use the lessons straight from the manual and teach students material they are reading and working on each week, though you should know there are three weeks for which there is not a good lesson correlation.
Teachers will need to determine BEFORE CLASS BEGINS what to do if a student falls behind. You might require students to do makeup work or to just skip missed work. You might have a requirement for skipping missed work, like completing the reading or attending class or doing outside scripture mastery work. My advice would be to have students stay with the class if at all possible. You might have students complete the reading and then choose a few activities to complete.
Thanks to the folks at http://www.ldsscripturetools.com/, whose great tool helps calculate Seminary reading that is based on time required/pages instead of strictly by chapter.