By Colleen Stephenson Colleen Stephenson: We had a fun time today learning about #dandc56. After giving an overview of vrs. 1-13, i focused on vrs. 14-15 with the manual question “what attitudes prevent us from being pardoned or forgiven?” a: hearts are not satisfied, and we counsel (the Lord) in our own ways. We talked about what each of these meant and then thought of the principle to put on…
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Adapting Personal Progress For Special Needs – Random Question Thursday

Downloaded from: The question for this week’s RANDOM QUESTION THURSDAY comes from a very good-looking individual- ME! :) Since the young women that we serve are always maturing (new Beehives come in from Primary, Laurels graduate, etc) we are bound to have new situations come up that we haven’t dealt with before – even if we’re seasoned YW leaders. For example, we have a YW in our ward who…
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The question for this week’s RANDOM QUESTION THURSDAY comes from a very good-looking individual- ME! :)

Since the young women that we serve are always maturing (new Beehives come in from Primary, Laurels graduate, etc) we are bound to have new situations come up that we haven’t dealt with before – even if we’re seasoned YW leaders.

For example, we have a YW in our ward who has some special needs, but is very enthusiastic about Personal Progress. She has recently become frusterated in her recent attempts to “pass off” Value Experiences that she simply didn’t understand. This was a new situation for me.

As a presidency, we decided that we needed to work with her closely to achieve these goals, but also adapt the program to her ability level. But how would we do that? 

The “Adapting to Individual and Local Needs” section of the Personal Progress book says
“Value experiences and value projects may be adapted according to personal or local circumstances, interests, and needs with prior approval of parents and leaders . When making any changes or exceptions for one person, leaders should consider the effect those changes may have on other young women . After careful consideration by parents and leaders, adaptations may be made to meet the needs of young women with disabilities or educational limitations, to meet cultural or individual needs, or to allow young women who are not members to participate”

But how exactly were we going to do that?

I am on the Personal Progress site (a section of found HERE) regularly, but until recently I hadn’t noticed that under the “Get Started” section of the site, on the left side of the page, there is a category labeled,  Personal Progress for Those with Special Needs” (if you click on the title in red here, the pdf version will open for you). This is a printable version of Personal Progress that has been generally adapted for general special needs. The same type and number of Value Experiences and Value Projects are still required, but the Value Experiences and the suggested Value Projects have been somewhat simplified.

This would be a valuable resource for many girls, but I still felt that in our particular situation, it wasn’t adapted enough for this certain YW’s abilities and needs. This resource could be used as-is for many girls, but certainly will not be appropriate for everyone. There is really no way that they could make a specific pre-made program that would fit every situation. There are as many different social, emotional, and educational ability levels as there are girls who have what we generically call “special needs”

Our particular situation required a much greater level of simplification, so I’d like to share with you what we have done. Again, what we have done may or may not be appropriate for a special-needs girl who you are working with. The young woman that I am working with has severe limitations. What I have done certainly would not be appropriate for most girls. You may be surprised at how much we have simplified the program, but it was the result of much thought and consultation about one specific girl’s particular abilities and maturity level. As a Presidency, we have agree that this is an appropriate level to challenge this particular girl, yet still making passing off Value Experiences and Value Projects attainable for her.

I purchased two 3-ring binders. They are identical, except that one was pink (for her) and one was blue.

PINK NOTEBOOK: This is the notebook that this YW will take home with her to work on. I made a cover page that I inserted in the front with the YW’s name and “Personal Progress” in large letters. I also used a sharpie marker to write her name and “Personal Progress” on the outside edge of the notebook (to help the family identify the notebook in case the cover page was removed and/or lost). On the inner cover, I also wrote the following (in sharpie marker) “when you have finished your assignment*, bring all your papers and this notebook back to one of the yw leaders during church or mutual”. This YW has received several Personal Progress books, but has lost them all. We hope that this notebook will be more difficult to misplace. We are asking her to bring the WHOLE notebook with her, so that a new “assignment” can be entered when the completed one is removed.

BLUE NOTEBOOK: This is the notebook that we will keep in the YW closet at church. I wrote her name and “Personal Progress” on this notebook as well, but I also added the words “YW Leaders Notebook” and “Please leave in the YW closet”. We will keep  her tracking sheet, completed “assignments”, and a few future “assignments” in this notebook.  The main purpose of this 2nd notebook is partly to prevent the loss of all of her work if her pink notebook is misplaced or lost, but also so that any YW leader can sign-off her work and give her the next “assignment” when she is ready.

*We’re referring to the Value Experiences as “assignments” in this case because of the confusion the new lingo was causing her.

“ASSIGNMENTS”/VALUE EXPERIENCES:  Using the Personal Progress for those with Special Needs” as a guide, I typed up ONE Value Experience at a time, each one on its own page. We felt that having multiple options listed on the same page was part of the confusion for her. For each page I made, I made sure that the Value Category and the # of the Value Experience are clearly shown at the top, to make it easier for us as leaders to identify/mark off the completed Value Experience when she completes an “assignment”. We will give her these 1-Value Experience “assignments” to her one at a time. 

To give an example of how I have modified a Value Experience/”Assignment”, here are all three versions of the Faith Value Experience #2:

FAITH VALUE EXPERIENCE #2 (standard version)
“Discover the principles of faith taught by the mothers of Helaman’s stripling warriors. Read Alma 56:45–48 and 57:21. Review what “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” says about a mother’s role. With a mother, grandmother, or leader, discuss the qualities a woman needs in order to teach children to have faith and to base their decisions on gospel truths. How can these principles help you in your life today and help you prepare to be a faithful woman, wife, and mother? Record your thoughts and feelings in your journal”

“Discover the principles of faith taught by the mothers of Helaman’s stripling warriors. Listen to or read Alma 56:45–48, or listen to, read, or watch “Helaman and the 2,000 Young Warriors” (Book of Mormon Stories, chapter 34). Complete the online puzzle “Two Thousand Young Warriors.” Have your mother, grandmother, or leader share her testimony or a faith-promoting story. Write your thoughts and feelings in your journal. For example, “My mother, grandmother, or leader has taught me ___________.” 

“Learn about Helaman’s stripling warriors and their mothers by completing the 4 parts of this assignment:
  1. Read the scripture Alma 56:45-48 (in the Book of Mormon).
  2. Color the puzzle picture in your notebook*
  3. Ask an adult woman (who is a relative or a Young Womens leader) to tell you about a time in their life when they learned about faith.
  4. Draw a picture on this page about what you have learned

 (*”We Do Not Doubt” dot to dot puzzle I found here, printed and placed in the notebook with her assignment)

You  may notice that I did not include online resources such as videos and online games that were suggested, this is simply because this particular girl doesn’t have internet access. Otherwise, they would be great to use!

Typing up (and providing additional adaptation) each Value Experience was time-consuming, so I only did a few Value Experiences ahead the first time. We will need to make sure we always have the next one ready for her, because we won’t be sure how long it will take her to complete each “assignment”

Of course, we will be providing support and help as needed, but I tried to simplify it to the point that she should be able to complete the assignments with little or no help. Ideally, parents would be able to provide assistance with Personal Progress, but that isn’t always possible in every scenario.

Another idea that people have suggested is assigning a YW mentor (another YW who has completed Personal Progress) to work with her. That is a fantastic idea! However, in this particular situation, we have a sister who is called as a YW Leader specifically to work with her, so we feel like having this YW leader and the Beehive leader work with her is the best fit. As with everything else, this will depend on her needs and abilities.

I hope that this gives you a starting place to consider adapting the Personal Progress program for girls in your care who are differently abled. 

Alma 43-63: Why So Much War?

This great talk was shared by a teacher on our Seminary teachers facebook group.  It’s based on a paper that is at  She made a handout, but I wanted more of the text of the paper instead of a worksheet, and made my own. I like the thrust of the text of this talk, which is basically directed at some themes that are found in the war chapters that…
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Alma 32-58

Believe it or not, I can totally sum up the rest of Alma in one blog post.  Since last I posted we’ve had Seminary less than 10 times.  Last week we met only once due to another snowstorm and another freezing rain event. At this point I can’t even remember which days we met and which we didn’t without looking at our attendance sheets, which I have ignored entering in…
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Stay at Home Mom’s

I love being a “stay at home mom.”  I love being there at a drop of a hat for my children. I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I know that there are many moms out there that aren’t able to be home-  I have to say- you are still amazing!!  My mom always had to work- but fortunately she was there at a drop of a hat… she was admired and so respected in her career that when she said I have to go to my child’s school program, or my little girl is sick, or I have to run my daughters “unmentionables” to school because she forgot to take them to early morning Drill-team practice, they didn’t ever bat an eye- she was able to be there for me and my brother.  I have a sister in law that has to work too, and she too can still provide for her children in ways that works for them and their family.  NOT TO LEAVE out dads- I had a pretty supportive dad, and my husband is amazing at being there for my kids too-

That being said there is something amazing about being a mother…  I am truly grateful that my mother taught me all I know.  I am very blessed to have been taught the homemaking skills that I know and am still learning from her.

I am blessed to have the Gospel I my life.  
In the book Daughters in My Kingdompage 157  it reads:

“Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth…Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work.”

I am trying to teach my girls the value of being a good mother- I don’t always do a very good job “by example” but I am trying.  I am constantly working on being more “patient,” being more “fun” and being more “hands on” in creativity.  

President Ezra Taft Benson at April 1989 general conference said to the young girls, “Be prepared for missionary service if you are called.  But also, young girls, learn from your mothers the important homemaking skills you will use in your own home.”

I was fortunate enough to have been able to do both… serve a mission and learn from my mom and Grandmother home-making skills (that I will constantly be learning and developing).  I hope to encourage my daughters to serve a mission, and to love learning and applying homemaking skills.

Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, tells us from the New Era in the May Issue of 2012 the following (click here for a direct link)

“Gaining knowledge now will pay huge dividends when you become a mother.  “A mother’s education level has a profound influence on the educational choices of her [children].” …  Educated women “tend to: Give birth to healthier babies, have children who are healthier, be more confident, resilient and have improved reasoning and judgment.”

She goes on to say: “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”  Providing an education for your children is part of that nurturing and is your sacred responsibility.  Like the stripling warriors, who “had been taught by their mothers” [Alma 56:47], you will be the most important teacher your children will ever have, so choose your learning carefully.  Bless your children and your future home by learning as much as you can now.

Coupon Book: Mother’s Day

This Mother’s day coupon book has four coupons, quotes, and a cover. Coupons: Breakfast in Bed One uninterrupted nap A hug each day for one week One free dish-washing Quotes: Quotes about Mothers “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” – Abraham Lincoln “Who ran to help me when I fell, And would some pretty story tell, Or…
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True in All Things

Using pictures, briefly remind the children of the story of the people of Ammon, who buried their weapons, and of their sons, who fought with Helaman (see Alma 53:10–22; Alma 56:47–49, 54–56). The two thousand young men were strong and active and true at all times. Say that you are looking for some strong, active, true persons. Have a child hold a prop (a helmet, sword, or shield) such as…
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We are moving to where you can find Come Follow Me Lesson ideas for the new 2019 curriculum Dismiss