family home evening.

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LOVE TAZA family home evening-9

sharing a few photos and a little bit about how our family does “family home evening!” i have mentioned it here and there on social media on occasion and have had a lot of questions around it, so i thought it would be nice to put everything into a big blog post which will hopefully be helpful and insightful for anyone else with a family who is wanting to establish routines and habits around spending quality time together.

while the concept of family home evening (or what we refer to a lot over here as FHE) was first established by our church as a way to strengthen your family unit (you can read more about it here), i very strongly believe that no matter what your religious beliefs might be, the idea of having a dedicated night each week to spend as a family, doing things your family loves doing together and talking about what is important for your family, is very powerful. it can be a time to have spiritual learning together, a time set aside for a service project each week, or a time to just chat about life and catch up with everyone in your family.

growing up, my family always did this on monday evenings, and we’ve tried to keep that going with our own family now. because we are raising our children in a religious and spiritual home, we usually begin and end our family nights with a prayer. we sing lots of songs, have a little lesson or do a fun activity together, and always always always have a treat of some kind. ;) we also rotate through assigned roles each week so each family member gets to have a turn during the month to work on a lesson to share or make a treat to eat. while there are times when we drop the ball and family night doesn’t happen, we have been trying to get into a more consistent routine around here on monday evenings and it’s been really special when we’ve made it happen. the kids even ask for it and remind us!

for all of us, when our kids are little, it seems easy to do this sort of thing, because we are the ones in charge of the family’s calendars and scheduling. so it’s like, well yeah. we already spend a lot of time together. we don’t need to dedicate an entire night to it each week. but, as everyone gets older and extra curricular activities plus social calendars become more demanding, it’s nice to have already built a habit of a consistent night each week where the family is together. as the kids begin making their own plans, they know to hold that night for their family, because that’s how it has always been! and maybe also because they really enjoy family night and want to spend it with their family (okay, maybe?! hopefully! it’s what i’m aiming for here!)

i have to give a lot of credit to my own parents, because they made FHE a very consistent thing in their home while raising their children and while we were in dance classes and rehearsals often until late in the night, they would find ways to make sure we were still home one night a week (sometimes shifting the night to another week night if needed) so we still had time together. we would do a lot of fun things on family night growing up… bowling stands out to me as something we did pretty frequently on family night! we also had an organ in the front room of the house that had a lot of sound effects you could turn on whenever someone was playing it, so we had a lot of crazy dance parties on monday nights as part of FHE growing up, too.

anyway, i think a family home evening night can look different for every family and you can cater it to how it might best fit your own situation and set up, but i think it’s a really wonderful tool for any family that wants to strengthen their own family bond. and i think getting into a consistent habit of doing something one night each week when they kids are little is a good place to start.

sharing some photos below that i snapped during one of ours a few weeks ago…

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yes. the boys are taking turns jumping off the side of the sofa onto mama’s throw pillows over there just out of frame. lol.

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this is our family home evening board which our kids are obsessed with! it’s a letter board by letterfolk which means you can switch up the letters whenever you want. samson in particular likes to be in charge of rotating who does what and changing out everyone’s names after our family home evening is complete.

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this photo of conrad’s car doesn’t have much to do with family night, but he really wanted me to take a photo of his car and i thought that was pretty sweet so i wanted to share it here to remember.
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during this FHE, samson was in charge of our treat, so he made homemade chocolate chip banana bread (with a little help!) and we enjoyed it altogether at the end of FHE before getting ready for bed.

if you’re already doing some sort of FHE in your own home, what does it look like? any tips or things you’ve found beneficial and helpful? any seasoned parents out there, i would LOVE for you to chime in especially so myself and others can gain your insight and wisdom in the comments when it comes to building family bonds and spending consistent time together each week as a family. thank you for sharing!

  1. Jordan

    I’m one of seven kids and my parents prioritized family dinner together as often as possible (usually 5+ nights a week, even when 4 of us kids were in high school). We would spend about 2 hours each night eating dinner together, talking about our day, talking about the news, and usually debating some topic – no TV and no phones allowed! It always began with a prayer and ended with everyone helping to clean up. I’m not Mormon but was raised in a Protestant, spiritual household. Even when all the kids couldn’t make it, my mom would set aside plates of food for the ones missing and everyone who could be there, would be there. Now that I’m older and out of the house, my boyfriend and I prioritized dinner together every night – once again, no TV and no phones allowed! This is definitely a tradition I look forward to passing along to my children :)

  2. Fernanda

    This really sweet and I love the idea. Even though we spend every evening/weekend as a family, having something more “build up” is a great idea, regardless religion or beliefs. Thank you for sharing that!

    Xx,
    Fernanda

    http://www.blogmeandthecity,com

  3. Mackenzie Portwood

    Love that your Sharing this tradition with the world! Every needs a little more love and a little more together time.

  4. I love that you wrote about this! Family home evening was very sporadic in my home growing up, but my husband has done an excellent job of getting us in a pattern early with young kids, and my kids love it so much, they remind us and love rotating the chart of responsibilities. It’s so special when each of them take a turn teaching, I love hearing from them as they share their testimony. As we talk about spiritual things as a family, it strengthens us and brings us closer. My youngest actually doesn’t think it “counts” when we just play, it’s the discussing she likes (which I kinda adore!)

  5. Since the Church has come out and asked us to do more FHE and teaching at home- we have based our FHE’s off what is going on.
    Our first one was to teach them the name of the church.
    The second was to teach them the “I Belong to the Church…” song.
    And we just go off what the kids are asking.
    Eventually when they are older we’ll be more structured.

  6. Marie

    I love this concept! Can you give examples of some of the lessons you’ve done?

  7. Hannah

    I love it. What a wonderful way to get the whole family involved and responsible for leading something. Such precious time.

    http://www.chausadventure.com

  8. Erika

    we have a FHE night in my young single adult ward on Monday nights. it’s cool to be able to get together with people my age and spend that time socializing and having a spiritual message to get through the week! it’s also nice that i don’t have to plan any of it haha

  9. Elena Guallar Román

    Hi Taza, i love your family so much, i follow you since i don’t know when and i find very helpful every time you give us ideas like today’s. I have just had my first baby one month ago and i am already thinking in having this evening together.
    I wanted to ask you what is your bed time routine with the kids, i’m very curious about how you do it with the babies as i’m trying to establish a routine with my baby so as he can be rested and sleep longer.
    Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your family.
    Lots of love from Spain.
    Elena

  10. Brooke

    How have a never thought of a letterboard for FHE?? Love that, and I love that you are using your blog to talk about FHE.

  11. what a beautiful look into your family home evenings!!
    Thank you for sharing, Taza!

    Beautiful photos and memories. What a great concept!

    much love,
    Sara

  12. Marisa Oliver Holman

    Hi! So I’m 25 about to be 26 (when did I become old), but something that I still enjoy even as my brother and I age are Sunday night dinners with my parents and grandma. It’s something we have always done since we were kids, and still holds such a special place in my heart. I recently asked my dad why they still have the same kitchen table from before I was born, and he told me he could never give away that table because of the countless memories made around that table. Yes as I got into my young twenties I didn’t participate in family dinner, but as I’ve gotten older and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and now my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks back, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what materialistic items you own, it is about the memories you create, and even through these hard times we still have our Sunday family dinner! Love your blog!

  13. Jacklyn

    Love this! We did family day growing up and it was always so special and sacred. We developed our own board game to play and now my sister and I have a company where we make personalized games for families! Would love to make one for your next FHE!

    Ps. Glad you survived Disney- the pics were amazing! ❤️

  14. Julia

    My family used to do family nights when we were a little. We went through times of them being more regular or not but I always loved when we did them. We would take turns planning them and usually just planned a special board game night or a night out bowling or sledding. As we got older we stopped doing family nights but its fun to look back on the memories we made.

  15. rae

    Quick question for naomi or anyone else… was extended family, friends or girlfriends/boyfriends ever invited or included during family night? Thanks so much for any info or feedback!
    xo, Rae

  16. Marcella

    I went to Catholic school and in high school Wednesday night was “family night” and teachers weren’t allowed to assign us homework that night. It was nice but mostly made the other high schools think we were a scam, haha.

  17. Rikki

    I am obsessed with the letterboard idea as the FHE lineup sign! I’ve never seen something I liked as far as that goes, but this is the best idea ever! Just had to comment about it.

  18. Kate

    Thank you for sharing! We don’t have children yet and while our family is Jewish, I would love to incorporate FHE in our own home one day! I think you’re totally right – it’s a great practice regardless of which religion you follow. I love the idea of having a board to change up who is in charge of what and to have sort of a structure for FHE sometimes, definitely going to keep this in mind for one day :) Love your family and your big and small adventures.

  19. Tanis

    We have this type of evening too with our three children. We call it Friday Night Treat Night. It’s a night that the kids know we will all have a great and be together. We usually just spend time together, snacking, talking and watching a movie. It’s our favorite night of the week! ❤️

  20. Tanis

    Oups, I meant we will all have a treat. Lol.

  21. Rachael

    As me and my siblings got older (in high school), many of us fell away from the church, which made the traditional FHE a somewhat ubearable evening (with constant bickering and overall rotten attitude about the lesson of the week)… then my mom got the brilliant idea to change it to family game night. It instantly changed the family dynamic and was something we all looked forward to.
    Sharing in case any one struggles with engaging all family members in FHE. Taking the religion out helped our family remember the point -spending quality time as a family is a beautiful thing!

  22. Maggie

    I am not Mormon, but my family was big on reading aloud together after dinner most nights throughout my young childhood. We read through SO much; Wind and the Willows, all of Narnia, all of Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, etc. I loved this growing up and look back on it so very fondly. I don’t have kids yet, but plans for them are on the near horizon and I am most excited to keep up the tradition of family reading.
    My mother-in-law gifts a “book of the month” to her kids each Christmas – twelve used books individually wrapped and gifted in the good faith that they will be opened one a month. It’s such a fun idea and instilled a life long love of reading in her kids. I’ve been toying with the idea of combining the two traditions.

  23. Sandra

    Thank you. You are a big inspiration. I’m not LDS, but did spend a lot of time in the church doing my thesis in college. Even though I don’t share the reigious believes I definitely feel that there a many good lessons from the structures and traditions of learning about service, family bonding and respectful relationships in many forms.

  24. Sara M.

    Love this idea! Pity that my “children” are older, and it´s difficult to get them for this kind of dates :(

  25. katie

    Thank you for sharing this. Regardless of our varying religious faiths
    taking deliberate time to spend with your family/friends is so needed in our world at this time! I love that you shared this here on your blog. Thank you!!!

  26. Rebecca Yu

    So cute, thanks for sharing! It is only my husband and me, no kiddos yet, but I do try and have a little fhe with him. He is a convert from China so a lot of the doctrine and even the habit of fhe is new to him. It’s sometimes hard for me to let go of my idea of what fhe should be but when I am willing to adapt and do just my best to learn and talk about those things with him in whatever way I can I know Heavenly Father will bless and magnify those efforts.

  27. Rachael

    We have this book called “Ites” which is so great—it has a year of FHE lessons focused on the people in the Book of Mormon! My kids seriously love it and it has made FHE planning so much easier! https://amzn.to/2SZqpP9

  28. Melissa Terranova

    We do after dinner walk every evening that the weather allows us to. It is so helpful to get everyone in a better frame of mind before bed. instead of dealing with whiny children or cleaning up the kitchen we get to do something together and its always a new experience, someone to greet and something new to see around our little city. Love the idea of a family home evening during the week though – such a sweet tradition!

  29. I also had FHE growing up and my husband and I have continued the tradition in our family. Our kids look forward to and love it every Monday night. We can usually be found playing hide and seek, elephants (were we crawl around on the floor and make what we think are elephant sounds which is, yeah, kinda weird, but has become a family tradition somehow), having a very short lesson, and always eating a special treat. Our FHEs usually last between twenty and thirty minutes, but it’s so cool how something so short has helped solidified our family bonds and love. Okay, now I’m sounding gushy. Things aren’t always perfect, there are fights and all of us (five kids too over here!) aren’t always in the best moods, but we continue because, overall, it’s been so good for us.

  30. Mary

    So my family is catholic and we’ve been using the liturgical year to structure church teaching at dinner. I couldnt find good materials for this so collaborated with an orthodox friend to design them. They include prayers and activities and peg dolls. We’ll pull out the advent box soon. send me a message if you’re interested because she’s selling them – [email protected]

  31. Rachael

    We are observant Jews and we spend from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday together as a family without phones or TV. We have a big meal together on Friday night and Saturday for lunch. It’s truly the best to unplug and focus on Gd and family for 24 hours. We know we always have a day together without distraction no matter what’s going on or where we are.

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