Let’s talk about how to hold a “Five-Facet Review”…one of the best ways I know to dig deeper into the hearts, minds and needs of our children.

Shawni and David with Grace, studying for a five-facet review!This post was originally posted back in 2011, but I’ve been thinking about how powerful this practice is, so I’m updating here. Especially since summer is such a good time to get more time trying to figure out these kids of ours!

With five kids running around sometimes the unique, individual needs of each one of them get lost in the shuffle.

Dave had the kids write out their schedules for Family Home Evening minute-by-minute, practice times are all set, jobs are being done and all that jazz.

This is great. Schedules are good.

But as all of us parents know, there is so much more than just schedules to organize.

I want to know exactly what they’re up against with school, friends, etc. What are their most desired extracurricular activities? What are their biggest worries? I want to know if the best way to help is to dig in, or to let them be. Because as I’ve “grown up,” I’ve realized sometimes the best tactic is to “KMC” (Keep Mouth Closed:).

That’s where “Five-Facet Reviews” come in (another great idea from my parents).

what is a Five-Facet Review?

The idea is that you sit down with your spouse or someone else who knows and loves your children. Once a month would be ideal, but hey, take what you can get! This is a chance to talk about how each child is doing in each of their “five-facets” of life:

1) socially
2) spiritually
3) mentally
4) emotionally
5) physically

The beauty of discussing the needs of your kids with a partner

I love discussing the specifics of each child with Dave in the light of these particular categories because man alive, there is so much that he notices that I don’t. And there are so many solutions he comes up with that I never in a million years would have. There’s something about having that detailed conversation that puts up red flags in my mind about things we need to work on that I may have never thought of otherwise.

It also helps me feel content about the things that are going well. It helps me be deliberate, and that’s my main goal as a mother.

Most of all, Five-Facet Reviews help me see into the personalities of my children in a deeper way.

And I love that.

Now, please don’t picture us doing this like clockwork every month (although I wish it would). In our family it doesn’t work to do some formal deal like my parents did. Sometimes I just make sure we cover these topics casually during a date-night. Or Dave will bring up something he’s been worried about one particular child as we fall asleep at night. Dave doesn’t clap his hands in glee when I say stuff about five-facet reviews because he doesn’t go for formal stuff like that.

But we are both well aware of the “facets” and we make sure we talk them through whenever we can.

Things our five-facet reviews help us learn about our kids

Because of these discussions I’ve been prompted to push a little more spirituality with some kids. Dave and I discuss Lucy’s eating habits and how we can guide them. We’ve talked about how Max needs help getting more excited about reading (please send great book suggestions if you have any…), and things like whether or not we should push Elle into trying out for the volleyball team. In our discussions we have realized things like how Grace needs more math help and Claire needs to somehow get more sleep.

Then we make a plan and get to work.

It helps us to know our children in a deeper way.

Really know them.

Combine these five-facet reviews with parent-child interviews to get to know your kids even better.

I think parenting has to be made and re-made over and over and over again. It seems like just when we figure out the perfect solution to a particular situation through endless tweaking and prayer and pushing, another child will throw you for a loop and will need parenting from an entirely different ball-field.

Each child is so darn unique.

That’s why I love Five-Facet Reviews so much. It makes the “re-mix” of parenting for each child that much easier.

how to hold a five-facet review Pinterest Pin with Shawni and Dave kissing Lucy on the cheeks

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  1. My husband and I are casual about keeping tabs and communicating about our 4 children, but I like your parents' "Five Facet Review" and am going to implement that with a journal to track (very casually). I think it will be interesting to look back and see what was of note in our kids' development as the year progresses. Thanks for the idea!
    A book I would recommend is 'We Be Monsters', it sounds creepy but it's more fairytale cooky but silly-fun. This would be a grade 4-8 book depending on your reader. It's so silly it seems really easy to read so it's encouraging for disinterested readers!

  2. i have heard good review of the Hunger games series for Max's age. also, he could probably stop by the school library at lunch or a free period and ask the librarian for some ideas, after all, thats what they're there for. building a relationship with the librarian will also be helpful in years to come should he need help finding books or other resources for assignments.
    As far as elle going out for volleyball, my dad always told me "it never hurts to try, and youll come away with an experience." she seems like a social girl, and will probably make friends in the tryout process that she can keep whether or not she decides to join. and if she makes friends with girls that do make the team, she may be more likely to join. glad schools off to a good start.

  3. and for lucys eating, does she like smoothies? there are some very lo-cal no sugar added ones that even she may like. there is also a health magazine, called nutrition action that helps with eating healthy for the whole family.

  4. Hi there,
    my husband and I are currently reading your parent's book "5 spiritual solutions" and just finished the section that covers the 5 facet reviews. We've already started our "reviews" of our 5 kids and have already noticed some improvement in our attempts to be deliberate parents. Love this idea, love the book and love your family blog! thanks for the continual tips and inspirations!
    ps- I attended a TOFW here in TX and was sad to see you and your mom were not on the list of speakers…maybe Texas next time:)

  5. My son one year older has liked the Last Shot series by John Feinstein – they are all stories that take place surrounding major sporting events.

  6. Thanks for sharing how the 5 facet review works for your family. Sometimes I get this perfectionistic idea that it has to be done the "right" way. Silly, I know. So thanks for sharing your "casual" ideas of getting the job done where a formal one might now always work out! Thank you for your blog! I really love learning from your ideas!

  7. We've done this and love it. My parents would do this as a couple and then once a month we would have a "one-on-one" with a parent (usually my dad) where we would discuss those five things with him. Looking back I'm amazed that my parents did this with all 6 kids. Yes it was about 30-45 minutes for me, but for my Dad it was almost 6 hours!! It was how he spent his one Sunday a month that he had free. How grateful I am to him and my mom for their sacrifice of time. It's a great reminder to me as I try to do the same with my kids.

    As for the book suggestions I liked The Hunger Games and think he might like it. What is he into? The Eragon series is pretty good. Ender's game series my husband started reading when he was your son's age. Also Jack London books (Call of the Wild), Hatchet is another good one.

    My husband and I like to sit down and discuss on a Sunday (just like my parents) each child. We also take a Sunday to discuss a conference talk from the previous session that we both agreed to read separately and share our thoughts on it. Though sometimes it's hard to do this when you just want to relax after the kids have been to bed (or blog, or visit pinterest :D) it's made me more aware of my children's needs, helped our communication between husband and wife and has provided many great discussions and laughs. I say however you do it as long as you're doing it that's what matters (although I will say my husband usually is game for anything I suggest :D)

    p.s. sorry for this novel!

  8. hi hi hi..i have 5 children also, 13 yr old boy and 4 girls 10, 8, 5 and 1… and man o man i need 5 sets of ears to hear all of their stories..i love details about their days :-)))
    for max and his reading if he hasnt already read these the small series of Alex Rider Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz totally consumed my son, he is 13, but a very good reader so for a 15 year old it should be perfect..
    🙂 as for Elle, personally..i wouldn't push the subject, if she is meant to play volleyball then she will play…just stand back and wait for her to decide…my children like to try different things all the time, but only some things we insist on..ie::: dance and football 🙂
    from kelly

  9. quick question… 🙂 is the Time Out for Women conference only for people who are members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints? or, is it a mixture of religious beliefs? 🙂

  10. I love this idea and will try it with my husband. My goal this school year is to really step up more and knowing my kids better and what their weakness are so that I can help them more in those areas.

    I love that even though your busy you still make time to do this for your kids. Your kids are lucky to have such great and caring role model parents.

    When I was reading this yesterday my one daughter (starting HS) read some of your blog and loved your pictures and all the things you do with your kids. It made me feel good that she could read your kid friendly and fun blog. She of course said Max is a babe and wants me to do some "JUMPING" pictures of her like your kids do. Thanks for always sharing and sorry I wrote so long.

  11. Richard Paul Evans has a new book out about a teenager with "special powers" he was on Studio 5 (KSL)this last week and the reviews were wonderful.It was tested on a bunch of high school kids with awesome reviews..watch the clip.

  12. I love the 5 facet idea, but have yet to implement it. I think I may try to introduce it in a month or so when my girl starts school. I liked the idea of a previous commenter to keep a little journal to better keep track too.

    As for Lucy's weight- I highly recommend "Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It" by Gary Taubes. It challenges "conventional" (post world war 2) wisdom and is great. I don't know if it helps children with BBS, but may be worth a read.

  13. A great book suggestion for Max: "Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School." The first book is called "We the Children" and the second is called "Fear Itself." The third book comes out this coming January, I think. We listened to the first book on CD as a family in the car on a road trip. It had every kid spell-bound, from age 5 up to 20, and the adults too! I am not sure what "age level" it is for reading (hard to tell from listening instead of actual reading), so if it turns out to be too easy for Max, just give it to one of your younger kids. Boys and girls will like it equally, I'd think. I have a road trip I have to do tomorrow, and my kids are begging to all come along so we can listen to book 2! Enjoy!

  14. Looks like you have lots of good book suggestions, but I had to put in a plug for the "Fablehaven" series by Brandon Mull. They are great fun–totally clean and very exciting and creative. Not as violent as "Hunger Games" either (I personally did not like that book).
    We've tried the 5 facet reviews, and love them! Excellent idea.

  15. Hey Shawni
    This is so off topic but what age did you give each of your children phones? Just curious to know?

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