The new year is such a great time to reassess all sorts of things and to resolve to do better. If you would like to be more intentional, more creative, more consistent or just MORE with your Family Formation lessons, some of these ideas might help.
- Get help! Choose a patron saint and ask for some help. (St. Monica is a patron saint of persistence, St. Joseph is a patron of families, Louis and Zelie Martin are patrons of the domestic church, name saints, your family’s guardian angels, and so on.)
- Do a lesson by candle-light. By far, my least favorite part of winter is the lack of light. One thing I like to do is leave my Christmas lights up for an embarrassingly long time. They’re just so cheerful! We always recommend a media blackout to minimize distraction during your lessons and we also recommend your light a candle to recognize the presence of Christ with your as you learn. Why not take all that to the next level and do an evening lesson by candlelight? It will definitely get your kids’ attention!
- Move it around. Shake things up by moving your lesson to another day. Do you typically do your lesson on Wednesday evenings? Try it on a Sunday during after-Mass brunch.
- Plan a game night. Are your kids already familiar with the story of Moses? If so, skip that part of the God’s Covenant With Moses lesson in March, and work from the sheet entitled Suggestions for Memorizing the Ten Commandments instead. Yes, we know that sounds like the most boring thing ever, but check out the suggestions before passing final judgment. Some of them are games like 20 Questions, Charades, and a dice game to help you learn. If you do a Pinterest search along the lines of “games for learning 10 Commandments” you’ll get bowling and bingo ideas. (Just a word of warning – if you’re taking 10 Commandments ideas from another source, you’ll want to double check to make sure it’s using the Catholic division of the Commandments and not the Protestant. They both cover the same material, but are divided differently.)
- Host a movie night. If you’re not as familiar with the Moses story, it might be fun to watch The Prince of Egypt (currently on Netflix and YouTube), or The Ten Commandments (the old-school Charlton Heston version). Add a little discussion and lesson=done.
- Celebrate! Do you end your lesson time with some very small celebration? If your family has just finished a Home Lesson, you’ve done something radically counter-cultural, and pleasing to the Lord! You need to celebrate this accomplishment somehow. We always recommend dessert, and especially now. It’s not Lent quite yet, so celebrate while you can. If you want to keep it simple, just buy a grocery store dessert or raid your pantry for make-your-own sundae toppings. If you have more time, bake cookies together and set some aside to share with someone else.
- Party! In my mind, though, there’s nothing quite like a little party to perk things up. Consider adding a Fat Tuesday party to your dessert plan. If burying the Alleluia is part of the party, you’re well on your way through the Ash Wednesday Activity Packet. If you also send some soft pretzels home with your guests for the next day’s fast, you may just win the prize for Best Liturgically Themed Party!