Archive for the ‘Parent's Perspective’ category

Lesson Notes: Virtues

May 30, 2017

Virtues

This “lesson” is easy if you simply consider it to be a Summer Activity Packet, all on the theme of the cardinal virtues and the theological virtues.  Your assignment, parents, is to flip through it all to get an overview of what’s available.

It’ll be a little while, but at some point, the novelty of summer vacation will wear off and your kids will be looking for something to do, and that’s when you bring out this packet.  There are activities for indoors and out, rainy days, and car rides.  Things to do when your kids are alone, or in neighborhood-sized groups.  Become familiar with the choices, pull together any materials you might need and then be ready for the opportunities to keep growing in faith throughout the summer!

Lesson Notes: Pentecost

May 20, 2017

Pentecost

This lesson has lots of information about Pentecost, consecration, Mary as the New Eve, etc. but what I would start with is the spreading of the light activity on page 9.

You’ll need cupcakes and candles, a dark room, and a storyteller to explain how the light of faith started with Jesus, the Great Light and now spreads everywhere through the actions of the Holy Spirit, working through us,

This is a great activity to do with another family and, conveniently, you’ll already have cake and candles to celebrate the birthday of the Church!

From this core of the lesson, go ahead do the other stuff with your older kids, but starting with this foundation of celebration is the perfect way to both teach and say thanks to the Holy Spirit for His role in our lives!

cupcake

 

Lesson Notes: The Ascension of Jesus Into Heaven

May 16, 2017

Ascension

Did you listen last Sunday?

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

That’s the nutshell of this lesson: Jesus is in heaven so it’s our goal to be with Him there someday too.  So how do we get there?

This lesson uses the device of planning a trip as we think about our journey to heaven.  You have all the pieces you need – a ticket, itinerary, passport, travel tips, etc.

mailPARENTS: It’s important to read the Preparation Instructions on page 3.  You’ll need to assemble a few pieces and mail some things to your kids in advance.  Don’t skip this step, especially if it’s your family’s first time doing this lesson!  Kids love to get real mail and this will be a perfect lesson opener!

The rest of the lesson is basically going through these travel pieces to learn more about the topic:

  1. Who is the pilot of your flight?
  2. What meals will be served?
  3. How will your passport stamps help you get to heaven?
  4. Who is your travel agent?

All this is fun for all ages, but (as we typically offer), there is a little additional bit for your older kids on just what it means to know, love and serve God in this world to help us attain the happiness of heaven in the next.

Have fun!

Visual Schedule for Roman Catholic Mass

May 9, 2017

Do you know someone who would benefit by knowing what’s next at Mass?  This free download may be just what your child needs to help process and plan that hour.

Why Visual Schedules?
Autism makes thinking different. To stay in church, a stable visual cue set can help a great deal. A visual schedule of the order of service provides social cues in a static way so that a person with autism does not have to work so hard to isolate them and process them. It also gives an easy to reference order of actions, so that one can plan one’s movements ahead of time and with less anxiety.

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The home that makes a difference

May 8, 2017

transforming logo

I think it’s fairly safe to assume that most Family Formation parents are very interested in raising their children to be adults with a strong commitment to Christ and the Church He established.  If that describes you, I think you’ll be interested in this landmark National Study of Youth and Religion by Dr. Christian Smith.  I’ll share a few of the standout quotes here:

  • the single greatest predictor of emerging adults’ eventual level of religious commitment was the religiosity of their parents.
  • of the most religious quartile of NSYR (National Study of Youth and Religion) young adults ages 24-29 (individuals whose religious attitudes Smith had been tracking since high school) an impressive 82% had parents who reported each of the following: that their family regularly talked about religious topics in the home, that faith was “very important” to them, and that they themselves regularly were involved in religious activities. By comparison, only 1% of the least religious quartile of Smith’s young adults had parents who reported this combination of religious attitudes and practices. Thus, according to the NSYR, the single most decisive difference between Millennials who remained religiously committed into adulthood and those who didn’t was the degree of religiousness exhibited by their parents.
  • The decisive criterion between these latter two categories, however, was not simply whether parents were religiously devout or practicing, but rather whether they considered living Catholically and forming their children religiously to be central dimensions of their general task of parenting. For parents who held this belief, the Catholic faith was not something their family occasionally “did,” but who they were. Nor was religion a vesture of ethnic or ancestral identity merely to be outwardly observed while remaining interiorly unconsidered, as if the fostering of such engagement in their children could be “outsourced” to clergy, CCD instructors, youth ministers, or other religious professionals. Rather, parents were generally the falling or rising point of their children’s own prospects for observing an adult faith.
  • Why is the household so important? It is in the home that, amidst a world of vast ideological and religious pluralism, of unlimited consumer choices and lifestyles, children receive a definitive orientation to the world and specific values for navigating it. The diminishment of ethnic and neighborhood Catholicism over the last fifty years has now caused the home, a relatively more isolated entity, to become the dominant religious subculture amid the current conditions. The home is the crucible where religious identity is primarily cultivated, or neglected. Whether they realize it or not, parents have been thrust center stage.
  • if Catholicism becomes a profound dimension of children’s inbred identity and habitual manner of encountering the world, it becomes increasingly unlikely that they would be able to exit Catholicism without ever engaging it seriously.
  • To put it simply, the more Catholic “stuff” to which children are exposed, the less likely they are to be able to envision their lives in isolation from the practices and relationships that being Catholic entails. The regular exposure to such practices and the family’s long-term dedication to them is the most effective way to guarantee their relevance to an emerging adult’s fundamental decisions about which values and obligations to prioritize in their lives. Furthermore, the family’s collective commitment to such practices cements the bonds between family members and also clarifies the intimate values which animate and suffuse those bonds. It is desirable that the love which joins members of the Catholic family together be inseparable from the religious dimension of the family’s communal life.
  • Secondly, effective Catholic parents tended to engage their children frequently in practices of religious conversation
  • a household in which religion is discussed openly and frequently is a household in which religion is neither compartmentalized nor swept under the rug out of awkwardness.
  • It is a crucial task of religious parenting to ensure that children are active participants in the life of the local Catholic community and that the respective vitalities of parish and home are mutually interpenetrating.
  • We must not underestimate the power of the family to leave a profound religious impression on children, one that lasts into adulthood.

 

The full article can be found in Issue #3.2 of The Catechetical Review.  As a subscriber, I have permission to share “for catechetical purposes.”  Email me if you would like the full text of the article.
This article is a summary of a soon to be released report from University of Notre Dame sociologist Dr. Christian Smith’s project entitled: “Parental Practices and Cultures of Faith Transmission to Children: Context, Commitments and Outcomes.”  A report from his research associate, Justin Bartkus, on the project’s findings specifically as they concern the handing on of Catholicism from parents to children will be entitled, “Ask Your Father and He Will Tell You: A Report on the State of American Catholic Religious Parenting”; and released soon through the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Looking for an easy way to pray?

March 14, 2017

Try Pope Francis’ 5-Finger Prayer:

5 finger prayer

Hat tip to Church Pop (via Lisa)

Image Credit: Catholic Link Library of Resources

In Our In-box: “I needed to create a space for all the beautiful materials that guide us through this journey.”

November 29, 2016

We have two small girls one in Little Lambs and one in Kindergarten. This is our first experience with the WOG logs and trying to manage two packets, so far so good. G marks hers and M adds fur to the WOG picture, I keep the cut up felt in a dish, a glue stick and other supplies close so they can independently manage.

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Tithing envelopes and the beautiful pink slips to fill out right in the envelope box, ready for Saturday night preparation. ( I cried like a baby after G put her first envelope in the offering basket. Cried harder and harder as the basket made its way to the altar). Stewardship was such a beautiful lesson for me to share with all the children in our house.

I have included a picture of our space and have a few other funny pictures to add. My personal favorite lesson so far, Christ the King!

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I have nothing on the board from the previous week Saints lesson. Didn’t get to it: (maybe in July). I do save them for those rainy days or when we have time in the weeks ahead. I have even completed a Christ the King packet in July when G was a Little Lamb. True story!

Thanks, Tricia, for sharing how Family Formation works for your family!

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