Posted tagged ‘Cycle A/B’

Lesson Notes: God’s Covenant with Abraham

February 18, 2018

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Next up in our salvation history study is Abraham and his story is filled with drama, most of it basically proving that God is first in his life, above all else and this leads us to think about how we are succeeding or failing in that area.

This is the first week of Lent, and and critically examining your conscience is one of the Lent-iest things you can do.  To help, we suggest you do a little preparation and then lead your family through the questions on page five.  As you go through the questions, make some notes on the altar cards, and bring them (along with your family) to the Sacrament of Reconciliation sometime soon.

Younger Saints iconEven if your kids are too young for this sacrament, you can still help them to evaluate their choices (perhaps using a simplified version of the questions on page five) and then bring it all to Jesus in prayer.  Even very small children have a sense of right and wrong, and that is certainly a quality you want to help them develop.

 

Hear, O Israel!

February 14, 2018

Leading With Beauty: The Ten Commandments

The classroom topic for March is the Ten Commandments and this work by Philippe de Champaigne (1648 AD) would be a perfect piece for classroom prayer tables.

The interesting thing about this piece is that everything is so clear; almost photograph-like!  Moses looks like someone you’d meet in real life and the tablet is clear enough to easily read.  In fact, this French artist painted the text of the Commandments in French, so those who saw the painting could also understand the language. That sends the message that reading/knowing the Commandments is every bit as valuable as the beauty of the art itself.

Thanks, as always, to the amazing Web Gallery of Art!  It’s one of my favorite online resources.

More suggestions for Noah

February 13, 2018

Earlier this month I suggested some outside-the-box ideas for shaking up this month’s lessons, and I want to add one more here while you’re learning about Noah.

Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier is one of my favorite picture books ever.  It’s perfect for those who are at least somewhat familiar with the story because it’s told here only through the pictures.  But what amazing pictures!  There is so much detail on every page; I can practically guarantee it will hold your kids’ attention for hours, and they will be able to retell the story to you with all sorts of unexpected twists and details before you know it.

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Check your local library for a loaner, or you can buy it in your favorite format.

In today’s mail: vocations edition

February 9, 2018

today's mail

I just wanted to share with you how my girls and I changed up the vocation lesson, I thought you would get a kick out of it.  After they colored the “wheel” I blew up the pictures and we held them up and I asked them about their life as that vocation, what kind of work they might do, etc.  Both my kiddos love to act, so I think it was a win 🙂

vocations

We think it was a win too!  Thanks for sharing.

Battling the Mid-Winter Slump

February 3, 2018

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.)
  • hestonHost 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.
  • trophyParty!  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!

 

More Listening Little Lambs

January 31, 2018

today's mail

Speak Lord

 

(Thanks for sending your pictures, everyone!)

Lesson Notes: Authority and Obedience

January 27, 2018

Authority and Obedience

For this lesson, we get to set aside a little time to contemplate just how awesome Jesus truly is!  In Matthew 28:18, Jesus tells us that “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” and to open we’re going to look at some Bible stories that demonstrate His power.  He healed people, calmed storms, fed 5,000 with practically nothing, walked on water, and suspended the laws of nature in many other ways.

The really interesting thing about it is that even though He can force nature to obey, Jesus will never, ever force us to obey Him!  (And suddenly, we’ve moved from “authority” to “free will.”)  We should love and obey Jesus: after all, no one knows us more perfectly, and no one wants the best for us more than He does.  But Jesus wants our love in return and love must be given freely.

There are a couple pages of practical discussion of what it means to love and obey God (Is it easy? How do I know if I am? What happens when I don’t?), and the activity is a story about Victor, a boy who lived long, long ago and was training to be a page in service to a knight.  He learned some difficult lessons about obeying authority, but there’s a happy ending as he learns to serve both Sir Thurston and Jesus better!

Older Saints IconAt the end, there’s a corollary for parents and how we too need to make wise judgments regarding the legitimate authority of the Church and the authority of individual bishops and priests.  Some (perhaps all) of that lesson should be shared with your older kids so take a look at pages six and seven to decide if this is the time for your family to discuss these subjects.

And finally, pray this prayer for Christian unity together:

 

Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one.  Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you.  Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility.  May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd.  Amen.


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