Posted tagged ‘Home Lessons’

Lesson Notes: Isaiah the Prophet

December 13, 2017

Isaiah the Prophet

A prophet is someone sent by God to help form His people and prepare them for salvation.  From Elijah to John the Baptist, no matter how far God’s people strayed He always sent someone with the welcome reminder of his love and the hard message of how to get back to it.

This lesson is about Isaiah and specifically about his connections with John the Baptist.  Hundreds of years ago Isaiah said this:

A voice cries out:  In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!  Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!  Isaian 40:3

and today we recognize that he was announcing the future arrival of John the Baptist, who very literally came to prepare us for Salvation.  We hear from both of them in the Sunday readings during Advent, so listen for it and do these activities to reinforce the connections.

Older Kids for TLsIf you have older kids, spend a little time with the Prophecy Concentration game.  Whether you play it with classic Concentration rules or simply match the Old Testament prophecies with their New Testament fulfillment your kids will get a sense of the enormity and intricacy of God’s plan for their salvation!

Family Rosary - TinaAnd if your kids are younger don’t miss the Titles of God worksheet.  Isaiah used many words to describe God, and it’s a wonderful exercise in praise for us to do the same!  The alphabet component makes it friendly for a younger crowd, but this is an activity that the whole family can work on together.  When you’re done, be sure to post it somewhere as an Advent reminder of just how good our God is!

And finally, we’ve provided the easiest decoration possible with the Isaiah Scripture Tent.  Simply fold it in half and put it in your prayer space (or a shelf, or a mantle).  Decorate it if you want, but the graphic design stands on its own and it is a great reminder of the overall “prepare” character of Advent.

Lesson Notes: The Corporal Works of Mercy

November 25, 2017

Corporal Works

This week we’re focusing on the Corporal Works of Mercy and Jesus has some VERY clear teachings on them: basically, if you didn’t do these things for others, you are ignoring me.  Off to eternal punishment with you!


On the other hand, when we do things as simple as feeding people, visiting those who can’t get out, donating clothing, etc. it’s  exactly like we’re doing these things for Jesus, Himself!  It’s pretty awesome to consider and very doable for children of all ages.  This lesson will help your whole family become more familiar with the official list and will give lots of suggestions for ways your kids can live it out.

(And you get to play bingo!)

Lesson Notes: Advent Activities Packet

November 22, 2017

Advent Activities

This packet of ideas is all about helping your family to get control of the pre-Christmas season and to use it to actually prepare for the Savior’s birth.  I like this analogy by Kendra from the Catholic All Year blog:

I think of it like I was planning a big wedding. It would be on my mind months ahead of time. I’d get a few major projects done well in advance so I wouldn’t have to worry about them as the big day approached. Then in the weeks before the wedding, I would focus on having everything I needed available and organized and cleaned. I would bake the cake and prepare the food. I would scrub down and decorate the church and the reception hall in the days just before the wedding. I would be prepared to celebrate. We’d have the rehearsal dinner the night before.


But what I wouldn’t do is throw a reception or two a couple of weeks before the wedding and eat the cake and the wedding bell cookies and drink all the champagne before the happy couple is even married, before they’re in town even. That would be crazy.  But that’s kind of what I was doing with Christmas.

All of our activity packets are filled with ways for you to celebrate the special seasons of the Liturgical Year.  They are not “lessons” in the traditional FF sense – the expectations are these:
  • Look it over ahead of time and prayerfully consider what will work with your family.
  • You are almost certainly not going to do everything in the packet.  It’s a bundle of ideas for you to choose from.
  • The packet is probably intended to be used throughout the season.  In this case, you may want to start with the calendar activity sometime before Advent actually begins, do the St. Nicholas activity on December 5th (in preparation for his feast the next day), and then pray the O Antiphons beginning on the 17th.  Quick and easy!

Lesson Notes: The Spiritual Works of Mercy

November 18, 2017

Spiritual Works

This lesson focuses on Saint Paul, who was a model in practicing the Spiritual Works of Mercy.  Paul was a master evangelist and knew that meant showing Jesus’ love to everyone but also saying or doing whatever was necessary to keep his growing flock on the right track.

Paul teaches us that when we do works of mercy in Jesus’ name to lead others closer to Him, we too become more like Jesus!

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:

  • Admonish the sinner
  • Instruct the ignorant
  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Comfort the sorrowful
  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • Forgive all injuries, and
  • Pray for the living and the dead

And this is definitely an instance where we need to break down the complex language into something your children can understand.  For that, we have games!

Your whole family will benefit by playing Working at Mercy, where moving around the game board and collecting mercy cards will give all sorts of practical ways kids can practice these Works.

Additionally, your older kids will benefit from following St. Paul’s journeys by using the map of the Mediterranean region and the cards on the bottom of page 7.  As they read each verse, they should determine which of the Spiritual Works is being demonstrated, and then the card gets attached to the proper place on the map.  Map skills … Bible skills … critical thinking skills … it’s a great challenge for your older kids!




Lesson Notes: Celebrating the Real Presence

November 11, 2017

Real Presence

Praying along with the Mass is the highest praise we can pay to God.  We come for a sense of community – to attend this great family banquet, but most of all we are there to offer ourselves, whole and entire, in union with the perfect sacrifice of our savior.

First Communicant praying - TinaThere are a couple separate paths for this lesson, and if you only have younger kids you may want to focus on the first.  Kids love stories, right?  Your pre-Communion aged kids may appreciate a story about young Therese of Lisieux and how she absolutely longed to receive Communion.  Three years (years!) before she was old enough, Therese started preparing the gift she would give to her beloved Jesus on her first Communion day.

We also have a story about Saint Tarcisuis, a 4th-century boy who gave his life defending the consecrated Hosts he was bringing to condemned Christians in prison.  His belief in the Real Presence was put to the ultimate test.

The other path deals with a question of faith: the host and the wine look unchanged.  How can we know that the consecration makes them really and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus?  And for that, we have analogies, activities, and explanations to help your entire family to better understand.

Lesson Notes: Saints’ Stories

October 30, 2017

Saints Stories

It’s practically All Saints Day, so what better time is there to learn more about our friends and intercessors in heaven?  This week’s lesson takes a closer look at the lives of Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, and Saint John Vianney and is one of those super easy lessons that requires practically no advance preparation by parents.  Simply refer to the instruction sheet that provides the download link and access code and access it on your favorite device.  From there, listen in the car, listen at bedtime, or make some popcorn and listen all together in your family room!

Wherever you are, be sure to include a little prayer time asking these holy ones to pray for your family.


And, in case you’ve forgotten, All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation.  Be sure to make time in your family’s day for Mass.

Lesson Notes: Vessels & Vestments

October 23, 2017

Vessels and Vestments

When we go to Mass we see and hear and smell lots of different things.  Part of the experience is that we step out of our ordinary lives and into something sacred (i.e. holy or set apart) and this lesson helps us decode all of that.   Why is Father wearing that?  What are those pieces of furniture for?  What do the bells mean?  The broad answer is that we are incarnate – we experience things through our senses, so the Church uses all of our senses to help us better enter into the Mass.  The more detailed answers to all these questions and more are sprinkled throughout the lesson.

The activity is contained in the packet of oversized white pages.  You will assemble them into a model altar complete with marble floor and all the different vessels and furniture used at Mass.

A couple notes:

  • priest paper doll.jpgWe freely admit that this activity is too difficult for your littlest kids to put together on their own, but don’t let that prevent you from doing it!  Your younger kids are the most likely to play with the set over and over again, so you or an older sibling should put it all together for them ahead of time.  Leave it in an accessible place for as long as it lasts, and you will be encouraging lots of play that will all lead to a better familiarity with the Mass.
  • This set is the same scale as your priest paper doll, so if he’s already assembled and ready to go you’ll have the added benefit of a celebrant!


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