Posted tagged ‘Home Lessons’

Lesson Notes: God’s Covenant with Abraham

February 18, 2018

Covenant with Abraham.png

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.



February 12, 2018

Lesson Notes: Ash Wednesday and Lenten Activities

Ash Wednesday

135px-Purple_flag_waving.svgSometimes the seasonal activities packets are assigned to a specific week, and sometimes they’re just a bonus in with the rest of your month’s lesson packet.  This is your purple flag warning that, despite its place at the end of the Month Outline, you should not wait until the end of this month to pull out this lesson.

In advance, peek through it today or tomorrow and decide which activities are going to be just right for your family this Lent.  Some of them require a little preparation, so plan some time for it.  Some can easily be prepared by your kids – coloring and cutting and building a paper chain.

My Plan For Lenten Growth should be a pre-Wednesday family discussion topic.  There are definitely things you can do (or give up) as a family, and there are other things that you might want to do (or give up) as individuals.

No matter what you decide, planning ahead will give you a strong start!

Lesson Notes: God’s Covenent with Noah

February 10, 2018

Covenant with Noah


This month, we’re focusing on salvation history and some of the Big Splash steps God took to prepare His people for the coming of Jesus.  We’re going to start with taking a closer look at the nature of promises.  When you or I make a promise, no matter how good our intentions, sometimes things just get in the way and prevent us from keeping the promise.  It’s good for us to remember that will NEVER happen with God!  No matter how dire the circumstances, He is always in complete control.


God made a very famous promise as part of Noah’s story,  and that leads us to an activity looking at a lot of other promises we can find in the Bible.  To do this, simply color and assemble the treasure chest, cut apart the scripture promises, and place them inside.  Come up with some routine to pull one out randomly and read it together – mealtime or bedtime (or both) might work well.

Younger Saints icon


We’ve included a version of Noah’s story in the lesson, but feel free to substitute it with any storybook or picture Bible version you may have. Younger kids especially may appreciate an illustrated version.  It’s also fun with the littlest ones to gather all the animal toys you have and tell the story to your child who is sitting in a box/laundry basket/ark with the menagerie.  Believe me, it leads to lots of imaginative play in the following days. 🙂

Also, if all your kids are younger you may want to sort through the promises ahead of time and only add the ones you like best to the treasure chest.  There are three pages of them, and it’s not likely your youngest kids will still be interested in the project a couple of months later after you’ve used up all the verses we provide.

Older Saints Icon

If your kids are older and are already familiar with Noah’s story, try challenging them to retell it from memory.  With this age group, it’s quite likely that some of the Promise verses will strike them as particularly meaningful.  When that happens, encourage your kid to keep the verse someplace where they can read it over and over.  (tape it to the bathroom mirror, tuck in into a Bible, copy it onto a larger sheet of paper and decorate it … there are lots of possibilities)

And for everyone, I really, really hope that sometime in your Family Formation career you do the activity on page 6 where your family actually measures out how big the ark was. Scripture gives us pretty specific dimensions, and it’s an impressive visual image.  You’ll need a wide open space, a long tape measure (25+ feet would be best), and some kind of very visible landmark like a parked car or a tree.  Start there and measure 450 feet and you’ll see what I mean.  That was an amazingly big boat!

Right now, in Minnesota, we seem to be on our 10,000th day of sub-zero winter but I think it’s supposed to warm up a little bit soon so your family may be ready for an outdoor activity.  If so, this one is perfect!


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.

Speak Lord!

January 25, 2018

today's mail

It made our day to get a picture from this Little Lamb who has been doing her Home Lessons and listening for God’s voice!

Speak Lord LL

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