Posted tagged ‘What Worked Well?’

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.




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 🙂


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!


The Church, young people and the role of parents

September 29, 2017

Bishop-Cozzens-Official-Portrait_300dpi.jpgYou may have already read this here, but Bishop Cozzens’ words carry way more weight than mine!  Read his version of a landmark study on the influence of Catholic parents on their children, conducted by Dr. Christian Smith and associates.

Here’s the short version:

Studies show that unless parents have created a Catholic culture in the home, the children will succumb to our society’s non-Christian way of seeing the world when they become adults. The parish, the school and the youth program are all helpful, but parental religious influence is the condition of possibility for other influences.

This is a great reminder, at the beginning of the year, that every single thing Family Formation does is intended to help you with the goal of bringing your children to an adult, life-long, rich relationship with Jesus and the Church He established.  Thanks for being with us this year, and we’re excited to help bring everyone in your family closer to Jesus!

You can read the full report here.

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.


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!



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!

What are you doing with your flashcards?

October 25, 2016

Here is another idea of what you can do with the Church Year Flash Cards.  Tape them up somewhere in your home and refer to it throughout the year!  “Where are we NOW in the liturgical calendar?”


(Thanks, Laura!)

Try it and see!

December 2, 2014

Advent has begun and that means it’s time to open up the next edition of Our Sabbath Scripture Book.  Our Sabbath Scripture Book follows the Pauline family as they prepare for the Sunday Gospel in fun and creative ways.   By using this simple tool, you and your family will learn how to incorporate the Gospel into your daily life by bringing it to an easily understandable level.

To give you a little taste, here is the story for this coming Sunday, the 2nd Sunday in Advent.  (Practical Hint: If your kids have a shorter attention span, it’s okay to just read the Gospel reading.)  Try it with your family and we are fairly confident in predicting that this little bit of preparation will help all of you to get more out of this Sunday’s readings.

Read aloud:         

  • Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
  • 2 Peter 3:8-14
  • Mark 1:1-8

It was a crisp Sunday morning.  The Pauline family looked out their picture window at the snow that had piled up overnight.  It was a huge, white blanket of snow covering everything they could see.  There must have been 14 inches!

“Are we going to be able to make it to Mass today, Dad?” Lucy asked.

“I sure hope we can,” Dad answered.  He looked again at all the snow and wondered to himself if the car could get through.  The streets looked pretty congested and snow-packed.

Mom came back from the kitchen and said, “It looks like we might be stuck.  But I think that we should prepare ourselves for Sunday Mass by reading today’s Scriptures.  We’ll see if the snowplow comes in time to get us to church this morning.  If it does, we will be ready to go!”

The Paulines gathered around the kitchen table, and Dad read from Mark, Chapter l.  The reading told of John the Baptist who foretold the coming of Jesus by quoting the words of Isaiah, a great prophet of the Old Testament.  John spoke loudly, saying, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Mark 1:3b)  John went ahead of Jesus, telling people to remove any obstacles that would prevent them from entering into the full life God wants for them.

“Okay now, Kids,” Mr. Pauline said.  “Who can give me an example of how something goes ahead of something else to prepare the way?”

The kids looked around the room.  Nothing was coming to them.  Mom and Dad looked from one blank face to the next.

Just then they heard a sharp, grinding noise.  The noise was growing louder and louder.  It was coming with power and might.  It was the snowplow coming down the street!

Suddenly Vincent’s eyes brightened, and he leaped to his feet.

“That’s it!”  Vincent exclaimed.  “John the Baptist was like the snowplow!  He prepared the way for Jesus, like the snowplow is going ahead of us so we can get to church this morning!”

“Yeah!” said Mary Clare.  “The obstacles have been removed, and the path is now clear for us.”

John said, “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”  (Mark 1:8)


We just started Cycle B and you can purchase a copy on our website, or by stopping in the Family Formation office any time during regular office hours.

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