How well do your kids know the faith?
After the feeding, dressing, bathing, the getting to and from school, homework, after school activities, and the drama of being little—or not quite an adult—there usually feels like there’s no time or energy left to teach them what we hold most dear, our faith. If the children attend a Catholic school or religious education classes, it’s easy to assuage our consciences by assuming that they are learning what they ought to there. However, no matter how excellent the school or program, there’s really no substitute for what we can teach them ourselves. Because we love our kids like we do, they are far more willing to listen to what we have to say to them than a teacher or catechist.
So how can we capitalize on this? How can we make the jump into our children’s religious formation when most of us feel less like St. Thomas Aquinas and more like Mom or Dad who has plenty of learning to do, too? Fortunately there’s an abundance of solid catechetical aids for parents, but I’ll stick to two here.
Diocesan Catechetical Standards: If your diocese doesn’t have a set of their own, check out the standards from my Diocese of Madison. Divided into moral and intellectual development for each grade, these provide excellent guidance for what to tackle each year.
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: A summary of the Catechism, what John Paul II calls “a sure norm" for teaching the faith, the Compendium follows a question and answer format that covers a broad swath of topics. This is a great aid for older children to read themselves or for parents to educate themselves and present in an age-appropriate way to younger children.
The Catholic faith is abundantly rich and our greatest treasure. We can make sure we hand it on to our kids by taking the time to teach it to them and learn it better ourselves.
What are your favorite teaching aids for teaching your children the faith?
Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer
Image credit: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
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