Thursday, October 8, 2015

Memorizing the Catechism

This academic year, I decided to follow the example of a holy friend of mine who is homeschooling a very large brood. We dropped the wonderful, old catechisms I had tried using which required me to daily sit down with each separate child for a one-on-one lesson in favor of the children memorizing the Baltimore Catechism directly.

The first- and third-graders are each memorizing the Questions-and-Answers from the Baltimore Catechism No. 2 each day, which they do on their own. The children would go faster, but I've asked them to stay on one Lesson--which covers about five to ten questions--per week.

Then on Sundays, as we drive the 20 minutes to Mass, we have a family discussion in which we parents go through the Questions-and-Answers, and see how well the children have memorized them, and then discuss how those questions actually apply to our lives, including our little kid lives. We've had some really fruitful discussions and I enjoy having the opportunity to have Dad involved. Also, the discussion puts us in a good frame of mind for attending Mass.

Our holy friends, from whom I got this example, do this year in and year out, every week, just cycling through the Baltimore Catechism. They are teaching ages baby through senior in high-school and it seems to be a wonderful method from the results I see!

In the meanwhile, I assign the children to read saint books (letting them choose the saints, currently from the Encounter the Saints series from Pauline Press) throughout the year plus a Bible story (Golden Children's Bible) or the daily Mass readings daily.

For my First Holy Communicant, I will be teaching her one-on-one from The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism and Guidebook for Confession for Children.

If I can add it into my schooling, I will use the Treasure Box series as catechism for my preschooler.

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