Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Living Our Faith

One of the main reasons I want to homeschool is the opportunity to make the liturgical year a greater part of our daily lives. With that in mind, our Religion time each day will often be dedicated to the feasts of the church. Using Catholic Mosaic: Living the Liturgical Year With Children as our guide, we'll be reading books about the saints, holidays, and holy days. I don't intend to buy any of the recommended books; we'll just use the ones we have or ones we can get from the library. I have most of them listed on my wish list at PaperBackSwap, so we'll get more over time and can continue to use this resource over the years. (If, however, you are interested in purchasing the books, my favorite source is Adoremus Books.)

I'll supplement our saints' feast days with Little Book of Saints Vol I and Little Book of Saints, Vol. II and a number of other little books of saints I've picked up here and there. I will also be choosing some of the activities from Advent, Christmas Epiphany in the Domestic Church, Lent and Easter in the Domestic Church, and Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church. (I'm sure I'll find activities elsewhere, too, to incorporate into our arts and crafts time.) We will also not forget that the feast days are feast days. We will bake cookies, make a dessert, or prepare a special meal in honor of some of the saints.

When it's not a feast day (or a saint without good books or a particularly gruesome death, not appropriate for the preschool crowd), we'll be reading through some basic books on our faith. On Mondays, we'll be reading and discussing Little Acts of Grace. It will take us a while as I plan to only read one "act" each week, with lots of time for talking about how we can apply it ourselves. If we like it, I plan to buy Just Like Mary to read next.

On Tuesdays we're going to read Bible stories. Eventually, I'd like to find a good Bible for us to read through, beginning to end, but in the interest of maximum engagement for First Son and First Daughter, I've selected Tomie DePaola's Book of Bible Stories for now.

On Wednesdays we'll be reading through some of our St. Joseph picture books. Kansas Dad thinks the illustrations for many of these books are a little disturbing. He thinks the people look weird. The kids, however, love them, and they are a great source of information on the faith. In fact, though I put these books on the "school shelf," they've been carried all over the house and are already favorites.

Thursdays are Kansas Dad's morning with the kids. He'll be praying the Rosary with them. We'll have to see how it goes, but I think they'll get through one decade each week using Bead by Bead. I'm hoping we'll be able to go through the other mysteries as well, but wanted to see how the kids did with the book first. I'm very excited Kansas Dad will have this time with them.

On Fridays, we will learn about the mass. There are a number of books on the mass for children. We have Child's Guide to the Mass so we'll start with that. Once we've read all the way through it (which I plan to spread out over at least a few weeks), I'll decide if we're going to read it again or find another resource. (I'm not sure it's my favorite.) Right now I'm reading The Mass Explained To Children which I think is wonderful. It's very clear without being condescending. I'm afraid it's still a little too difficult for First Son, though. We will definitely be reading it together in the future, but probably in a year or two at least.

I would also like to add a memory verse, something short and simple (to start) that we would recite together each day, maybe for the month. I don't want to force memorization (yet), so I think we might just say it together. Next month, we may switch to a new verse, but recite the previous one on Fridays...I'm still working out the details.

We're also participating in a monthly spiritual formation group with our local homeschooling group. It's about an hour of "class" followed by about an hour or so of playtime. Every other month, it includes a short liturgy in the church. We're very lucky that it's held just down the road at our own parish and we already know a few of First Son's classmates through our playgroup. (First and Second Daughter will be in the nursery this year.)


  1. Sounds like a great plan! I've got the Year With God from CHC. I've got the Bead By Bead book also. And a bunch of those St. Joseph books. Did you get the Amazon deal when many of them were 15 for $1.50? I've already given one set to my godson for his 1st Communion. I wish we had some of the "extra" stuff closer to us. I don't want to sign up for too many things this year. I think it will be hard enough to get in a good routine(esp. for me!).

    Anyway, I'll have to check out some of those other books!

  2. We're very lucky to have so many activities on this side of town. I was very surprised, actually. I did buy a bunch of the St. Joseph books from Amazon. In fact, I have some extras (could only think of families for seven sets). If you're interested, I could send you the list of the extra titles I have.


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