Monday, July 1, 2013

Homeschool Review: Our Life with Jesus (Faith and Life 3)

Book 3 in the Faith and Life Series, Revised Edition

In third grade, we continued with the Faith and Life series for catechism. I find this series to be a solid Catholic source of basic information on the faith. I did not use the teacher's manual or the activity book in third grade. I would have liked the teacher's manual, but did not want to spend the money on it. As for the activity book, I knew First Daughter would want one as well and did not want to buy two, especially since she could not read much at all at the beginning of the year.

There is a new edition of this book, the third edition, that was recently published to address changes in the liturgy introduced a year ago. I was able to use the revised edition without any problem with the downloads Ignatius Press provides on their website. Used copies of the Faith and Life series seem to be widely available. I've gotten most of mine used from local families. If you are buying new, I recommend making sure you buy the third edition.

I asked First Son to read one chapter a week (on one day) and narrate it. He was able to read the content without any problems, though there is more text, printed smaller, than in Faith and Life 2. Each chapter includes catechism questions and sometimes quotations from the Mass or Scripture. I liked to use the catechism questions as discussion prompts after First Son's narrations, but we did not try to memorize them. Our catechism lessons usually took fifteen to twenty minutes, including First Son's reading, narration, and discussion.

There are thirty chapters in the book. I chose to put our catechism aside during Advent, so the number of chapters was perfect. It loosely follows salvation history, beginning with creation and moving through the Old Testament with Abraham and Moses, then into the New Testament with Jesus' birth, childhood, and Passion. Following Moses, there are a few chapters that expound on the Ten Commandments. In a similar way, there are a few chapters that delve more into the Mass after the chapter on the Last Supper. The chapters following Pentecost focus on the Church, Mary, and the Communion of Saints.

Unlike Faith and Life 2 (and more in line with the other Faith and Life books), Our Life with Jesus uses real paintings for most of the illustrations along with some photographs for many of the chapters on the Mass. The real art is a great benefit of this book.

I am satisfied with our catechism with the Faith and Life series. It seems to present the same information each year but slightly more in-depth, but I like that how clearly it teaches the faith and have decided I don't mind the review. We supplement our catechism with PSR, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, celebrations of the liturgical year, daily prayer, and many other activities. I therefore look to our catechism books to cover the basics so I am sure we aren't missing anything.

I have also posted reviews of the first Faith and Life book, Our Heavenly Father, and the second Faith and Life book, Jesus Our Life.

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