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October 25, 2021 REL Topic - Catechesis, REL PD - Catechist, REL PD - Leaders, REL PD - Family Faith

Supporting Family Catechesis at Home

A disruptive past year showed us the power of partnering with families for at home catechesis and providing meaningful resources to support family catechesis at home. This article contains suggestions to describe and support family and at home catechesis in the context of religious education programs offered by Catholic parishes and schools.

supporting-catholic-family-catechesis-at-home

Family Catechesis at Home

While a traditional classroom model of catechesis is most widely used, alternative models are becoming more prevalent to make religious education programs more engaging and flexible for today’s families. Family and at home catechesis can be alternative models for faith formation or an opportunity to support traditional catechetical models. Family models provide a way to involve parents more directly in the faith formation of their children. An at home model, parents or guardians are the primary instructors.

Benefits of At Home Catechesis

One of the key benefits of an at home models is that it offers fully individualized learning on a flexible schedule for families. With the right materials and support, parents can incorporate and integrate catechesis into the family’s routines and rituals and personalize learning for children.

Another benefit is that family and at home models acknowledge and empower parents and guardians as catechists and the first and primary teachers of the faith for their children and sets up a wonderful partnership among parents and the parish community.

 

These models also provide the leeway needed for families with scheduling difficulties or other extenuating circumstances. Family and at-home models also support those who may not be able to attend regular catechetical sessions, such as those living in rural settings. 

During a time in which restrictions for gathering may impact catechetical programming, an at home model ensures that religious education continues to happen in a safe and dependable setting.

A logistical benefit of an at home model is that learning happens at home. During a time in which restrictions for gathering may impact catechetical programming, an at home model ensures that religious education continues to happen in a safe and dependable setting.

The Right Support for At Home Catechesis

Curriculum

Families need access to high quality materials and guidance to successfully implement an at home model. An at home program should include curriculum materials that are developmentally appropriate for children and that support learning key concepts across ages.

In a spiral curriculum, students revisit topics with deepening understanding—an approach that helps families with different aged children share faith with each other. Though in different grades, as children with siblings explore the same topics at the same time, families more easily engage in discussions and activities around this faith content. Even the youngest family members can participate in faith sharing and discuss faith concepts with siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Resources

Timely resources that support and compliment a catechetical curriculum are essential for a successful at home model. Providing engaging resources that captivate kids and families is a priority. Programs rich in resources, like videos and meaningful activities, offer modern families options beyond a printed book.

A Community

Checking in, staying in touch, and connecting back to the parish is essential for an at home or family model of catechesis. Being Catholic means being a member of a community of faith and a strong program includes invitations and opportunities to engage in meaningful in-person activities and events with the parish.

Whether you are already implementing at home or family catechesis models in your religious education program or considering ways to include these models, download and share this resource to support families in sharing the faith together at home.

Catholic Family Catechesis at Home

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