Catechists work hard at teaching the faith to their class each time they meet. As we all know, often that hour or so is the only time the children/youth hear about the faith. If we want to engage parents and assist them in passing on the faith, we need to help them. One way to do this is to send home something with their child to spark a conversation about what was taught in class.
As I thought about this I remembered all the pictures and cards and crafts and bookmarks and other stuff my children brought home when they were little. One child needed to save it all while the other left it in the car. Either way, there was lots of paper and stuff all over the place. So I’d suggest a less is more approach and have it be meaningful.
Here are some ideas that have gotten positive feedback from catechists and parents:
Grades 1-3: small prayer books, make copies of prayers and paste into a construction paper book and add to it as you learn new prayers; a picture with a scripture verse from the lesson;
Grades 4-8: a prayer or scripture verse written on an index card; a two-three sentence summary of the lesson; a challenge to participate in for the week such as praying before dinner or bed
Any grade: YOUtube video links to music or explanations of the topic covered for the parents; list websites and apps to learn more about the faith; book suggestions for both children and adults
We all know that it takes more than the time spent in class to learn about our faith. By reaching out to parents and letting them know what you are doing in class, it builds a bridge between family and Church. Hopefully it sparks conversation and reminds everyone that religion isn’t that thing I do one Sunday mornings, but is a part of life on a regular basis.