Does Homework Work in Religious Education?

Some catechists give “homework” to their students and have success in getting them to complete it. This does not appear to be the culture in the parish I’m at. Things sent home with the kids tend to disappear into a black hole. I know that we’ve struggled with getting kids to bring their books to class (normally we keep their text books at the parish but we experimented with sending home their Confirmation books…only about 70% remembered to bring them the following week).

So I’m wondering: do you give homework in your religious education classes? Do your students complete homework and bring it back? if so, what is your secret? Finally, is giving homework in religious education a good idea?

About Joe Paprocki 2747 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

3 Comments on Does Homework Work in Religious Education?

  1. I have students for 2 years, 7th and 8th grade to maintain consistency while preparing for Confirmation.
    At the beginning of each year I prepare a detailed syllabus, pass out to the class, and declare that if we stay on task there will be no homework. They cheer out loud after 6 years of coloring homework.
    They get enough homework now, way more than we ever saw in Junior High. I want them to be ready to learn and pray in a positive manner and if any homework is assigned it is to go to Mass with your family.

  2. As a new CRE, I have struggled with this all year. I do not give homework to my 8th grade class but I give homework for my Confirmation Prep class. Our Comfirmation Prep class meets once a month out of the regular RE classes. 1/2 of my Catechists do give homework and quizzes. My 2nd grade Catechists have the students leave their textbooks in the room. This way the textbooks are always there. Most of the other students are good when it comes to bringing their books back to class. I also gave each student a folder from The Office for Catechesis called “Know your Catholic Faith.” It has a lot of the prayers listed on the inside and the order of the Mass on the back cover. The parents love it! It’s like a cheat sheet with all of the prayers.

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