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?
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.
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.
Patrick, of course we don’t call it a “cheat sheet”…it’s a study aid! 🙂