As we talk more and more about family catechesis, it is important to assure parents that we are equipping them with tools they can use to help them form their children in faith. Most parents are not professional teachers and can be intimidated by the prospect of teaching their children the faith. To help them teach effectively, we need to provide them with user-friendly tools that can help them engage their children in their faith-formation experience.
One such tool that I find extremely effective for parents to use when teaching their children at home is the Interactive Session Reviews that are available for both the Finding God and Christ Our Life programs. Here’s what I can tell you about these great, free resources:
- On the Loyola Press website, click on Faith Formation > Christ Our Life or Finding God > Family Resources.
- Select the child’s grade, and there you will find the Interactive Session Reviews for each session.
- Here is the Interactive Session Review for Finding God, Grade 4, Session 1.
- The reviews include true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank items, all of which mimic the format of the ACRE (Assessment of Children/Youth Religious Education) assessments from the NCEA, which helps children prepare for that assessment, should your parish be using it.
- The assessments are fun! When the child selects a correct answer, it affirms their selection with flashing lights and further expounds on the answer to deepen the child’s understanding.
- If a child makes an incorrect selection, the assessment does not make him or her feel bad but rather provides a hint to help make the correct selection and even provides a reference to the page in the children’s book to find the correct answer.
These Interactive Session Reviews help children to learn the content of their faith and provide parents with an opportunity to sit along with their children and oversee their development. They provide parents with a tool to be involved in their child’s faith formation and to identify key concepts that Catholics should know in order to articulate their faith in Jesus and his Church.
Finally, at the very end of each assessment, you have the opportunity to input the e-mail address of someone you would like to (godparent, sponsor, etc.) or are required to (Director of Religious Education) share the results with.