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We have been doing circle time quasi-consistently for almost two years and it’s a fabulous way to transition from play & work to school time.
Right now, my kids are 7, 4 & 20 months and these are the resources we have been using for Lent. Generally, we do a devotion, read a book about the Catholic faith, read some poetry, pray & sing a hymn.
Devotion – Growing With Jesus
Growing With Jesus is the devotional that we’ve been using for quite awhile. One of our past Tommy Mommy selections, this is one of our favorites. The devotions are really down to earth and doable and the animal fact is really fun. Great for boys AND girls.
Catholicism – Tell Me About The Catholic Faith
I have been long overdue for a review of this book, but I’m loving Tell Me About the Catholic Faith and the girls do to. (Note –I received a copy of this book from the publisher, if that wasn’t obvious). It’s a large hardcover book (9×11) with thick pages made to be read over and over again. The binding also appears to be sewn, not glued. The only feature I wish it had was a ribbon for marking your page. I also kind of wish it wasn’t so big so it was easier to read while nursing or holding a lapful of kids, but then it would lose some of its appeal. You can’t have it all ;D.
It’s intended for ages 6 and up, but I think it could be a little younger than that. My 4 year old seems to like it okay, especially when we see or hear something she remembers. There are many pictures that are engaging and while they may not get everything in the book (or even on the page), it’s easy to take several days on a page or skip certain areas.
Each 2-page spread stands on its own and there are several kinds of content. Most of the content consists of 4-5 paragraphs of text with peripheral illustrations. There are also comics, map type illustrations, and full color pages. While I’m not usually a fan of short sound bite type books, those kinds of passages are few and they make sense where they are.
Tell Me About the Catholic Faith is divided into 3 parts — bible stories, church history & beliefs & sacraments. I have been reading 4-6 pages each day and my 7 & 4 year old daughters are really enjoying it. In fact, we started out only reading one spread, but they kept requesting more :).
The bible stories are much like you would expect from any book of bible stories though I am glad to see that creation & the ark were given their proper due and no more. I have some bible story books where 25% of the book is just those two stories! But I digress.
The church history section tells about the early Church, the martyrs and the saints as well as how various saints & missionaries have spread the faith throughout the world. The beliefs & sacraments section covers things like different religions, the Catholic Church, evil, Mary’s Fiat, prayer, choices, sacraments & the church year.
Tell Me About the Catholic Faith is an awesome book for teaching your little ones the Catholic faith before you have a formal catechism program (PreK/K). Lacy at Catholic Icing has been making worksheets & a check off page for just this purpose. Obviously, I’m not the only mom living this book.
Poetry – Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers
I reviewed this one a few weeks ago and we love it. The title is a bit misleading, because really, it’s so much more than prayers. You can read my whole review of the Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers and learn 3 ways to incorporate poetry into your home here. Suffice it to say, we liked it enough to use it for another term. We will probably continue to use it through Lent.
Prayer – The Way of the Cross
This little hardcover book, The Way of the Cross, is also published by Ignatius/Magnificat, is our prayer book for Lent. Each day we do a station. On Fridays, My hope is to do them all. I haven’t had much luck with that yet, but it’s still on my list :). We purchased this book last year and I think it’s a little nicer for the smaller kiddos than the version I used in previous years.
Hymn Study – Catholic Hymn Study
I recently stumbled upon a Catholic Hymn study (a la Charlotte Mason). This is the first month for us to participate and it happens to be my favorite Lenten song – Sabat Mater. We sing the verse that corresponds to the station we say. I used my Pro Click to create a family hymnal–she even includes a cover you can personalize. Isn’t that neat?
Those are the resources we are using to incorporate our Catholic Faith & Charlotte Mason activities into our homeschool day for Lent.
Do you have a morning gathering time?