Some how I was asked to be a co-catechist for a four year old faith formation class this year at our parish. I said yes before knowing what that meant exactly or meeting the catechist who has been teaching this class for years. Here we are about a quarter of the way through the year and it’s been an eye opener for me. There are several students in the class who I think this class might be their first exposure to our faith. No pressure, right?! There are other students in the class that you can tell faith gets talked about at home, ranging from a little to a lot.
All of the lesson plans (which are all based on the weekly Sunday Gospel) are given to us. So virtually little to no prep is actually needed. The main catechist and I take turns teaching the class. I love teaching my own girls the faith through reading books, hands on activities, and crafts. So needless to say, I actually put some time and thought into what I’m going to teach and I don’t always just stick with the given lesson plans, minus talking about the Gospel.
Slight side note, I went to Catholic grade school growing up and the only saints I ever remember celebrating were those associated with secular holidays (i.e. St. Nick, St. Patrick, St. Valentine) and I never remember any talk about current saints being canonized. I mean that is a huge part of living out our faith. It was not until I became a mom and started learning how others lived out the faith that I even considered celebrating saint days and other feast days throughout the liturgical year. So all this said, I knew when I said yes to teaching, I wanted to make sure I somehow incorporated saints and feast days into my lesson plans.
Now back on track. This Sunday is my day to teach and I’m so excited! It’s the Sunday before Halloween and All Saints Day! I had so many ideas running through my head about how to teach preschoolers on these topics, in addition to the Gospel, but then it dawned on me, I need to be very broad in my approach about teaching them about saints. It may be the first time some of them have ever really heard about saints. So I did some praying and asked the Holy Spirit to help me.
I’m so glad I asked the Holy Spirit for guidance because while I was scouring Pinterest about ideas on how to teach preschoolers about All Saints Day (not much was found by the way for this age group), when I remembered about all of the resources we have accumulated over the years on saints, everything from CDs to books to toys. The Holy Spirit (and St. Anthony) helped me find all the supplies I need to help make Sunday (hopefully) a great class.
I did want to find a coloring sheet about All Saints Day for the kiddos since they all love to color. I started brainstorming about who my favorite go to Catholic bloggers are who are artistic and remembered Katie who blogs over at Look to Him & Be Radiant. I so wish I could clone her to come teach my girls when they get into grade school! She has amazing talent and ideas and shares her talents and ideas with all of us for free! So off I went and found this coloring page. Which is perfect for all ages.
While I was at her blog, I remembered she had good ideas about teaching kids about Halloween and our faith. I found a jack-o-lantern coloring page that helps teach God’s love. (Scroll down to find the sheet.) Perfect! Our family is planning to carve a pumpkin this weekend and I may try to save some pumpkin goop to bring in and bring in our carved pumpkin with a battery tea light. I may be complicating things too much but we shall see.
Some other items from around our house I plan to bring in are our saint peg dolls and shining light dolls and I will let them play with them. We read these books on saints all the time (I’m not sure how I forgot about them) The Saints are Watching Over Me, An Alphabet of Catholic Saints (I’m planning on reading this one), and My Catholic Book of Saint Stores and I plan to have this Cat Chat CD playing while the kiddos are coloring the Sunday Gospel coloring page the All Saints Day coloring page.
Please keep me in your prayers Sunday that I am able to teach each kiddo something and that the Holy Spirit guides me.
As a family we are planning to attend the children’s school mass so we can see all the fourth graders dressed up as saints. The girls will also dress up for mass, Madilyn as St. Kateri and Genevieve as St. Gianna but who knows what will happen, since this morning Madilyn said she wanted to be Our Lady of Guadalupe and Genevieve be St. Juan Diego.
**Please note none of this blog post is sponsored at all. I truly love and use everything I mentioned to help teach my own children and have seen it has benefited our family.