momdadandchildOur program is like many others where we share with parents how they are the primary educators of their child’s faith.  The challenge, however, is what are we doing in our programs to actually foster this.  Over the last few decades parents have played less of a role in teaching their children the faith and more of a role of bringing their child to the “volunteer experts” (i.e. catechists) to teach our children the foundations of the faith.  Granted I’m generalizing, but I’m hope you get the point.  We who lead Religious Education Programs have not intentionally taken anything away from the parents regarding them being the primary educators, nor are parents disinterested at making sure their children grow in their knowledge and love of the Faith.  Nevertheless, it seems true that parents are struggling themselves to know enough about the Faith to be able to teach their children why as Catholic we believe what we believe or how to connect everyday life with what we believe as Catholic Christians.  It is key in todays busy world to find ways to equip and facilitate parent involvement regarding the most important matter – faith and eternal life.  Here are a few things our program is doing this year for foster parent involvement beyond the classroom:

1) We had parent meeting at the beginning of the year sharing with parents how important their involvement is this year as their child grow in their knowledge and love of the Faith.  We also asked them after that 25 minute meeting to go to their child’s class to meet the catechists and get an idea about what they would be doing this year.

2) In our 1st – 6th grade program we use Faith First and they have a “With My Family” page that we make sure we send home each week for parents and their child to discuss.

2) In 2nd Grade we are giving homework for parents and children to complete at home and turn in.  Also, we are having two days during the year called “Bring Your Parent To Class” giving parents the opportunity to interact with their child as they grow in faith.

3) When children are absent, we are providing syllabus’ on our parish website for parents see what chapter they need to make-up at home.

There are just a few ways we are trying to involve parents in the faith formation of their child(ren).  If we do not find ways to involve the parents then the brief time we have them once a week means little for the overall faith development of the children we serve.  We must collaborate and team up with parents if future generations are to be grounded in their Catholic Faith.

Come Holy Spirit!