This Monday begins our Summer School of Religion Program.  About 10 years ago my parish began an alternative religious education program.  It offers an intensive two week session that is 3 and a half hours a day for two weeks.  Last year 258 students participated.  Many parents love it and other parents would not even consider having their child only go to class for only two weeks in the summer (some think that would be merely getting it out of the way).   There are some real positives to a program of this sort as well as challenges (more in my next post about this).

Over the last three years I’ve worked hard to make sure the classes are covering the same amount of material as classes during the school year.  I’ve outlined the chapters for each grade (1st, 3rd – 6th) in order to help the catechists be prepared and ready to cover their lessons well.  Our program also has music, a church tour, time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, field trips for some grades, Stations of the Cross, Mass, and a food drive.  It aims to not merely get through so many chapters but to help the students encounter a Catholic culture and a program that forms the whole person.

In my next post I’ll share some of the pro’s and con’s of a alternative program like this one.

Does your parish do anything like this?