And just like that…You’re a home school parent (or student)! Perhaps you never thought this would be a reality for your family, and now you don’t know what to do. COVID-19 has brought so much change into our daily lives but has also given us many new and unexpected opportunities to focus on what is most important: connecting with Our Lord. While you may feel unprepared for your new home schooling journey, this experience can also be a great chance to integrate the Catholic faith more fully into your family life!
Here are some tips on how to turn your home school into a Catholic school:
1) Create a prayer schedule
If you’ve ever attended Catholic School, you may remember prayers before everything: classes, meals, and even recess! Why not do this at home? It can be as simple as saying a morning prayer, an Angelus at lunch time, or an “Our Father” before each lesson.
While your children may not yet grasp the meaning behind these prayers, depending on their age, teaching them to pray while they’re young helps form them for a life of faith! Just as any good athlete knows, it’s all about muscle memory! Similarly, cognitive repetition will allow you and your child to access these beautiful prayers in moments of hardship or confusion.
2) Schedule a time each day to study the Catechism with your children
Our Catholic faith is extremely rich! While your child may be enrolled in your parish’s catechism program, faith always begins in the home. A child’s receptivity to their parents’ teaching is unmatched. Section 2226 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.” Home schooling can give you more time to intentionally focus on your mission as a parent to teach your children the faith!
One idea is to create a “religious studies class” for the purposes of integrating your child’s academic life with their understanding of Our Lord. Helpful catechetical resources can be found at formed.org, to which all CMF CURO members have a subscription.
3) Keep religious imagery in your “classroom”
Designate a room in your home where your child can study and do their class work. Within this room, place images such as a crucifix or an image of Our Blessed Mother (Perhaps you already have a room with these fixtures!). This will help your child keep Christ in mind throughout the day and even encourage reflective prayer!
Visual images can help you and your child feel connected to Christ and His Church tangibly as you go about your day. These may also spark questions regarding the image, ultimately leading to greater understanding, knowledge, and deeper faith.
In this time of great uncertainty and hardship the Lord’s creativity shines bright! Let us call upon Him to help us be innovative in this global crisis.
Mariah Buzza is an employee of the Christ Medicus Foundation and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 with a Bachelor of Art degree in Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Divine Mercy University and resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her family. Mariah Buzza has been a victim of the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church and uses her story to help others find healing through the teachings of the Church.