Catholic Activity: Preschool Parent Pedagogy: Planning the Teaching of our Faith
There are so many books written on organization and planning, so many computer programs and DayTimers and Palm Pilots to help one plan one's life. We have to organize our cleaning, our cooking, our job tasks at work, the carpool schedules, family times and events, doctors' appointments. All these are important, but are we forgetting to plan our approach of teaching our children their faith, even at a very young age? Here are some suggestions on how to plan the attack.
In all our teaching of small children, we must remember that it is our business to present new ideas to them. If we want them to have good ideas, we have to introduce them. How did the baby learn to know the "pussy"? He heard his mother say "pussy" to the little animal. By the age of one year, he knows many objects and people. Does he know God, Blessed Lady, some saints, church? That depends upon whether we have presented them to him. One idea at a time enters his mind, as we present it. The responsibility is ours.
We parents should sit down with a pencil and paper some evening when all is quiet and write down a few questions and answers:
Q. What do I need for my job? A. Thought, time, sense of responsibility, patience.
Q. What do I want my child to know about first? A. God, Blessed Mother, Infant Jesus, Church, a few Saints, obedience, etc.
Write down also one or two things that you are going to teach your children within one week, and one or two things that you are going to do with them.
Having taken thought, resolve to take a little time each day to make sure that you are living up to your plan. Have a sense of responsibility about this sacred duty; and use patience with the children when you put your plan to work.
We are very busy in the physical care of our children, in housework, cooking, farmwork, in all the hundred things that other people forget about. That is all true. But then parents have to be saints. They cannot escape their vocation. No matter how worn out and overworked, they still must think about the training of the souls of their precious children.
Activity Source: Religion in the Home: Monthly Aids for the Parents of Pre-School Children by Katherine Delmonico Byles, Paulist Press, 1938