We are doing many wonderful hands-on projects right now. I am reminded of a study I read once that I heard quoted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen…it went something like this:
" Association is a key to memory:
a. You remember approximately 10 percent of what you read.
b. You remember approximately 20 percent of what you hear.
c. You remember approximately 30 percent of what you see.
d. You remember approximately 50 percent of what you hear and see together.
e. You remember approximately 70 percent of what you say (if you think as you are saying it).
f. You remember approximately 90 percent of what you do."
I want my kids to "own" the Catechism. I want them to bear Christ in their hearts and share Him with others! I don’t want them JUST to memorize the Catechism, or JUST to fill in a workbook and close that book and leave the information on a shelf. I want them to think and ponder…I want them to learn and re-tell this information to others. I want them to realize that FAITH is real and must be kept alive!! I want them to LIVE the Catechism and to LOVE this treasure that they have! One way that we are doing this is to hit on as many of the senses as we possibly can so they learn and retain what they need. We try to make many of our studies as multi-sensory and hands-on as possible.
Here is only one of many things we have used to make learning the Catechism a special work for the children….. Christopher’s Talks to Catholic Children is a lovely re-telling of the Catechism in a story and examples form that is filled throughout with many stick figures that can be drawn when reading the story to children.
We read this book together and the children copied the stick figures on different papers which they glued into a book they created for this purpose. They dictated to me their narration of each chapter which I copied into a Word document. (We selected an extra special font of the child’s choosing) We then printed and cut the text apart and pasted it in the book in the appropriate places.
What a keepsake this book is! It is a great hands-on way to teach the Catechism. The beautiful thing about this is that it is THEIR work and they are soooo proud. They whip out this book when ANYONE comes to the door…even our well beloved mailman and they proceed to retell this story to them.
The author,David Greenstock states: “This is your book. It started quite simply in the form of talks given to sick children, who were recovering from all kinds of illnesses, in a lovely open-air school by the sea. They were so pleased with the little drawings, and the talks interested them so much that I thought other children might like them too: so I wrote them all down in a book, and here they are. I have called myself Christopher because that name means “the Christ-bearer,” and that is what I am trying to do by means of this book––to bring Christ into your hearts and minds, and to teach you to love Him.”
Christopher’s Talks to Catholic Children is also available from Neumann Press.
I would love to share more information about making books with children as well as other fun ways of learning the Catechism. I will elaborate more on that in the near future.