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    Christian Studies in Sunday School?

    Has anyone ever tried to use MP's Christian Studies in a once-a-week Sunday school setting? This year I started teaching catechism classes on Sunday mornings to third to fifth graders at my church (I'm Catholic and attend a small Latin Mass chapel). I'd never done this before and wasn't sure what to expect. I was given a catechism book and told to stick to that, but otherwise left free to conduct the class how I wished. I discovered that in general these children were not familiar with the main Bible stories, and I got to thinking how I could teach those stories to them next year somehow using Christian Studies as my guide. I just don't know how to do it with only 50 minutes a week (which has to also include catechism), and with not being able to depend on the fact that the children would actually do any homework outside of class. I would like to arrange it over three years like the Christian Studies curriculum does, but I also can't depend on the fact that I would actually have students for three years. They come and go, with spotty attendance, besides which, there would always be new ones coming in.

    Anyone else tried this?

    Julie
    Julie

    2016-2017:

    DD 19 -- homeschool graduate attending community college
    DS 17 -- 12th grade using variety + MPOA Chemistry
    DD 12 -- MP 7A

    #2
    Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

    I feel your delimma. 50 minutes a week is barely long enough to cover catechism much less Scriptures, saints and other gems of the Church. Would it maybe be possible to just read the Golden Bible and quickly ask the guide questions orally just so they are somewhat familiar with the stories? I don't see how you could do the full intent of the course in just 50 minutes a week with no homework/studying much less get in any catechism in addition. I'd say focus on the catechism and take maybe 10-15 per class to read the Bible section and just quickly discuss it.
    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
    DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
    DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
    DS, 21, chemistry major
    DS, 18, Physics major
    DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
    DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
    DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

      Yes, I had thought to just read the Bible stories and discuss. But being filled with all the ideals of classical education that I've been studying and trying to implement for these past years naturally led me to think how I can incorporate some of these things into the catechism classes! Just reading a story once and discussing it in class for 10 minutes isn't nearly enough to really internalize and remember the story. I remember Cheryl Lowe talking in an article about how when she taught Sunday school, she observed how much pleasure the children got out of memorizing and reciting things, and then they actually *learned* something that they could have and keep. I can have mine memorize catechism questions certainly, but they're so dry by themselves without the underlying Bible stories. And it's just such a shame that these children aren't getting the Bible stories at home, so I'm thinking that that is at least as important as the catechism.

      Julie
      Julie

      2016-2017:

      DD 19 -- homeschool graduate attending community college
      DS 17 -- 12th grade using variety + MPOA Chemistry
      DD 12 -- MP 7A

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

        I think Christian studies actually was Cheryl's homemade Sunday school curriculum!

        Maybe you can just slow the pace and get done what you get done, taking the less is more approach? In my experience, book 2 has the least known info.

        Good for you to be thinking on this!
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        2020-2021
        11th year HSing · 9th year MP
        @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
        11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

          What if for the memory work you chose one scripture a month? You could use the disappearing word trick that is explained in at least one the MP manuals. So for Lesson One, read the passage, talk about the lesson quickly, memorize the scripture verse, have the students copy the scripture verse onto a 3x5 to take home and practice. I'm not familiar with teaching catechism, but if they need to be memorizing any of that it could be written on the other side of the card. While one verse a month isn't much, by the end of a year they will know 12 verses. It sounds like more than they know now. As we train our brains to memorize, they get better and better at it. You may find that one a month becomes to easy for your regular attenders. What a blessing that would be! Scripture is unlike anything else we are exposed to, it is living and time invested in learning it never returns void. In other words, anything you can expose them to, is time well spent!
          Last edited by RunnerJoy; 04-09-2016, 11:36 AM.
          Joyfully, Courtney
          DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

            I love that you are wanting to do this! I think the ideas you have gotten for the format of the class are great. If it were me, I would divide the class pretty equally between Bible and Catechism - you are right: they are both essential. Save yourself the headache and just work through the internal order of each. Use Christian Studies in its order, and go through the Catechism in its order. It would be ideal to have them match up, but it is not necessary. Plus, you can be attentive to overlaps as you go through the year and comment on those: "Remember when we read the story of X?" That sort of thing.

            As for trying to do it classically within the time frame you have, I would focus on the Drill Questions that are in the back of the book. These will be the memory work you are looking for to help them keep the stories in memory.

            I would start the first class with a preview of the story you are going to read. Keep it brief. Then read the story, or have students read it. Then ask the drill questions in a casual, conversational way. Then tell them they will get to keep track of their stories by remembering these questions. So then ask them again in a formal way just like Recitation. For each successive class, start the class with reciting the Drill questions, ask a few questions to review the previous week's lesson, then do the new lesson, and go over the new drill questions. I think that maximizes your time - because it will go fast.

            Then switch gears and focus on Catechism the same way. The explanations do not need to be lengthy. By memorizing the Catechism, their brains will be working on the understanding. So make time for review, to answer questions they have from previous lessons, and then teach the new.

            I hope that helps!
            AMDG,
            Sarah
            2020-2021
            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
            DS, 16
            DD, 14
            DD, 12
            DD, 10
            DD, 8
            DD, 6
            +DS+
            DS, 2

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

              Originally posted by RunnerJoy View Post
              What if for the memory work you chose one scripture a month? You could use the disappearing word trick that is explained in at least one the MP manuals. So for Lesson One, read the passage, talk about the lesson quickly, memorize the scripture verse, have the students copy the scripture verse onto a 3x5 to take home and practice. I'm not familiar with teaching catechism, but if they need to be memorizing any of that it could be written on the other side of the card. While one verse a month isn't much, by the end of a year they will know 12 verses. It sounds like more than they know now. As we train our brains to memorize, they get better and better at it. You may find that one a month becomes to easy for your regular attenders. What a blessing that would be! Scripture is unlike anything else we are exposed to, it is living and time invested in learning it never returns void. In other words, anything you can expose them to, is time well spent!
              The index card idea is a great idea! Thank you! I do tend to want to do too much and forget that some is a lot better than none!

              Julie
              Julie

              2016-2017:

              DD 19 -- homeschool graduate attending community college
              DS 17 -- 12th grade using variety + MPOA Chemistry
              DD 12 -- MP 7A

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

                Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                I love that you are wanting to do this! I think the ideas you have gotten for the format of the class are great. If it were me, I would divide the class pretty equally between Bible and Catechism - you are right: they are both essential. Save yourself the headache and just work through the internal order of each. Use Christian Studies in its order, and go through the Catechism in its order. It would be ideal to have them match up, but it is not necessary. Plus, you can be attentive to overlaps as you go through the year and comment on those: "Remember when we read the story of X?" That sort of thing.

                As for trying to do it classically within the time frame you have, I would focus on the Drill Questions that are in the back of the book. These will be the memory work you are looking for to help them keep the stories in memory.

                I would start the first class with a preview of the story you are going to read. Keep it brief. Then read the story, or have students read it. Then ask the drill questions in a casual, conversational way. Then tell them they will get to keep track of their stories by remembering these questions. So then ask them again in a formal way just like Recitation. For each successive class, start the class with reciting the Drill questions, ask a few questions to review the previous week's lesson, then do the new lesson, and go over the new drill questions. I think that maximizes your time - because it will go fast.

                Then switch gears and focus on Catechism the same way. The explanations do not need to be lengthy. By memorizing the Catechism, their brains will be working on the understanding. So make time for review, to answer questions they have from previous lessons, and then teach the new.

                I hope that helps!
                AMDG,
                Sarah
                Thank you! This is very helpful to look at it this way. So if this were you, would you plan to just take three years to go through the three books, regardless of which students come each week/each year? So the new ones will just start out wherever we are and go forward and not worry about what was behind us that they missed? I guess that's what schools have to do. It's just so different coming from a homeschooling background where I'm sure I'm going to have these same children every year!

                Julie
                Julie

                2016-2017:

                DD 19 -- homeschool graduate attending community college
                DS 17 -- 12th grade using variety + MPOA Chemistry
                DD 12 -- MP 7A

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Christian Studies in Sunday School?

                  Well, that is a good question. I guess it would depend on how the program of the church is set up.

                  If you are teaching third graders, and next year you will have a new group of third graders, I would probably stick with just repeating CS 1, as that is a more basic foundation of stories kids should really know. Plus it might ignite a desire for them to ask for a Bible so they can continue reading after the year is over.

                  If you have a chance to move up with the kids, then I would certainly keep the program moving along for them.

                  If you are simply teaching a class of mixed ages, every year is a guessing game as to who you will have, with some kids repeating and others coming in, I would also just move through the program for the sake of the kids who do come year after year. Everyone would still benefit, but especially those kids who get it all.

                  Does that help?
                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2020-2021
                  16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                  DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                  DS, 16
                  DD, 14
                  DD, 12
                  DD, 10
                  DD, 8
                  DD, 6
                  +DS+
                  DS, 2

                  Comment

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