Skip to main content

6 Tips for Teaching Religious Education

6 Tips for Teaching Religious Education to ChildrenAs the start of another school year brings me back into the parish classroom for another year of teaching religious education to 3rd graders, I thought I would share with you my Six Tips to Enhancing your Religious Education Class:

1. Prayer 

Pray before the start of every class. This is my most important tip, because it helps me calm myself and focus on the reason we will be together in the classroom. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and use us as God’s instrument in leading the children to His Son, Jesus Christ, to open the children to receiving God’s message and for any personal intentions of the day. 

2. Make Religious Education Fun

Our kids come to the parish directly after school for religious education, bringing with them a lot of pent up energy from sitting in a classroom all day. Religious education does not have to mean sitting in a chair reading from a text book. Get them moving, sit on the floor, or go outside. Make it fun. Utilize all of the fantastic teaching resources, games, crafts and projects available online to make the bible lesson more enjoyable for wiggly little people.

3. Get Help

As a catechist in a parish, you should have people around you supporting you. Turn to them and ask for help when you need it. As a non-professional teacher, it didn’t take me long to realize that I needed some guidance handling discipline in the classroom. My Director of Faith Formation was instrumental in walking me through the basics of classroom management and made herself available to be present in my class when I needed the support. If you are blessed to have an aide in the classroom, use them. Our aides help with kids’ bathroom trips, checking roll, breaking into small groups, and discipline. 

4. Don’t Water Down the Faith

Kids are able to grasp the faith at a level that we adults often underestimate. Don’t water down the bible lesson for them, simply present it in a manner they understand. They are eager to soak in God and want to understand the “why” questions of our faith. Our job is to guide them to the truth and feed their hunger for Jesus. 

5. Give Homework

Such a dreaded word, and yet the kids seem eager to be challenged with it. In my 3rd grade class, I might ask them to bring in their favorite bible story, tell me about a Saint, recite a new prayer they’ve learned, choose a bible scripture with the family, or complete the online chapter review. When they bring it back to class, the child receives a trip to our parish “Treasure Box” filled with small faith related trinkets. Kids love sharing what they’ve learned on their own with their classmates.

6. Communicate with Parents

Establish regular email communication with the parents about the lesson completed in class. Each week, share the main focus, describe some of class interaction, offer resources to learn more as a family, and notify them of homework assigned. Don’t forget that parents are the primary teachers of the faith, so it is essential to stay connected with them. 

It is a rewarding challenge each week to lead children to Christ by teaching the faith in a classroom.

What tips work for you when teaching the faith to children?

Lisa Jones

Receive New Blog Posts by Email

* indicates required

Connect on Social

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Popular posts from this blog

Don’t Leave Facebook for Lent – Take it Over!

  So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast.  With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent.  Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation.  They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together. Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.”  He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.”  This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online.  I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – eve

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that