Saturday, April 27, 2013

Children's Corner: Totally Catholic! A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers

Another school year has ended, and that means our Parish catechesis is ending as well. Let me tell you that being a catechist is hard work! From a 4th Grade classroom with an average weekly attendance of one to a 7th Grade classroom where the children don't know 2nd Grade information, it's easy to get discouraged. To make matters worse, textbook chapters are hit or miss, and you wish that sometimes you had an outside source to pull from when your book isn't cutting it. Thankfully, Pauline Books and Media has released just such a book.

Totally Catholic! A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers is a thorough resource for faith formation.The text is broken into 39 chapters and is based on the "Catechism of the Catholic Church." The first thought that popped in my head was wondering why they couldn't crank out one more chapter, since 40 is a well-known Biblical number." Apart from the typical textbook layout, each chapter contains the following sections:
  • "Did you know?" - Fun facts related to the material in the chapter.
  • "BTW" (short for "By The Way") - Extra information not covered in the chapter.
  • "Brainstorm" - Questions of reflection on the topic covered in the chapter.
  • "A Catholic VIP" - A short saint biography.
  • "Scripture Link" - A passage in the Bible related to the covered topic.
  • "From My Heart" - A short prayer.
  • "Now Act!" - An activity to perform.
The parts I found the most helpful were the "Scripture Link" and "A Catholic VIP." It is so important for our children to know the Bible, but we don't always do a good job of emphasizing it like our Protestant brothers and sisters. I also liked that each chapter had a saint, because it introduces the children to saints they don't always hear about, like Sts. Perpetua and Felicity or St. Andrew Dung-Lac.

Although each chapter is only 4-6 pages, Totally Catholic! is a very well-laid out book with a TON of information! I couldn't find an established age range for the book, but I would say it is appropriate for children ages 8-10, but you could probably use it a little younger or older if you wanted. I believe this book is intended for use as a primary text for homeschooling or Parish education, but you would need to add some outside reading or extra activities with it. I do think it would make an excellent supplement though and I look forward to using it with my 4th Grade class next year. Five stars all the way. I just wish I had this book at the beginning of the school year and not the end.

As always, if you found this review helpful let me know by clicking this link and hitting Yes! Thank you!