If you desire to make something happen that doesn’t naturally occur in your day and you’re like most people, you probably have to schedule it.
When talking about learning the catechism this will look different for different people in different stages. Some may choose to take a few minutes after breakfast every morning or around the dinner table. For others, it may be that you have an open block on Thursday evenings after dinner when you can focus on it for a longer period of time and then just refer back to the questions throughout the week.
It's like doing laundry, some people are diligent to do one load a day and never get behind while others have a "laundry day" when they start running out of clean clothes.
Some people also have small rewards associated with either just working on the questions or memorizing a set number of questions however they may be tracked.
Regardless of how often you take the dedicated time to focus on the catechism, it is vital that you look for, find, and point out instances where the questions and answers connect and apply to daily life. That is what will really help your kids internalize the truth.
This is what your job as a parent is, it isn’t enough if you send your kids to a Christian school or make sure they are listening on Sunday mornings - it’s the connecting truth to life that is the hard work to which we are called.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a hard time with the “scheduling”, just do what you can when you can. Give yourself the grace to realize that nothing happens overnight. Recognize that the most important truths are probably going to be discussed during a non-planned time if you're looking for them!
What is most important is finding times that you can connect with your kids and connect Biblical truths to their lives.
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How do you actually do that? When my oldest was two years old, I was talking to a friend who had older kids about a variety of parenting books I was looking at on Amazon, asking for recommendations. I remember vividly her telling me that you can read all the books in the world but they are all going to have different perspectives and so it's so at some point you just have to stop trying to read learn every philosophy and theory and instead read Scripture and actually live your life!
It can be so easy for me to read books on parenting, or friendships, or being a pastor's wife, or whatever else (and I still do...), but if I'm not being transformed by the Word of God, I'm not going to be able to share that with my kids. It will be easier for me to see how the catechism questions and answers (and Scripture that I'm reading) connect to the daily events happening in my crazy house when I'm taking some time to go back to God.
To summarize then:
- Schedule the time to work on the catechism with your kids.
- Don't get stressed out if that doesn't work perfectly, because it won't.
- Have some other time where you read some books about the catechism or listen to music. For a complete list of resources on the Children's Catechism, be sure to visit our Children's Catechism Resource page.
- Read Scripture yourself and to your kids.
I'm reminding myself - it's hard but good work!