Children’s Catechetical Program at Holy Family Parish
The children’s program from Nursery/Kindergarten to Grade 8 is called “God With Us”. Its characteristic features are as follows:
Comprehensive approach – womb to tomb
Total approach – touches all areas of Christian life
Eastern Christian – follows the catechism and canons of the Eastern Catholic Church
Formative – characterized by spiritual growth in the child’s years
Developmental – unfolds gradually according to the 5 developmental stages
Family oriented – calls for parental involvement
Community oriented – calls for involvement of Church community
Developmental Characteristics – How “God With Us” program addresses the 5 areas of a child’s development – intellectually, physically, spiritually, socially and psychologically.
Intellectually – Challenges the student to be able to think analytically to achieve the highest level for life-long learning through active involvement; be able to learn prayers, liturgical responses, hymns and apply them appropriately.
Physically – Provides a safe and nurturing environment which attends to the child’s physical and emotional well being by promoting and providing healthy lifestyles; eg: children are taught, since God created us, we have an obligation of looking after the health of our physical body.
Spiritually – Encourages and assists students to form basic moral values, sensitivity to right and wrong, as a guide to individual behavior and a regard for the dignity of each human being. Develops in students, not only knowledge of God, but also a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus.
Socially – Develops in students the responsibility of citizenship and commitment to social justice ie: to aspire to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes.
Psychologically – Endeavors to recognize the dignity and infinite worth of each student and creates a climate to help students develop self- worth and self-discipline in order to help them make good decisions based on spiritual and moral values.
Lessons are based on two tracks: prayer curriculum and liturgical curriculum
- develops the children into a people of prayer
- worship and prayer are presented at the beginning of the kindergarten and grade one level and continues throughout the remaining grades.
- prayers are taken from Divine Liturgy
- prayer posture is encouraged (offering and opening oneself to God)
- follows the Liturgical Year in the Eastern Catholic Church
- at the primary level there are 4 lessons on the following feastdays: Nativity of Jesus, The Great Fast, Willow (Palm) Sunday and Pascha (Easter)
- other feastdays are added at each level
- feastdays are presented on a day close to the feastday
Children’s Texts for the Early Childhood Program
Nursery (Pre-school) – “Glory to God”
Kindergarten – “God is With Us”
Grade One – “God is Love”
Grade Two – “Children of Light” (This is not part of the God With Us Program but a specially designed program for preparing the children for their First Confession and Solemn Holy Communion)
Texts for the Intermediate and Junior High Program
Grade Four – “God’s Promise is Fulfilled”
Grade Five – “We are God’s People”
Grade Six – “We Respond to God”
Grade Seven – “We Become Godlike”
Grade Eight – “We Journey With God”
The “God With Us” program is formative and developmental; each level builds on the previous and is presented according to the 5 stages of the developmental growth of the child. The same basic topics are covered at each grade level and the performance objectives are organized as follows:
Cognitive – What students know
Behavioural – How students act and perform practices with sincerity
Attitudinal – What students value and appreciate
Prayers – How students pray
Mysteries/Sacraments – How students receive the Holy Sacraments
Observances – How students celebrate the major feastdays
The Teacher’s Manual is very explicit as to the student performance objectives for each grade level.