It was a hard decision for us to make when we choose public school for our 4 year old. I made it a priority to make sure that my kids were going to get a proper and rich Catholic education at home. I went on a quest to find all the home school religious resources that I could use for my preschooler that didn’t break the bank.
As a working mom, that meant that I had to try to find time on nights and weekends to teach my daughter the faith, in addition to, helping her do all her regular school homework and juggling the usual everyday busyness of mom life.
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Here are 9 Must-Have Resources to help catechize your children:
If your child is into crafts, they will LOVE the monthly Mass Box subscription! It comes with everything your family needs to help you prepare for Mass, including a magazine with the readings and materials for a fun craft. Each box comes with ready-to-go bags for every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation for that month. The box also includes an awesome SuperBook DVD about the bible stories.
This is a religion formation program for children based on the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Read more about the program here and use the Atrium Locator to see if there are any programs near you. You could also take courses to become a catechist. I was able to find an atrium 30 minutes away from my home and have been volunteering there on weekends. My 4 year old is currently in the 3-6 year old class and she is really thriving in it. The program is catered to children ages 3 to 14.
CCD Religion program
Most parishes offer a weekly school of religion program for children who attend public school. You can call your parish office to find out if they have one. My Natalie is already attending the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program so I will look into this when she gets older. They are usually offered from 1st grade through 12th.
Sunday Mass printables
There are lots of free Sunday printables out there, but not many I found that were suited for my preschool-aged daughter. My current favorite is The Kids’ Bulletin and the coloring pages from My Sunday Gospel. The readings are short and worded appropriately for preschool ages. Holy Heroes also sends out free weekly coloring pages through their email sign-up page.
Many churches have a Children’s Liturgy of the Word or program during Mass for children ages 4-7 that teaches them about Jesus and reads the Scripture readings on an age appropriate level. My 4 year old goes to this every Sunday and she always comes back with a fun coloring sheet. PLUS parents get a little break from parenting. 🙂
You need a good Children’s Bible (or two) and read a story from the Old Testament aloud to your children regularly. Look up the Gospel reading of the day and read it together as a family. I also like Teach Me about the Catholic Faith for Small Children, which has beautiful illustrations and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Every few months I pick up a few Saint books based on the upcoming feast days. Seton books has a large variety of homeschooling books for every grade. We are currently using the religion book for the Pre-K level and read a chapter every week.
- Children’s Bible
- Gospel reading
- Teach Me about the Catholic Faith for Small Children
- Saint books
- Seton books
Fun Kid Crafts and Activities
When I see an upcoming feast day on the liturgical calendar, I do a quick search for ideas on easy kid crafts and fun traditions to celebrate the feast day. Here are some inspirational Catholic blogs:
Children learn through their senses and celebrating feast days through food is a great way to introduce the saints. The truth is that you have to cook anyway so why not make it a learning opportunity to discuss the saint’s life and their great virtues.
- Feasts e-book from Carrots for Michaelmas
- More Feasts e-book from Carrots for Michaelmas
- Catholic Cuisine
Videos and Podcasts
I usually try to pair a special feast day with letting my 4 year old watch a Catholic video. The Formed.org subscription has lots of Catholic audio talks, movies and e-books for kids and adults. Check to see if your parish provides a free subscription. During car rides, we listen to the Catholic Sprouts podcast, which are short daily episodes that talk about feast days, morality, Catholic theology, saints and the sacraments.
- Formed subscription
- Brother Francis videos
- CCC of America videos
- SuperBook DVDs
- Catholic Sprouts podcast
There are so many more awesome Catholic resources for kids but I just wanted to share what we love using for our younger kids.
Do you have any favorite Catholic resources for your kids? Let me know in the comments below!