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Doctrinally CompleteAs this Handbook explains in Chapter 2, the Sunday cycles of Gospels tell the same story of God’s love that the creeds proclaim in doctrinal language  Although a liturgical approach to catechesis changes the order in which children learn doctrinal concepts, nonetheless the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, through the course of the Lectionary’s three cycles, providea comprehensive Christocentric, Trinitarian catechesis  TheWeeklies explore Sacraments,prayer, Old Testament, and the Commandments when the Gospels or First Reading suggest these areas of content  With the addition of What the Church Believes and Teaches, catechism handbooks, the parish can be assured that this faith formation program is doctrinally complete  Each level of theWeeklies is accompanied by its own handbook based on the Catechismof the Catholic Church  Each child receives a copy of the handbook, which has been declared in conformity with the Catechism by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommiteeon the Catechism  The handbook shows catechists, parents, and children how what they read in Visions, Venture, Good News, Promise, and Seeds is related to our Catholic belief, worship, and practice When to UsePflaum Gospel Weeklies classes explore the Gospels, and sometimes the First Readings,for the upcoming Sunday  Inthis way, the Weeklies’ liturgical orientation functions to prepare children to participate fully in the Sunday parish assembly  The class becomes an experience of Christian community for childrenas they get to know one another, proclaim the Gospels together, pray together, and decide on ways to live the Gospel in their lives and community Parishes who use the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies may schedule a 60-to 90-minute period in which each child can enroll  Children gather for this weekly sessionin classrooms or other spaces available at the parish  One or two adult catechists work with each group of children Small parishes may combine grade levels or offer five groups, one each for Seeds, Promise, Good News, Venture, and Visions  Large parishes may offer eveningand afternoon class times or a Saturday morning class  In some communities, a one-evening-a-week church night frees time for religion classes from competing school and civic activities Time FramesOnce-a-week faith formation classes are usually 60-90 minutes long  The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies provide resources that help catechists vary the activities the young people do during this sustained class time  The Weeklies and their accompanying Teaching Guides provide resources for three purposes in every lesson:1  Share Experiences;2  Discover Gospel and Doctrine; 3  Live the Gospel Every lesson varies activities tohold young people’s attention  Seeds catechists need to remember that preschoolers (three- and four- year-olds) have attention spansthat generally top out at aboutfive minutes  They need frequent periods of physical activity and rest, or they will become very fidgety and hard to handle Be sure to give your Seeds children time to stretch, sing, and exercise  These types of activities involve the children’s bodies in their learning, and, as the oldIrish saying declares, “What’slearnt in the bone will out!” Take advantage of opportunities to move the children from one area of the meeting space to another  Make these moves also times of singing, skipping, marching, or any other physical activity that will help the children to concentrate on the next part of the lesson Likewise, give Seeds children time to rest  This does not mean having them take naps  Rather, it means encouraging them to take private time to pursue an activity (for example, manipulating a puzzle, building with blocks, drawing, or looking at a picture book), either alone or with others  Children can complete part of the Seeds lesson before such a rest break and part afterward Note that both the first and third parts of each weekly lesson— at all levels—have hands-on activities that involve young people in learning through their senses and their own experiences  As already mentioned, the Weeklies recognize that young children especially must learn through hands-on, sense-involving activities because they do not yet havethe ability to learn in more abstract, conceptual ways  To take advantage of all the Weeklies have to offer, catechists need to have crayons, scissors, tape, markers, construction paper, and other materials readily available  Each online Resource Manual describes how catechists can organize their classrooms and manage their class time 14

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