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discussing the doctrinal themes from the Teaching Guides for upcoming Sundays  The parents come to the meetings in orderto nourish their own faith in addition to getting materials for their lessons with their children at home As a result of this faith experience, parents not only look forward to sharing their knowledge and faith with their childrenbut also feel qualified to do so  Between the periodic gatherings, parents set aside time with their children at home, using the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies for faith formation and for preparing as a family to celebrate Sunday liturgy  Because they feel well equipped, parents comfortably assume their role as their children’s primary religious educators There are, of course, different courses parishes might take  For instance, the parish DRE may choose to employ three training sessions for parents, each witha concluding gathering, as the focus of periodic meetings  These sessions can utilize the blackline masters and prayer services this Handbook provides for training catechists  The sessions should allow plenty of time for questions and discussion In addition to the above sessions, parishes can also gather parents regularly (for example, monthly) for additional meetings that involve children in a class that is led by parent volunteers  Or parishes might consider celebrating special children’s liturgies monthly  These liturgies could especially involve the children in the family program  The family gatherings should always have a social dimension, so families get to know other families Family-centered sessions that meet once or twice a month usually have an easy time distributing the Weeklies to families  For parishes where meetings occur less often,it may be necessary to developa system for distribution  For example, parishes could put the names of families and quantities of Seeds, Promise, Good News, Venture, and Visions on folders  When the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies mailings arrive, the DRE can distributethe editions according to the information listed on the folders  The DRE then makes sure the folders are available to parents at the parish faith formation office or at church after Sunday Masses When to UseEach family can decide what time to set aside each week for using the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies  Some families may prefer a regular time, some may prefer to fit a different time each week into the schedule  Some families may prefer to do part of a lesson each night through several days Family catechesis can be done one child at a time or with the whole family together  In the latter case, families with more than one child may have more than one weekly lesson to draw on—perhapsPromise for a first grader and Venture for a fourth grader  The Weeklies provide age-appropriate storiesand activities on the same Gospel themes Each age level of the Weeklies and the accompanying Teaching Guide provides resources for three purposes in every lesson:1  Share Experiences;2  Discover Gospel and Doctrine; 3  Live the Gospel Parents of two or three childrenneed to coordinate and integrate the lesson plans of the appropriate levels  The editors suggest a pattern of reading the stories from at least two levels and having all share in the discussion of each story, then proclaiming the Gospel from one of the levels The third part of each lesson is the Gospel activity  Older children can help younger children make hands-on projects or play games the lessons provide  Other times, children can do projects separately, or parents can each work withone of the children on individual activities Family-Centered Catechesis, Home-Schooling1. Catechizes parents first to increase comfort level and encourage faith sharing with their children 2. Involves parents in catechizing their children 3. Offers young parents and single parents a chance to make friends with other adults 4. Creates a special bond within the family through collective spiritual development 5. Models adult participation and commitment to Christian principles 6. Synchronizes catechesis at home with the worship of the parish assembly 7. Parishes develop periodic sessions to involve parents communally and socially in parish life 8. DREs update parents and provide opportunities for their faith reflection with other adults, so they have a parish context out of which they share their faith in teaching their children 16

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