I have volunteered to teach the pre-school CCD class at my TLM parish for the upcoming school year. The age ranged is defined as “as soon as they can sit still” to 5 years old. This set oblviously isn’t ready for the Baltimore Catechism and I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions?
Our Sunday Visitor has a good pre-school program, one for age 3, one for age 4 and one for kinder. the first thing I would recommend is recruit a few teens from the Confirmation class to help. You need at least two people, preferably 3, in the classroom because much of the time is spent in taking kids to the bathroom.
what we found at VBS, and will do if we ever have a pre-school CCD class again (which is not going to happen unless the parents start to participate) is small groups, no more than 4, for learning prayers, songs, doing activities, etc. note: children younger than 5 usually cannot use scissors, so give it up.
Yes, if you want to do a craft with kids that age, the best thing to do is cut out all the pieces ahead of time, and then just have the kids glue them together and colour them. Make sure to cover all the tables and floor area with newspapers if you give them paint or sparkles, to make clean-up easier.
Much of what Puzzleannie said is true. I will disagree with her in that a pre-school class can indeed get through an hour without going to the bathroom. No CCD class for this age should run much longer than 1 hr. now VBS is a different matter
Scissors use and any other fine motor skills should not be expected. A ratio of 1-5 or 6 is good (that is 1 adult or teen for every 5 or 6 pre-schooler). At this age you need to do a lot of prep work, have everything cut out in advance that you want them to glue, don’t expect any writing, write their names on everything for them.
Okay, practicalities aside, this age is ready for Bible stories - the exciting ones that are full of action like Moses being found in a basket on the Nile, Moses and the plagues, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, Noah building an ark and taking all the animals aboard, Jonah and the Whale, Joseph’s multi-colored coat, the Prodigal Son, the miracle of the Fishes and the Loaves, Lazaras rising from the dead per Jesus instructions - these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Arch books should have these stories in colorful easy to read stories for this age just be aware that there might be a Protestant slant to some of them so read them first! There is a Catholic set of books too but I can’t remember the names of those off hand but I think you can get them from Liguori Press or Paulist Press. Got it, books written by Fr. Lovasik, go to catholiccompany.com to see what I am talking about. Here is where you can see the info about the Children’s Bible catholiccompany.com/product_detail.cfm?ID=7063
I think it is a must to have this if you are going to work with children. My First Graders love it when we read from the Bible and it is important for them to realize that we are a Bible based Church as well as a Church of Traditions.
Teach on the Saints too. There are some pretty colorful Saints lives too just be careful not to get the ones who were martyred in very gory ways - not necessarily appropriate for this age group.
PM me if you want some more ideas or want someone to help you look at a specific curriculum for that age, don’t forget to run any set of books with lesson plans in them by your Priest too.
Is 5 too young to being teaching them a foreign language (i.e. Latin)? Wanna make sure that they can read it, and give lectures in it when they’re older
Actually it’s two years too late - the best time to start learning a second language is at age three, in order to be completely fluent and without a discernable accent.
I taught preschool religion for years. I now teach K through 5th grades.
I personally found that the childrens bible with a hands on project and possibly a song worked real well in teaching the little ones their faith.
There are many sites online for childrens bible songs and some sites for crafts. If you can not find something there I suggest you go to a religious store and they have many books of things to do with the little ones.
I used to teach a preschool class when I was in college (I was protestant then). We would read a short story from an illustrated children’s bible, then had the children tell it back to us while we put figures on a felt board (this helped reinforce the story in their minds). Felt boards are really neat, and the children loved them. They also last for years. Then we would sing a simple song.
Preschool is a good age to have them do the above, but I would also add having the children cross themselves properly and memorize/say the Hail Mary and maybe another simple prayer or two.
I’m going to go on record with a plea for NO CRAFTS for this age group. It’s a lot of work for the adult, and I remember when my children were littles it seemed as if we were awash in the stuff. Learning doesn’t always have to include cutting and pasting.
There’s a lovely traditional kindergarten CCD program called “My Jesus and I.” It’s the first in a series of catechisms produced by Bishop Morrow in the 1940’s. (The final volume was a book for high school students and adults, called My Catholic Faith, which is still in print and highly praised.)
“My Jesus and I” is mostly used by homeschoolers these days, but it was originally designed for classroom use. The materials consist of a beautifully illustrated wall chart, a reader for each child (basically a miniature version of the wall chart), and a teacher’s booklet. These materials can be a little tricky to find, but here are some sites that carry them.
You could also look on eBay; they often have these items for sale, and the listings usually have several sample pictures…
P.S. - Though I haven’t had a chance to look at it myself, I’ve also seen many recommendations for the Little Saints program. It’s aimed more at homeschoolers, but sounds like it would have some helpful ideas.