How can I respectfully build a shrine in my home?

I am a homeschool parent and my second-grader’s religion class says that he is to “respectfully build a shrine to honor Jesus (in September?), Mary (in October?), and the Holy Family (in December?).” Why these months and how do I help him do this? What is a shrine? I never received any Catholic upbringing and the book talks as if I am supposed to just know the answer. When I spoke to the representative for the school her answer only confused me more. I can not find anything elsewhere online and I am running out of time. Thank you for any help you can give. A small nudge in the right direction would be wonderful.

It sounds like September, October, and December are suggestions – September for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross (September 14), October for the Feast of the Holy Rosary (October 7), and December for the Feast of the Holy Family (first Sunday after Christmas). Since they are suggestions (as indicated by the question marks), you probably could schedule the shrine-building for a time that is convenient to you.

A shrine is a structure created to foster devotion to God or to a saint and are usually built in homes to allow for family prayer or personal meditation. Shrines can be anything from small tabletop displays to complex backyard structures, depending on the time, talent, and resources you have available. Mary Reed Newland had a chapter in her book The Year and Our Children describing a number of Marian shrines her family created in honor of a Marian year in the 1950s. Those descriptions may give you some ideas for shrines your son could create.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit