[quote="journey137, post:1, topic:197499"]
As a parent of school aged kids, what would you like to see in their religion classes? The class I teach has had its final class and we will be closing the program with mass next week. Many of the kids that started the year stopped coming... some due to conflicting sports schedules, some due to the kids not wanting to be there, some due to the parents thinking we don't teach enough and aren't strict enough. I'm not the DRE, but I like to help where I can so I'm trying to come up with suggestions for next year's program. Our program is obviously failing because in the 4 years I've been helping, overall attendance has declined and general participation is abysmal. The lower grades have a decent retention, but a year or two after first communion, there is a huge drop off in attendance. We have good textbooks, we have good priests/deacons that are willing to come give presentations, we do not have enough volunteers, parental involvement is pretty much nil, the kids are too busy with school's homework and sports schedules and our program is 6:30-7:45 Wednesday nights.
Basically, I'm looking for tips on how to organize the program to help with retention, how to get the parents more involved in teaching/living their faith, how to help make the learning enjoyable and not just one more class at the end of a very long day, or anything else you think might be a good tip. Any help is appreciated.
Bottom Line Up Front: I want two things (1) New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism for the kids, and (2) New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism for the parents.
I want CCD to take work. Work by the DRE. Work by the teacher. Work by the student. And MUCH work by the parent. I want the kids to really feel like they've accomplished something as they graduate to the next level. I want them to know their faith - not merely the basics that anyone can know after reading the first 9 chapters of Catholicism for Dummies.
I want each year to build on the last. I want HS students educated in basic apologetics. I want 4th graders to do written reports and presentations on their favorite popes, and I want 8th graders to do written reports and presentations on their favorite eccumenical counsels.
I want the DRE or Pastor to call up parents who aren't meeting their parental obligations to determine how we can help their child (and the parent) succeed.
I want all kids trained as alter servers by 5th grade. I want all kids trained as lectors by 12th grade.
I suppose, to sum it up, I want an organized, intense, education of our faith. If you're lucky enough to send your child to a Catholic school, then the parents can benefit by being less involved. But if you don't (or can't) send your child to a Catholic school, the parents have an obligation to "homeschool" their child - with the help of the DRE and education programs - to approximate the same religious education the student would have received by attending a well-run Catholic primary education (K-12).