I have been dithering over this one. If there is one subject I really want to get right, this is it. Next year I will probably use the Level 2 (Star) and Level 3 (Angel) Mater Amabilis religious studies suggestions pretty much as written, but this year I want to fill gaps and - I hope - light fires. Last year we were reading the Golden Bible, the Lion Treasury of Saints, and Faith and Life books for catechism, with excursions into other things for Advent, Lent and Easter. We are only part way through the Bible and Saints books, so logically we ought to continue with them, but they are becoming a slog. I don't see them lighting any fires this year. We could also use a break from Faith and Life, which gets repetitive after a while, so I have a blank slate to fill. Tentatively, the result looks like this ...
- Catechism: Adventure of the Amethyst (Cecily Hallack)
- Saints: Mother Teresa (Elaine Murray Stone); Maximilian Kolbe (Elaine Murray Stone); Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI (Susan Provost Beller)
- Advent: (undecided)
- Lent: My Path to Heaven (Geoffrey Bliss); Prayer (Inos Biffi)
- Easter: A Book of Angels (Marigold Hunt)
- Catechism: Saint Patrick's Summer: a Children's Adventure Catechism (Marigold Hunt)
- Bible: The Life of Our Lord for Children (Marigold Hunt)
- Saints: Beggars, Beasts and Easter Fire (Carol Greene)
- Advent: (undecided)
- Lent: Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls (Caryll Houselander)
- Easter: More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls (Caryll Houselander)
- Daily Bible Story: My First Catholic Bible (ed.Natalie Carabetta)
Angel will be reading (or listening to) a biography of a 20th century saint each term. Mother Teresa, to tie in with our study of India; Maximilian Kolbe alongside World War II; and finally Pope John Paul II. I am hoping the new joint biography of both JP2 and Pope Benedict XVI that is due for publication in September will work nicely; if not, I'll have to look for an alternative. Beggars, Beasts and Easter Fire was a lucky find in a library book sale, with twenty nicely told saints' stories, just the right length for a lesson apiece. Star will draw and narrate a page for each, making her own saints' story book over the year. This book is also out of print, but rather easier to find than Adventure of the Amethyst.
My First Catholic Bible was recommended recently on the Family Centered Learning email group and I love the sound of it, though I haven't seen a copy yet as it is still in my Amazon shopping basket. It is a devotional Bible, with five stories each week taken from the New RSV Bible (real text, not paraphrased), a weekly memory verse, and "prayer starters". I am planning to read it daily as part of our morning prayers. I also want to make our own family prayer book for the year in advance. I always intend to add in appropriate seasonal prayers, and while I normally manage it for Advent and Lent, the rest of the year often passes me by. If I can choose a specific prayer or two for each month or season and have the whole thing printed out in advance I'm sure we will do a lot better.
Finally, if you haven't read Caryll Houselander's Catholic Tales books to your children yet, you are missing a treat!