In these momentous days, I ask you to pray for me and for the Church, trusting as always in divine Providence.
God bless Him, and the Church as it follows the will of God and a new Pope is secured in place.
In these momentous days, I ask you to pray for me and for the Church, trusting as always in divine Providence.
God bless Him, and the Church as it follows the will of God and a new Pope is secured in place.
I don’t mean to be neglecting my blog, but for this week I will be very involved elsewhere.
I have been preparing my 2nd grade class for First Reconciliation, and while it is a very small class this year (5 children), they have needed a lot of extra prep care, more so than any class I’ve had in the past and I’ve had some biggies.
We’ve been working literally for months, and I still fear that a few just aren’t there with it. I revert to families for the help now as I don’t think there is much else I can do for them now as we make the sacrament this upcoming Sunday. I have done my best and given my all as in years past. It is moments like this where I feel perhaps I need to move out of the classroom and let someone else deal with the families as I grow weary of how lacking the support is for religious education. Please keep these children and families in your prayers.
My own Confirmation class of my Catholic school. I was in 6th grade, (‘72) Bishop Federal of SLC Utah
In the meantime, I pray. With a sick family of my own for nearly a week now, and school, sacrament prep including managing Confirmation for the parish program, and some extra things going on, I feel the need for more spiritual assistance than ever. That is what God is for, right? He is there for us at all turns in life.
Re-enrollment for our home school program (Mother of Divine Grace) has opened up again and I must get to doing that also. And may I add Modg is worth every penny and every bit of formation and accountability. I am SO grateful to have found it years ago, and glad to be educating my children with a program that helps them to think beyond the secular world and in a deeper ethical, religious and philosophical way – I am so tired of the shallowness all around. I say that with all the love in my heart. But I definitely want more than just a pay check for my children.
Time is flying…and I’ll have a college graduate in May and a newly confirmed 13 yr old. Come Holy Spirit, Come!! And I hope to get to planning VBS for the parish soon also. It seems I’m saturated with domestic life and education all around me, be that religious or academic including special ed. It’s become my defining moment for the last 22 years…..I suppose God has me exactly where He wants and needs me most. He has this one.
On this, the second Thursday of Lent, I have many scattered thoughts and things going on that make life busy. Add in being sick …a trip to the doctor and an antibiotic…and well, it’s a tiring thoughtful Thursday :)
Still, I just told my son Michael that God plans for me to be sick every now and then just so I will “slow down” and relax by force! This seems to be true and I am very much on the go very regularly.
So, today we miss our home school co-op, which I feel badly about as both the boys really enjoy their time there – Michael with the older kids learning “real” volleyball under the direction of a former volley ball coach who donates her time with them; and Mark in his winter organized fun class, where JINGO, a phonics bingo game, seems to be the most fun ever!
Today, I chill. I get over not feeling so well, and keep a close eye on Mark to see if he is improving at this point, or worsening. This illness brought a prolonged fever situation - a fever that seems to last for days with a croupy kind of cough. So, we will do some “gentle” school today, and as my energy allows, I’ll clean house, laundry, do dinner and in general, be the happily domestic person at home that I am.
While I’m being that person, and we are underway in Lent, I have given much thought to “boundaries” that people cross, “hurt feelings” that people inflict on others, and “criticisms”, or even “sharp opinions” that people seem to not be able to bite their tongues over. This Lent, I feel very compelled to fast from exactly those things: criticisms, overstepping boundaries, sharp opinions -- in a word: blurting out.
Lovely stained glass window image, courtesy of Stained Glass Inc.
While my son Mark and I have been working in his social skills curriculum, “tact” and “blurting” have been part of his lessons. Oh, how we can ALL use better instruction in those areas. I was so pleased and yet so disappointed when we did these lessons. Pleased because it is so appropriate to address these areas – our society is anything but respectful this way….and disappointed to realize how disrespectful society in general has become. I have few friends who are truly Christian women who use respect in regard to boundaries, tactfulness and criticisms.
It’s interesting in this lesson plan that “tact” is described as: “saying what you want to say, but in a way that will not hurt another’s feelings” and several examples are given. They work. But we must “think” first before talking.
We have lost the art of that.
So also on this Thoughtful Thursday, I pray in earnest for the light of tact, and fasting from those things such as: not thinking when speaking, blurting out, criticizing and sharp opinions, crossing boundaries, hurting other’s feelings, and generally breaking down, not building up.
May the peace of God be with you+
It’s hard to believe that discriminating against those with an autism diagnosis, who need basic therapies like speech-language and more extensive work like ABA therapies, is even an issue across the United States. There are some states where once the diagnosis of Autism is made, therapies for treatment are no longer covered. I am shocked to discover this, and hope you will consider signing the bill to reverse this.
Please take time to watch this video and read the story: The Autism Gap report; insurances that don’t cover therapies for autism diagnosis.
Consider these facts:
-Autism affects 1 in 88 kids. 1 in 54 are boys.
-More kids diagnosed with Autism than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
-32 States have Autism included in insurance coverage.
-Average claims indicates an avg. premium impact of 32 centers per member per month.
-Cost of caring for someone with autism over their lifetime is $3.2M.
Is this the greatest thing or what?! THE PHILOSOPHER as St. Thomas would call him, pertaining to raising children. I can really love that as I adore the time tested wisdom of Aristotle and now you can too, in this excellent book: If Aristotle’s Kid had an Ipod, by Conor Gallagher, published by St. Benedict’s Press/Tan Publishers, 2012.
I discovered this book through a friend as we “synced” our NOOK Color devices and she could Lend me the book from her eReader library. Pretty cool for these moms :)
It is a simply wonderful, easy to read and thoroughly informative book – not meant as a parenting guide, but meant to draw upon the wise philosophies of Aristotle and get into focus a few areas that apply so nicely to parenting, even in the modern day. To say Aristotle is timeless….well, such an understatement. Remarkably timeless. Rich in vision and such common sense.
Without a lot of spoilers…because you must read this book for yourself, one area I greatly enjoyed was on technology. Conor Gallagher is a modern day dad of 8 children, and knows the score when it comes to electronics these days. I love how he describes Twitter, Facebook and other social media, as well as Texting, Ipods, etc. We are not unplugging (our children certainly aren’t) enough, unless we make an absolute effort for them to do so. Those items to not really supply relational communication that is meaningful and can built friendship…true friendship being the lasting one as defined by the 3 levels of friendship Aristotle describes.
And…let’s speak of friendship. Very scary stuff!…when statistics show that “true friendships” outside of kin have dropped dramatically in the last six years to a mere 57% as compared to 80-90% in decades before that. Communication has changed, and in regard to human relationships, not for the better. There is still nothing better than sitting down and talking face to face with a friend, in a group of friends, and taking time to do so as “friend time” is now becoming extinct….and it is sacred and being tread upon.
A teaser not a spoiler….you may not like everything the author shares, as he turns some so called parenting techniques on their heads. I for one really appreciated that because “strong willed” in Aristotle’s definition is not referring to the same kind of “strong willed” that Dr. Dobson describes in modern day. In fact, Aristotle’s strong willed (against the bad and toward the good) is completely opposite.
And one more thing….yes your children need love (“all you need is love…”, right?…wrong), that’s not all they need. They need so much more, and deserve so much more, and the author nicely unpacks all they need to be given.
A great thought: this would be an excellent book to read together with other parents and then group together to discuss. I highly suggest it. I would love to do this with our few home school moms at our parish; I think we could really benefit from it. Even if you don’t have a group per se, but just one friend you could do this with – go for it. And may the wisdom of Aristotle be with you.
Recently we’ve added in a little extra curriculum for our son with autism during his daily regular home school. He has come a long ways with language skills and occupational skills, although his core strength is still not quite there, but we have needed to do more for him in the way of odds and ends kind of detail work….social skill areas….that vary. So we have introduced into his every day work the Model Me Tips & Tricks DVDs, with accompanying workbook. “Tips & Tricks,” I think, is a misleading title…as these are thorough and important small lessons that many can use, and many could use a refresher! The segment called “Tact” is one such area. As defined in the DVD as: “Tact, is when you say what you want to say, but in a way that won’t hurt others feelings.” How true. And how lacking it is in our current society, yet monumental to hear it described and shown in this DVD
The segments include:
Grooming & Hygiene
Asking for Help
Sense of Humor
All these areas have excellent examples given, acted out and explained. Many children “on the spectrum” are confused or lacking in many of these areas. Sense of Humor, is one that took a while for our son to get a handle on, and while he “gets it” with some people, he doesn’t get it with others. It may have to do with nuances…dry senses of humor, vs. explosive obvious humor. Those with Asperger’s Syndrome/high functioning autism often lack “theory of mind”…..the ability to detect nuances and know-how by intuitive deduction that we all take for granted. They tend to also have a difficult time with reading body language. All these things have to “be taught” and introduced to them visually and verbally and role-played for them to tune into it.
This curriculum definitely has my thumbs up. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to work with their child up through teenager in the home to further them in troublesome areas and help them develop respectful boundaries with others and be able to put their best self forward. Many spectrum children have a difficult time making and keeping friends, so equipping them to do so as best as possible is a wise move.
Don’t you just love how that title rolls off your tongue?? Okay, even though I am Catholic, raising my children in this faith and using a highly-infused and integrated Catholic home study curriculum, I still can get just as excited about doing a classical curriculum as a non-Catholic…So I share what I have come across through the years as I’ve asked myself the question….What if I were Protestant and wanted to give my children a similar education but within the beliefs of my particular Christian faith? What would I use? How would I do it?
It certainly can be done; it is being done all over the country. In fact, it was likely done before Catholics caught on to home schooling their faith and academics in a home environment. Protestants paved the way and all should be very grateful for the foundation they laid and laws that were fought in this country by good Christian people, and in fact secular people as well – freedom fighters, so to speak – to make home schooling legal and doable in this country. The FREEDOM to CHOOSE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM is one of the primary freedoms home schoolers fought for.
So, the first place I would look to for an awesome classical curriculum would be The Well Trained Mind (Wise-Bauer). The book does outline grade by grade recommendations and all you need to know to successfully manage a GREAT home study regimen for your family. There are various curriculum choices per grade, so I recommend getting the book and reading it thoroughly. Then, once you have organized what you’d like to do at home with your child (say your autistic one in this case, as this is mostly my focus), you can nicely incorporate other therapeutic helps as I’ve outlined in my last post. (Part II post). Now granted, not all WTM recommendations are as therapeutic as I see Modg recommendations being, just by their very nature…but I think you can adjust as needed.
Following a home school course of study for your autistic child such as that outlined in The Well Trained Mind, will be of your own design as there is not an accompanying school to help you oversee it and keep a transcript for you, like that of the Catholic counterpart, Mother of Divine Grace. (The book, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum is the book from which Mother of Divine Grace formed). The book DYOCC^ is similar to The Well Trained Mind, only one is more directed toward Catholic education, and the other, for various Christian denominations Keep in mind you can keep your own transcripts, if you can not find a protestant alternative to enroll with to do so; transcript keeping by home schools is now being widely accepted and expected.
If you find you don’t like to piece together your own curriculum from recommendations given, you could also utilize a provider, straight across the board, like Abeka Books. You can find all the items needed to have a boxed curriculum delivered to your door, and again, maintain your own transcript, and add in a nice regimen of therapy throughout the week, using those kinds of suggestions I utilize, as described in Part II.
GETTING EXCITED ABOUT HELPING YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD AT HOME
You can get excited about helping your special needs child learn at home in a specialized environment. One on one tutorship is one of the most effective forms of education – what child doesn’t benefit from the one on one assistance of a tutor? With mom or dad as that special tutor, and with special insight into their own child, the sky’s the limit. And now there are SO many home resources to help with both academics and special needs challenges.
Keep in mind if you are bringing your child home from a school situation for the first time, the first year will be an adjustment period for your whole home. Be patient about it, pray about it. Pray with your family and with your special child. God’s graces will give you strength and wisdom. Trust yourself. It’s a beautiful and purposeful endeavor to work with your spectrum child or any special needs child in a warm and nurturing home environment. Take time to really tune-in and know your child and your instincts will tell you what is best to do with and for him/her.
May God bless you with all you need! +
I’m jumping ahead to what our yearly curriculum with my son with autism looks like. Please keep in my mind my son is verbal (he was a very late talker though, age 4) and he is considered gifted in reading/vocabulary. From Part 1, I expressed how we use Mother of Divine Grace, so I will outline that curriculum here and how we’ve integrated a well rounded program with respect to his special needs:
Third Grade Modg courses:
Religion: Baltimore Catechism No. 1 and Knecht Bible stories: The Knecht Bible story retellings are somewhat elevated language for a young student, but nicely done in small featured salvation history bible stories, so the language is not wasted as they learn important scriptures as well. Further, the way Modg uses it, it incorporates retelling, copy work and illustrating on behalf of the user.
Abeka Math 3 – it is a challenging book and a leap from 2nd grade math, and my son is moving through it much slower than in 2nd grade, but with patience, he’s doing really well with it. I like it because it introduces variety like algebraic equations, but continues with the basics and lots of practice.
Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl: Language arts: We use a work book format of this same reproduction and love it. It’s perfect for a special needs child because it removes the frustration of writing in a separate notebook, and has all the “right” therapeutic communication and language practices in it to make it well worth it’s weight in “no co-pay” for speech therapy right now. Not just writing and learning grammar…oral lessons in observation and conversation are important features in this book, and in fact invaluable to us with a child’s communication glitch.
Writing Road to Reading: the book everyone loves to hate :) With Modg it is only used at this grade level for spelling and furthering phonics reinforcement. It works! And it’s not difficult to use although some try to make it so. IF YOUR CHILD has trouble using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons…I suggest you switch to teaching them to read with the WRTR method instead. Chances are they are having trouble decoding, and need the small rudimentary breakdown WRTR provides to move them to understanding decoding.
Our American Heritage: an Abeka history publication, nicely done biographies. For students who need more saturation of work to accompany it, there is a Map Skills book and the teacher resources, tests, and key to go along with the program. A nice introduction to early history with this book.
Exploring God’s World (Abeka Science). A nicely done book with enough important information and support materials with a Christian view.
English from the Roots Up: Greek & Latin root cards: for beginning Latin, and vocabulary building
Music, Let’s Learn Music, Hayes; and listening to classical masterpieces
Okay, in addition to those things listed above, we add in art play with play-doh, so lots of occupational therapy opportunities. We do water coloring painting also. There is plenty of drawing already built-into the program with bible stories and Primary Language Lessons.
I also use Model Me Kids DVDs, with follow-up with practice opportunities. Right now we are working through the Model Me Kids Tips & Tricks that helps with social skills, along with the actual workbook that goes with it. My son needs help in these areas on a regular basis at every level and likely for many years. It makes sense to work with at home right along his school work on these areas so he gets them more often.
We also make it a point to attend “classes” to provide some kind of outside structure with a rhythm to it that my autistic child needs to learn to participate and not get thrown off by being assimilated into a situation. So, we go to a weekly home school co-op, as well as attend the religious education classes at our church on the weekends. I find these situations VERY important to helping instruct my child in the proper way to conduct’s oneself in a group setting, with a focal point: a teacher. Children with special needs often do not zero in on what’s going on..in fact, they seem to “not be there” in the class. They could easily be accused of not paying attention, acting up and misbehaving when really, they simply need help “processing” and need to actually learn how you go about that.
BRAIN BUTTONS – GETTING READY FOR TASKS
Another thing I like to address before we “do school” is getting ready for processing by stimulating our brain gym…or brain buttons. We learned this in our therapy sessions, and it’s something widely used and available …so you don’t have to go to therapy to teach your child to turn on their brain buttons! Follow this link for more details: Brain Gym/Buttons
SENSORY HELPS ARE AVAILABLE ON LINE FOR FAMILIES TO PURCHASE
So you go to a therapy facility and you wonder where YOU can obtain that great large sensory ball your child likes to sit and bounce on…or that weighted vest….You can purchase your own sensory items for use in your home and what a great asset these items are for your special child as you attempt to “do school” with them daily. We use a large sensory ball EVERY DAY…my son would not be without it. We use a therapy brush for the skin also. Many children with processing and comprehension difficulties can benefit from sensory helps. All these kinds of items can be purchased – you do not have to be a “facility” to do so. One such provider is: Sensory Goods
While my children get outside most days, at least one day a week we attempt to walk out to the park for instructional purposes, and get outside for proper outdoor refreshment and learn appropriate outdoor behaviors. When children, especially those on the spectrum, aren’t given the right situations to practice their social skills and behaviors, they don’t progress, so getting out and practicing is something we strive toward. It takes a lot of repetition. No matter how tired, or how many kids need to be dragged along….it’s important to focus on the child who needs the work. We only have this chance once….It’s hard work for sure, but who else is going to do it? And are they going to do it when it’s getting too late in that child’s life??
It is VERY easy and doable to incorporate a mixture of appropriate therapy, therapy items to help manage them in the home study environment better, and academics into a spectrum child’s life.
While I have four children in all, I have two sons with varying degrees of needs,ages 13 and 9, and I am addressing those that may be higher functioning, but with sensory or processing difficulties that make life challenging.
Please feel free to email me with questions or left comments. I’m glad to share with you and answer questions.
Part III, to follow: you prefer a non-Catholic curriculum, a protestant view, or secular
What does home schooling your autism diagnosed son or daughter look like when being applied in the home?
While there are many variations in home settings, as many as those on the spectrum, most share in common the desire of the parents to keep the child home in a safe and nurturing environment, work with academics and tap into as many home therapies and resources as possible.
We have always home schooled with a strong Catholic classical education being integrated daily in the home. This means, following a specific home school program, praying together, learning about our Catholic faith together 5 days a week within our actual schooling, as well as attending our parish for liturgies and other activities. I will say with confidence that a good Catholic home schooling program in the home can and will develop a college ready student.
The program we use is easily tweaked and adaptable to many needs of students, thank God for that. I wouldn’t change a thing about it (except maybe the tuition part :) HA!…but it’s worth every penny of it. The program already is the most therapeutic – built into the actual courses, particularly in the younger grades where comprehension, observation, listening skills, retelling abilities…and critical thinking, sequencing, etc. are so foundational to further academics. All these areas are the same areas speech-language therapists work with in a clinical setting with many of those showing communication-language disorders. It’s ALL there already. Of course, I do highly recommend you have your child evaluated/screened thoroughly first, for a good diagnosis so you know exactly what you are dealing with. And if speech language or other therapies are needed, do get those services for your child. What we do in the home is in conjunction, and on occasion in place of outside therapies…BUT we have had and tapped into outside therapies; it’s just that sometimes you reach a place where you can do some of these on-going helps in the home daily.
KEY OBSERVATIONS and TROUBLE AREAS
Things I have discovered along the way that are key:
Reading. Seriously, if you EVEN THINK your child is having trouble picking up on reading, decoding, getting it all together……put everything else on hold and investigate further. Do not put it off! Each year they are not reading is a hindrance and is crucial to remedy and resolve to further education.
Children need to be reading at average age levels (like by 2nd grade following most standards)….and developing their reading capacities and comprehension abilities. For special needs children, or those simply challenged who have not been diagnosed, this means reading may be formed into a method of therapy.
Example: while my son with autism could read very early at a very high level, he didn’t necessarily understand what he was reading. My simple at home method consisted of: having him read a sentence in a story book that was mid-way ability to his reading level and then covering up the sentence with my hand and asking him what the sentence was telling us (in our case, at the end of 1st grade he was mid-way in a fourth grade reader). This method worked, slowly and patiently, until I could have him read several sentences, cover them up and have him retell. Eventually we worked up to a whole paragraph and so forth….Until, the first full book with chapters he read was Stuart Little (he was 8 yrs old), and each night he would read before bed, one chapter and voluntarily come into my bedroom and tell me the whole chapter’s events. THAT WAS PROGRESS!!! And how joyful to see his excitement over really understanding the story….where before, it was just excitement over rattled-off words.
Reading to your children is important, so they can hear language in books, but helping your child with early learning resources to help them recognize letters and sounds is important ground work. Playing games with them, letting them watch educational TV and DVDs are all helpful for building a learning environment around them. I used Leap Frog videos that sang the phonics and Leap Pad with educational alphabet and number games. Of course our “Leap Pad” is completely outdated, I can not even show you on a link what it was. They have all been updated technology wise. The point is: they were a great educational alternative. I also did not allow just casual watching of the TV ever. If the program was educational and at an appropriate time, they could view it. Otherwise, I did not have the TV on occupying their minds or filling them with twaddle. But we did have many fun video filled with educational materials, as well as baskets of books, books, books, blocks, puzzles and other hands-on materials for learning opportunities.
~ Part II to follow…..
I believe in St. Michael wholeheartedly….why?..because I believe in Angels. Our scriptures are filled with angel references and I believe God created them as he created us.
Each Tuesday of this new year I have been praying this very special prayer for some very special intentions. It is a bit of a ritual, but then God’s word to us is filled with ritual and trust in Him. This prayer brings me great peace and believe in the power of prayer very much. I hope you will too, so be ready to light your candle each Tuesday. I am passing this prayer on here as I do not leave it in our church, rather I pray at home with my novena candle lit. God’s graces be with you+
St. Michael, I resort to your protection and, in my faith, offer this light which shall burn every Tuesday.
Comfort me in my difficulties and though lodging in the house of our savior, intercede for me and my family that we will be able to hold God close to our hearts and be provided for in all of our necessities.
I beseech you to have infinite pity in regard to the favours I ask of you (name them), that I may be able to overcome all difficulties as you did the dragon at your feet.
SAY THREE (3) HAIL MARYS:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb – Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
SAY THREE (3) OUR FATHERS:
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
SAY THREE (3) GLORY BES:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, World without End. Amen.
This prayer is to be said for nine (9) Tuesdays in succession, and each Tuesday a candle shall be lighted and a copy of this prayer left in the church to help another soul in distress and support the devotion to St. Michael.
This miraculous Saint grants everything, no matter how difficult, and before the termination of the nine (9) weeks of Wednesdays.
~ ~ ~
For more on St. Michael visit: St. Michael Society
After a not so great weekend, I’m glad to awaken to no more headache and drink a wonderful cup of Caruso’s houseblend coffee, my favorite brew these days. Relief from the pain. Relief from the terrible fatigue. Relief from the stresses I felt yesterday. I think I’ve been fighting off the flu or a virus of some kind for the last week. I’m hoping my youngest sons are okay this morning because both did not feel so well yesterday, and we departed for home immediately following our PSR sessions. I’m letting them continue to sleep.
We have a busy home school week ahead, and that’s all we have…school, school, school, and the usual household chores. I hope to get some more cleaning done around here.
It’s ordinary time and life here until Lent hits in just 9 days. Lent always seems to make me nervous anymore….I guess because I attempt to cram in so much in anticipation of my class’s First Reconciliation, Easter, Confirmation, First Communion events this year. It’s like I can’t just kick into penance mode and reap the benefits of it internally like I did many years ago. Still, my job is burdensome enough at the parish that it is a living sacrifice with many discomforts and I offer it up continually.
This Lent my husband will be hosting the Catholicism Project sessions, each Tuesday evening as we kick off this wonderful Fr. Barron program for the parishes. That will undertake many weeks ahead, and he has been diligently preparing for the presentations and discussions over a month or more now.
Winter has surely arrived here in my part of the country as well….the deep freeze right now. Makes it painful to get around, but grateful this year that I don’t have as many appointments to make it to with the youngest boys for a change. I’ll take staying home and schooling over traveling out there any day!
Must get moving here, God bless your day!+
Most Saturdays, for the last 20 years have included my preparation for my parish school of religion classes. In the last 6 years I have been given the additional role of coordinator of our parish religion program from K through high school. Never say never!….I had declined many times from that role In the past until God made it blatantly clear, it was I he was calling to serve. And so, I stopped running, stood in my tracks and said YES.
Here I am Lord!….six years later, after having taught the 2nd grade sacrament class for nearly 14 years, adding in and continuing to do so, with a dual role of teacher and coordinator.
This position brings great joy and great distress. I find wonderful curriculum and useless twaddle. One such wonderful find was when I was given the “go ahead” to choose a new Confirmation curriculum. I was glad to do so as the last program was strange and useless, and confusing in many ways.
Happily I found the Ligouri Confirmation for Teens program, and it works nicely for grades 7th up through high school if needed. We give the students their own folder of the lessons, the private journal activity book and the sponsor journal, amid other important information.
I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to be a Confirmation sponsor this year by my son’s friend. What a wonderful and special joy for me as I’m rarely asked to do anything like that because most look at me like I am too busy in my position, organizing the event, or having my own family in the prep, to be involved further. However, busy I am ….I still can participate in a special sacrament more fully. I am grateful to be a sponsor to a special candidate this year.
Along with being a sponsor I receive from my candidate the Sponsor’s Journal, as seen here:
I love this introspective booklet for journaling thoughts…recalling your own faith journey and confirmation. How wonderful it’s been to log into it and ponder how God has called me along the path of His Will all these years. My candidate and I have met once already to talk about his confirmation, and will meet a few more times; I will take note of it in my journal. His confirmation name is to be St. Anthony (of Padua), and it’s so interesting that this happens to be the feast day (birthday) of my son, his friend also. God is all-connecting, isn’t He?
And how mysterious God works, as another friend who had left the fold of our particular parish many years ago and has faithfully attended elsewhere, has now returned with her family, and her son is also in the Confirmation prep classes preparing for his day as well. I feel like we have all come home together for a big celebration in Christ in April. What a wonderful way to make it through the winter, anticipating such joy and graces ahead.
In the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop prays, extending his hands over the confirmandi, "All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen." Then, the bishop confirms each candidate, making the sign of the cross with holy chrism on his forehead, and saying, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."