Saturday, October 15, 2016

Recap from our 10/9/16 CGS session

Hi everyone,

Wow--I just realized that I did not post an update to the blog on Sunday.  Wish I could say it was because my family spent Sunday afternoon at a pumpkin farm, weaving our way through a corn maze, or doing something else as a family.  No, my husband was home from his field assignment for the weekend, so we spent the afternoon working on taxes.  (Yes, we are way behind on submitting this year's taxes, thanks to my surgery last spring.) 

We had a small group last week; not too surprising since it was a three-day weekend (and for some school districts, a four-day weekend).  I predicted that it might be a smaller group, which is why I designated it as "work day" on the presentation schedule.  Whenever you see "work day" on the schedule, it means that I generally do not give any new faith formation presentations to the children.  Instead, we give them a day to work with the various materials we have already showed them.  

This is important to do occasionally, because our individual work time never seems to be long enough for the children in the short time we have for our sessions.  So I try to offer "work days" every few weeks.  This is the true purpose of the CGS atrium--to give them time to build a personal, deep relationship with Christ by working with the materials in a quiet environment.

We did try a couple of new things. The children practiced learning how to carry the processional cross.  They also received their journals and learned how to place them in their folders in our work file.  (The rest of the children will get them this week.) We also began selecting children to help set up the prayer table, carry the processional cross and ring the bell.

We had a bit of time for individual work, and the catechists and I set out a variety of practical works for them to use.

I thought it would be fun to share this video of the children singing at the beginning of the session.  The singing was led by Ms. Kathy, our new catechist this year.  She is teaching them hand motions for
"The Butterfly Song," with help from Ms. Alyce and our junior helpers. 

The children learned how to do some of the various practical works that are available to them.  These are not "faith formation" works, but they are works that help the children develop small motor skills, and increase their concentration and ability to focus on work for longer periods of time.   They are integral to helping the children learn to focus during the faith formation work.  

Here are a few photos of the catechists and junior helpers demonstrating to the children on how to use the various practical works:

Ms. Alyce shows the children how to do pin-pushing (also called pin punching).  A very popular work with the children!

Junior helper Calista demonstrates how to do the cloth folding work. This is a precursor to "care of the environment" works, where they learn to take care of their atrium, the prayer cloths and the various materials we use.

Junior helper Maria shows the children how to weave with ribbons. .

Junior helper Mairi shows the children how to match lids to various sizes of containers.
They also learned how to use the light table for tracing.  (I just realized that I did not capture a photo of this!) We also had a few Biblical-themed puzzles with which they could work.

Here are a few photos of the children during individual work time:

This week, we will begin learning about the items on the altar that Father uses at Mass--specifically, the chalice, paten, altar table, altar cloth, candles and crucifix.  For last year's children, this week's lesson will be a review.  But we will extend that learning in the next two weeks, and the children will learn about more items on the altar/in front of the church, like the tabernacle, sanctuary light (and why it is always lit), the ambo/lectern, etc.  So many exciting things!

UPCOMING:  On October 30, we will be celebrating All Saints Day.  The children are invited to dress as a saint, or to bring a prop that represents a saint.  (For example,  shield to represent St. Joan of Arc, gold chocolate coins to represent St. Nicholas, a stuffed animal to represent St. Francis.)  They will have an opportunity to model their costume and/or show and tell us about their props.  This is optional, but the children really get a "kick" out of doing this.  So, please ask your child if s/he has a favorite saint, and then brainstorm some simple ways to dress up or a prop that you can bring.  If you do a search on the internet for "simple saints costumes" you will find many wonderful ideas.  Here are a couple of links to get you started:

See you tomorrow morning!


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