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How to Have a “Couch Catechism” Family Devotion Time

Photo: Juhan Sonin via Flickr CC by 2.0

 

Every morning after breakfast, all the kids gather on the couch to pray and learn about our faith. We call it “Couch Catechism.” Here’s how we do it.

 

by Tracy Bua Smith

 

(This post originally appeared in A Slice of Smith Life and contains affiliate links.)

 

As I approach our 13th year of homeschooling, I continue to ponder this question: “What are routines in our homeschool day that seem to be working that we should continue this year and in the future?”

“Couch Catechism” family devotion time has been one of these routines that has been a consistent blessing for a few years now and something I look forward to each morning with my children before we start our day.

Couch Catechism is a phrase I coined because we all sit on our couches in the family room to learn about our faith. The beauty of Couch Catechism is that it doesn’t matter which educational path your children are on or what time of day you are able to sit and do this with your family. There is also plenty of room to adjust and adapt this time according to your family’s schedule and needs. The possibilities are endless.

I thought I would share what’s been working for us in hopes of giving you ideas that may work for your family.

These special times with my children begin on our family room couch after breakfast. For about 10-15 minutes, we do the following together:

  • Each person has a turn to offer up daily prayer intentions for family and friends.
  • We recite the Morning Offering together.
  • I read the daily devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young that I actually won on a fellow blogger’s blog. (Note: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is not a Catholic resource, but my kids seem to enjoy it and we discuss Catholic teaching where it lends itself. For example, if the daily devotion is about how Jesus forgives us, I will tie in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and how and why God has given us this beautiful sacrament.)  Each devotion is written as if Jesus was speaking to us and I’m always amazed that each devotion speaks to my own heart and what I need to hear. I hope my children can say the same.
  • At the end of each devotion in Jesus Calling there are about two Scripture verses that goes along with what Jesus is calling us to do for that day. I pick one of the verses and my children take turns looking in the Bible for the verse and reading it out loud to their siblings and me.
  • Next, I read the saint for the day from Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. 1 (Jan.-June) or Vol. 2 (July-Dec.). I can’t say enough about these books! They are my favorite books to learn about the saints because the stories are short and can be easily understood by children. My children love when I ask them if they think the saint is a boy or girl after I read the saint’s name for the day. Some of them are obviously boy/girl names, while others are a bit tricky to figure out. I also throw in a little math if there is a birth date and death date given for the Saint. After I read about the saint’s life, I ask my children to calculate how old the saint was when he/she died. They use mental math to get the answer. We are all amazed by how young and old some saints were when they left their earthly home!
  • Finally, I read a card from the Friendly Defenders Catholic Flash Cards, Set One or Set Two.  The front side has a picture of a child asking a particular question about the Catholic faith while the backside of each card has another child answering the question with an explanation and Scripture verse. These cards have been a great springboard for many faith discussions that I have had with my children which are moments I savor with my children!

So that is a brief summary of our Couch Catechism Family Devotion Time that we do each morning to start our day.

If you have daily devotions with your family, what resources/prayers do you use? Please comment below as I would love to hear what you are doing and get new ideas!

 

 

Tracy Bua Smith has five kids and writes at A Slice of Smith Life.

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Tracy loves her faith, family and on most days, homeschooling her 5 blessings. When she's not busy living liturgically, baking cakes for her family, making memories in real life or dreaming she had a housekeeper or professional chef, she enjoys documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

6 Responses

  1. Cemckain@twinvalley.net'
    Erin Mckain
    | Reply

    Catholic company has a morning devotional via email with bible verse, quote ,saint,v section from a catholic book and morning offering with what the pope wants us to pray for that month. I also try to read from a kids catechism.

    • atsmith@ec.rr.com'
      Tracy Bua Smith
      | Reply

      Hi Erin! Thanks for reading my post and your comment! Thanks also for sharing another great resource that I need to look into. God bless!

  2. robertalschneider@gmail.com'

    Hi Tracy, I just discovered you through the Catholic bloggers group. I love this idea!
    My favorite way to start the day is prayer time on our drive to school. Honestly I will miss that special time when my daughter moves to high school and rides the bus!

    • atsmith@ec.rr.com'
      Tracy Bua Smith
      | Reply

      Robbie, great idea! That is a special time to savor! Thanks for reading and your comment!

  3. andrea.nl.zimmerman@gmail.com'
    Drea
    | Reply

    I ran into this post through Catholic Garage on FB. I love this idea! I begin homeschooling this year, and I’ll be integrating some of your ideas. Thanks again!

  4. atsmith@ec.rr.com'
    Tracy Bua Smith
    | Reply

    Thanks Drea for your visit and comment! Have a blessed new homeschooling year and welcome to the vast homeschool world!

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