For Catholics who are using a classical approach in their homeschool (such as Classical Conversations,) I have created a catechesis supplement for memory work.
Memorization is not the heart of catechesis. The Christian faith is primarily a relationship, not a bundle of memorized facts. Faith formation takes place over time, gradually, in many different ways. My absolute favorite catechesis for young children (ages 3-9) is still the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic Montessori program.
Even if it isn’t the “meat and potatoes” of faith formation, however, memorization has it’s place. And just like the other memorization we try to do in every academic subject, if we break it down into small chunks and repeat often enough, in a relaxed and enjoyable manner, the memorization is not difficult for children. In fact, it is much more difficult for adults than for children who are used to doing it! (Speaking from experience here, ahem!)
Our memory work takes place over 24 weeks each school-year. We memorize history sentences, geographical locations, lists of pronouns and so on. I finally had time this summer to create a set of 24 “chunks” of catechism questions and answers intended for young children, roughly 2nd through 8th grade. The first year of trying to memorize this material would be the most challenging, but if the work was repeated in subsequent years, it should be very easy. I would encourage homeschooling parents to create their own set of memory work, but if you don’t have time, here’s mine!
[button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/catechesis_memory_work.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]24-Week Catechism Memory Program File[/button]
And here is a second file that prints quarter size sheets which can be cut apart, laminated, and put on a ring:
[button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/catechesis_small_size2.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]Catechesis Memory Work (smaller size)[/button]