Back to school - Catholic Courier

Back to school

We have reached the middle of August. As all parents know, this means that it is almost time for back to school. Mid-August marks the end of the freedom of summer and the beginning of settling into fall routines. Camp is over and summer reading is due soon.

There is a lot to do to prepare for school. We have to prepare our children physically. The back-to-school shopping list is long. We can plan for healthy lunches and snacks for the day the school year begins. We have to prepare our children intellectually by ensuring that they are in a learning mode. If their minds have not been challenged this summer, now is the time to encourage them to start thinking. We have to prepare our children emotionally. This may be a perfect time to help them grow up a little by taking on new responsibilities, giving them new privileges and encouraging communication on a deeper level.

As Catholic parents, the beginning of the school year also offers us an opportunity to prepare our children spiritually. This is a time to talk about where they are in their prayer lives. Is their relationship with God deepening and expanding as they grow? Is there something we can do to encourage them? This is a good opportunity to examine the tools we have given them and make sure they are still appropriate for their current spiritual development. Is each child’s Bible written at his or her current reading level? Is anyone ready for a new or more grown-up rosary? Do we make stories or books about saints available to them?

At this back-to-school time, open communication is important. This is a chance to see where our children are in their understanding of what happens during Mass. We can listen for clues about how our children are viewing God and how close they feel to God’s divine love.

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