3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Children’s CCD Experience

Time to Sign the Kids up for CCD Classes!
Year after year, it amazes me how so many parents are so tuned into their kids’ sporting activities.  They know the coaches, transport their kids to and from endless practices, bring in snacks, have end-of-the-season parties, offer to help, pay huge costs for equipment and supplies, flip burgers at concession stands, cheer at the games, arrange for trophies for all, look away when coaches berate their children, pitch in for gifts for the coaches, etc….
 
Yet, when it comes to CCD ...
Teachers often go entire years with most parents having no idea who they are!  I think it would be really neat if more parents got even a slice more involved with their kids’ CCD programs.  It would send a tremendously powerful message to their children.  And, research repeatedly shows that children raised in religious homes tend to do much better in life.  Plus, isn't glorifying God more important than glorifying sports?
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3 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Children’s CCD Experience
 
1) Introduce yourself within the first week or two of CCD and thank each teacher for giving of their personal time for your child(ren).  Make sure your children's CCD teachers have your phone/text/e-mail contacts and invite them to contact you if needed. 
2) Be Punctual.  Kids who are late for CCD are a big distraction.  The lesson essentially stops and the teacher has to back up and regain attention – time and instruction are lost for all.  Picking your kids up on time is very important too.  Expecting the teacher/DRE to stay longer to supervise your child is impolite and unreasonable.  And, unsupervised children can create big problems. 
3) Show interest in what your children are learning.  When you pick your children up from their CCD classes, or at the dinner table that night, ask them to tell you three things about their CCD lesson that day.  If possible, encourage discussion through their responses.
 
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4 Ways to Help Out Your CCD Program in a Low-Commitment Manner
If you feel like maybe you should support your CCD program a bit more, but feel wary about taking on a class yourself, consider these less demanding ideas:
 
1) Offer to send in snacks, if permitted by the program.
2) Offer to be a substitute teacher for your children’s CCD teachers.  They do occasionally get sick or need to be somewhere else and it is a big relief to them to know that someone can take over.  For you, it’s just a class now and then … not the whole year.  Ask the teacher to leave a plan for you if you’d like.
3) Offer to be a “First-15-Minutes” or “Last-15-Minutes” Teacher for one of your children’s CCD teachers.  Offer to start off or round off just the first or last 15 minutes of each class with a Bible Trivia Game, religious story-time, or a relevant craft. 
4) Offer your DRE to be a Rotating Teacher … for example, if you know of a religious craft, you could teach it to the 1st graders one week, the 2nd graders the next week, then the 3rd graders, etc.  Storytelling/reading, or conducting Catholic/Bible games are other good revolving CCD activities.  This gives the regular CCD teachers a break once in a while (but they should stay in the room, especially for classroom management and behavior issues) and the kids enjoy having someone new to see and learn from.
 
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Remember Who Your Children's Main CCD Teacher Is
The Church wisely declares that PARENTS are their children’s primary Religious Education Teachers.  CCD classes should really be enrichment to what you have already taught your children either formally or infomrally through incidental experiences in family life. 

“The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.”  (CCC-2221). 

If you leave this responsibility up to the CCD or Catholic School teachers alone, the influence on your child(ren) will be FAR LESS impactive.
 
 

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