A Catholic education begins at home. That said, as a parent, your role as teacher shouldn’t stop when your child begins school. In fact, the older your child gets, the more she or he will look to you for guidance on how to live a virtuous life. On the other hand, the older your child gets, the more challenging it may be to entice her or him into participating in faith-based educational activities.
So if you are looking for new ways to engage your child in religious learning at home — as well as ways to have quality family time — keep reading!
Did you know that research has proven that faith-based games are an effective learning tool? Here’s why:
Motivation and Achievement: When you are playing a game, you are motivated to do your best in order to succeed. After all, who doesn’t like to win? Consequently, you begin to associate your success with the work you did to achieve it, and soon you start to apply the connection of working hard and succeeding to other goals in your life. We’d say that discovering this connection is a good lesson for everybody.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: The whole purpose of playing a game or completing an activity is to rise to the challenge and meet a goal; in other words, solve a problem. While you are playing, you are also getting constant feedback — you know immediately if what you are doing is working, and if it’s not, you change it. This constant evaluation is the definition of critical thinking and problem solving.
Collaboration: Many games and activities require teamwork. And even those that are “every person for themselves” call for a collective understanding of the rules and procedures. Understanding convention and being able to follow instructions are essential traits for success in both the academic and real world.
Learning by Doing: Remember all those obscure vocabulary words you memorized week after week in Language Arts class? If we quizzed you on them today, how would you do? Chances are you wouldn’t score very high because you haven’t used those words since. We learn best when we have a hands-on approach. There is truth in the old Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
A quick online search for “Catholic games and activities” will bring up a wealth of websites with fun, engaging ideas. For an extensive directory of game sites, check out The Official Catholic Directory.
Sites such as My Catholic Source offer all types of activities from puzzles, card games, music, and crafts.
The Catholic Company offers faith-based versions of some of your favorite games, including Outburst, Apples to Apples, Taboo, and Scrabble.
As part of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Superbook’s online Bible-based interactive game for elementary school age children is great for those kids glued to their gaming consoles.
And don’t forget Pinterest, where you’ll find creating and engaging lessons for everyone and everything!
Learning is fun! But your secret is safe with us; if you don’t tell your child that these games and activities are actually educational, we certainly won’t.
For even more resources on religious learning at home, reach out to us. The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford understand the impact you, as parents, have on your child’s learning, and together we will ensure a consistent, superior education.
Last but not least, remember that on top of all the educational value these types of activities provide, good, clean family fun comes with it. In fact, you may find yourself enjoying it as much as your child is!
Let the games begin!