At every stage of our parenting journey God is calling us to be evangelizers and catechists to our children. It’s true our children belong to Him, but He’s entrusted the divine task of educating and loving them to us as the parents. It’s not a call that goes away, just a call that takes different forms depending on where we are in the journey.
Several weeks ago I shared easy ways to evangelize your toddler so today I wanted to offer a few ideas to help lead your grade school aged children to Christ.
The grade school years are so exciting – children enjoy a rapid growth in learning and becoming individuals that are more and more independent. This is a perfect age to create an atmosphere of faith at home where they feel they are a vital part of the family prayer life! Here are some ideas for you to use at home that are really easy to implement but can have a profound impact on your child.
5 Easy Ways to Lead Your Grade Schooler to Christ
1. Let her lead the family meal time prayer. Help her see that leading prayer can be as simple as beginning with the Sign of the Cross and the first few words of the prayer. She can lead every night or on the same night each week.
2. Give him a “holy” chore. Find jobs around the house he can take pride in that are focused on the faith. Here are some ideas:
- weekly dusting of statues and sacred images you have in your home
- handing out rosaries to the family when you pray together
- grabbing the holy water for nightly blessings
- blowing out the candle after evening prayer together if you light one
3. Listen to chant while cleaning or driving. Give yourself a break from the Frozen soundtrack and try putting Gregorian Chant on Spotify for background music to expose him to the rich diversity of liturgical music within the Church.
4. Create a simple prayer routine to follow. When she wakes up, encourage her to say good morning to Jesus and pray a short prayer so it becomes habit. (I say the following homemade prayer with my big kid each morning and he’s now memorized it: “Dear Lord, thank You for another day. Help us give You glory, in everything we think, do, and say. Amen.”)
5. Read Scripture and Saint stories before bed. Take advantage of an age that loves stories and learning. The following books are perfect for all grade school kids – they are easy to listen to and easy to read for older kids with great illustrations:
In the end, remember that any effort to evangelize can only come through genuine love and authenticity. This isn’t a time to demand, demean, or punish. Love your child as you know best and trust that God has given you the grace to serve your young one in this divine way!
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear how you share the faith with your grade schooler!