1. Encourage parents to pray with and for their children
- give examples of how to set up prayer spaces at home classroom example here
- share resources on praying the Rosary (or other prayers) as a family send home booklets like this, or participate in this, or do a project like this, or resources like this.
- use traveling shrines- ex. Our Lady of Fatima, patron Saint of your parish, etc. Immaculate Conception Shrine example and St. Maximilian Kolbe Shrine example
2. Improve communication with parents
- try combinations of newsletters, notes, websites, and social media newsletter ideas here, website example here
- personal contact is always going to have the biggest impact!
3. Get resources in their hands
- offer parish book programs or find space for a parish library- movies, videos, etc.
- give activities for Liturgical seasons to each family
- send home traveling activity bags like this
- share great websites like this and this and this
- give info about what kids are learning at a specific time in a specific class
4. Involve parents especially in Sacramental prep
- go beyond the meetings and use the opportunities that you have to evangelize
- invite to retreats & classes- make the parents participants as well as the kids
- send home books, videos, etc. about the Sacrament like this or this
- target Sacrament families and specifically invite to parish programs
5. Challenge parents to grow in their faith
- advertise parish and regional programs, as well as local religious communities that minister to families
- offer a parent Bible Study or book group, especially during kids’ class time
- offer same/similar program/content to both kids and parents
- ask parents to come last 15 minutes of class and pray for their kids
- if not available, ask parents to stop and pray for their kids at a certain time of day
- invite parents to participate in the Sacraments- Masses, Confession times, etc.
6. Encourage fellowship
- host potlucks or parties just for the religious ed families
- introduce parents, especially those new in the program
- invite established parents to invest in parents new to the program
7. Let the kids be the teachers
- offer programs where the students sing, recite, act, etc. like this awesome program
- invite parents to participate in a special religious ed class to see what their kids have been learning
8. Help them be hands on
- when appropriate, invite the parents to volunteer somewhere in the program
- host family activity nights, such as making Advent Wreaths together this one was great for family togetherness
- offer opportunities for family service projects or give them some ideas like this
9. Celebrate Liturgical Seasons
- invite to parish services for Lent, Advent, etc.
- send home family friendly resources to help the parents and kids learn about and enter into season. Give the families ideas for living out the seasons and feast days like these for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, All Souls/Saints Days, patron Saint days...
- host special programs teaching about the Liturgical Season geared towards families like this or this or this
10. Center on the Eucharist
- encourage family attendance at weekly Mass and raise awareness of daily Mass
- involve the kids in special children’s Masses & advertise to the families
- don’t change the liturgy, invite the children to participate in it more fully
- offer Adoration times with parents during class time or a Holy Hour that is welcoming to children maybe offer a resource like this
Click here for the printable handout of the 10 Ways:
Click here for the powerpoint presentation: (fonts and layout will undoubtedly be messed up, fyi)
Click here for a pdf of the powerpoint presentation: