Archive for the ‘Catechism’ Category

Take Care To Instruct

“For you that are parents, or to whom the education of children is comitted, I beseech you mind the duty which lies on you. … For to what purpose do we desire them before we have them, rejoice in them when we have them, value them so highly, sympathize with them so tenderly, grieve for their death so excessively, if in the meantime no care be taken what shall become of them to eternity? … If you neglect to instruct them in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No, no, if you will not teach them to pray, he will teach them to curse, swear and lie. If ground be uncultivated, weeds will spring up.”

~ John Flavel

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Filed under Catechism, children, Christianity, Conviction, Encouragement, Homeschooling, Train Up a Child

Songs For Saplings

About a year or so ago a dear friend shared a CD with me.  She said that a friend of hers put these CDs together and thought that we would enjoy them.  The children LOVED it so we decided to purchase the rest of the catechism cds and have been enjoying them ever since.

The other day a very well known blogger posted about these very cds.  Challies posted about Songs for Saplings along with other music for children.  Challies wrote:

Songs for Saplings is James and Dana Dirksen from Porland, Oregon. They have recorded four albums, one of which follows an A,B,C format while the other three are questions and answers, much like a catechism. I suppose these albums will largely appeal to younger children. They are quiet and acoustic.

He is correct in his assessment of the cds. They are geared toward younger children. But they are beneficial for the entire family.  The catechism cds do appeal to older children more and more in the second and third cds.  There is a great variety in the style of music on each cd. You can even listen to excerpts on their website.

What I love about them is that the children (and us parents) learn the great truths presented in the Westminster Catechism which is derived directly from scripture. Each question and answer also contains the scripture that teaches the truth. This way your children are not only learning the doctrinal truth but the scriptures that proclaim that truth.

Songs for Saplings is a ministry of the Dirksen family and this is what they state on their website.

We create lively, fun songs that attempt to deliver the deepest of Biblical truth in a format that your children will love to listen to. We want them to understand who God is and what He has done, as well as what He wants your children to do and to be. We hope that you will benefit from these CDs and use them to help teach your children about our God and his great love for us.

With Christmas time approaching, what better gift could you give than the gift of music which teaches and proclaims the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ?!

I am pleased to announce that I can offer you a 20% discount off of your order when you buy CDs from their website. This includes the “12-pack bulk pack” which a lot of people order for gift-giving. This does however exclude the 24 and 48 CD bulk packs, which are already heavily discounted.

All you need to do is enter the following code as you go through the checkout: mamaarcher
It’s really simple.

Hopefully you will find this really helpful as you order CDs this Christmas!

As you seek to grow your little saplings……

into strong oaks of righteousness…

Songs for Saplings can be a musical and fun tool for you and your family to use and enjoy!

that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
(Isaiah 61:3b)

Visit SONGS FOR SAPLINGS and order your CDs today! Order some for your friends and family too! Don’t forget to enter the discount code for your 20% off!

Please leave a comment and let me know if you plan on making a purchase and what you think of their music and ministry!

Regardless of whether you order, please tweet, email, and share on Facebook so that others can take advantage of the discount offer!

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Filed under Catechism, children, Christianity, Christmas, Curriculum, Encouragement, Family, Great Gifts, Homeschooling, hope, Preschoolers, Train Up a Child, worship

Catechism Resources

I am interrupting the series which I am blogging to share this with you.  Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family left me a comment the other day about catechism resources.

I’ve been feeling led towards catechizing lately (I don’t come from a Christian background, so this is really totally foreign to our family.)

Do you use the Westminster Shorter? Any specific resources that you can recommend?

I decided it would be good to share the information with all of you.  Thank you Jennifer for asking!!  These are resources that I love and am so excited to be able to share them!

First, yes, we do use the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Second, here are a few resources that we use with our family! I am also listing a few others that are out there that we have not tried just in case you want to check them out!  I hope that these resources are helpful to you in training your children.

Big Truths for Little Kids

Training Hearts Teaching Minds

Vic Lockman’s Catechism in Cartoon form.

Songs for Saplings by Dana Dirksen

I know that Veritas Press also has a catechism songs collection and a song book but I have not heard them yet…they are on the order form for us to try out this school year.

We also have some of  THESE children’s catechism books…they were used along with their Sunday School curriculum a few years ago.

Covenant Home also has a catechism course which my hubby has used for youth group sessions.  It is designed for 5th grade and up.

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Filed under Catechism, children, Christianity, Family, Homeschooling, What to Read, worship

The Importance of Catechizing

Today’s focus is on catechizing.  I have met many who dislike the idea of using catechism to teach and train their children but it is a very effective way of teaching and training our children and even ourselves in the doctrines and truths of the Lord.  Catechism is not meant to be a substitute for the word of God by any means.  All catechism questions and answers are drawn from the scripture and point to the scriptures.  Anyone who uses them correctly would never seek to replace the word of God.  That being said let’s move on!

I will continue to reference the booklet Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children: In Dependency on the Spirit by Joel R. Beeke.

In his booklet, Beeke takes the time to explain exactly what catechizing is and how and where it is mentioned in the New Testament.  He then goes on to say the following:

Parental catechizing is almost a lost art today, to the great loss of families and churches.  John J. Murray writes, “We believe it is the discontinuance of this practice [of catechizing] that we can trace much of the doctrinal ignorance, confusion, and instability so characteristic of modern Christianity.”

Some have said that using a catechism is focusing too much on the teachings of men rather than Christ. I would like to challenge that! That is so far from the truth. Beeke puts it this way.

Their goals were to explain the fundamental teachings of the Bible, to help young people commit the Bible to memory, to make sermons and the sacraments more understandable, to prepare covenant children for confession of faith, to teach them how to defend their faith against error, and to help parents teach their own children.

Who would not want to use such a tool? Especially one that has shown itself effective over the centuries?  Of course, it is a lot of work.  Anything worth value usually is a lot of work.

Puritan evangelism, carried on by preaching, pastoral admonition, and catechizing, took time and skill.  The Puritans were not looking for quick and easy conversions;  they were committed to building up lifelong believers whose hearts, minds, wills, and affections were won to the service of Christ.

Beeke also references a man named Baxter who was installed at Kidderminster at Worcestershire.  He tells of how it was rare for families in his area to honor God in family worship but by the end of his ministry there were streets where every family did so.  Beeke goes on to say…

He could say that of the six hundred converts that were brought to faith under his preaching he could not name one that had backslidden to the ways of the world.  How vastly different was that result compared to the results of today’s evangelists who press for mass conversions, then turn over the hard work of follow-up to others.

There are many resources for catechizing your children and ones that are easy to use. It is definitely a tool that God has used and blessed throughout many years. Let me end with one last quote from the book.

May God help us today to view the evangelizing of our covenant children as a task that involves both bringing the gospel to them and so presenting Christ and the doctrines of grace that believing children may grow in Him. We need to recover the vision of our forebears in our catechizing, such that we view evangelism as entailing both how to come to Christ and how to live out of Christ.

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Filed under Catechism, Christianity, Train Up a Child

But How? Using the Means.

Over the last few days I have been sharing with you the things in which we as Christian parents need to be instructing our children.  Now how about some more practical ways in doing that.  I will continue to reference the booklet Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children: In Dependency on the Spirit by Joel R. Beeke.

You must first realize as parents that you are primarily responsible for the evangelism of your children.  Practically speaking, that means making sure that any person, institution, or thing that has regular influence over your child for any length of time–be that a church and its office-bearers, a school and its teachers, a babysitter, or the high-tech world of computers–has the same Bible-centered, Christ-honoring worldlife view that you have.

Children need consistency, particularly in the three major sources of input in their lives: home, church, and school.  These three form a triangle, and we as parents are responsible for all three.  For now, let’s examine our responsibility in the home.

A godly home is the greatest context of evangelism for children.

Beeke goes on in depth to explain several very practical ideas for evangelizing our children.

I will list them here to get you pondering and will share a little more on each of them in upcoming posts.

  • Prayer
  • Family worship
  • Catechizing
  • Godly conversation
  • Godly models
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Filed under Catechism, Christianity, Train Up a Child

Copywork & Handwriting

The first page from the 9th edition of the Wes...

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When teaching penmanship, basic grammar, spelling, literature, accuracy, punctuation, vocabulary, sentence structure, attention to detail, and memory skills copywork and handwriting books are a great resource.  There are many different curricula available for such things but you want to make sure they are books of substance?  We do not want to just have busy work. When trying to instill godly character in our children it is important to use a curriculum that addresses those needs as well.  I have several listed here that you may want to look into.  We have used several ourselves!

A Reason for Writing has been around for a long time.   They offer curriculum for grades K-6th.  All of the lessons are based on scripture verses.  Along with learning good penmanship children are memorizing and sharing the Word of God.

Memoria Press has a little bit of a different approach.  Their books not only contain scripture but also classic poetry, literature selections, Latin sayings, and hymns.  They also have a great explanation on their website of the benefits of copywork.  They offer a primary set consisting of three books, a cursive book, as well as a composition and sketch book.

Veritas Press has a handwriting series entitled Classically Cursive.  There are four books in this series.  These reproducible books originated by the folks at Logos School are all you need to teach cursive handwriting.  These books use scripture and the catechism.  The four books are entitled, “Bible Primer, Ten Commandments, Shorter Catechism, and The Attributes of God.”

Last but not least are the Journibles.  These are actually designed for older teens and adults.  Yes, we adults can benefit too!  I am very excited about these and am looking forward to investing in some for myself.  Here is a description from the website on these books.

Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.

So there you go!  Several great resources for meeting the needs of handwriting and copywork but also attending to our spiritual needs.  Do you have any other great resources for this?  Have you used any of these?  Which are your favorite?  I would love for you to share!

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Filed under Catechism, Christianity, Curriculum, Homeschooling, Train Up a Child
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