Grades 1-8 Programs

As we bring our programs for Grades 1-8 online this year, we are offering families a choice of two program options: the Traditional Program and the Family Program. Details about each of these options follows below.

Also, please see the bottom of this page for information about First Reconciliation (Grade 2) and First Communion (Grade 3). Preparation for those sacraments will indeed take place this year. This will include an in-person retreat for each sacrament and in-person celebrations of the sacraments themselves.

Option 1:  Traditional Program

The Traditional Program offers your child the opportunity to explore the teachings of our Church in all their depth and richness. When you register your child for the “Traditional Program” (available for Grades 1-8), he or she will receive login credentials for My Catholic Faith Delivered, a service designed to convey all the content from our textbook series (Faith and Life from Ignatius Press).

Following the Traditional Program Calendar (linked below), your child will complete one chapter each week, for a total of 21 weeks during the year. All work can be completed online – including reading, videos, and activities – and should be submitted by each Friday listed on the calendar.

Your child will also be placed with a catechist, in a group of up to fifteen other children. Your child’s catechist will be directly available to you throughout the year to answer questions, provide support, and generally to keep in touch with ideas for how to make your child’s learning experience really dynamic and memorable.

View the Traditional Program Calendar

Option 2:  Family Program

In the Family Program, your whole family works together to grow in our Catholic faith. This program is well-suited for families who would like to have a family-centered experience of faith formation, especially if they have multiple children in the program. To take part in this program, just register each of your children for the “Family Program” in their respective grades (available for Grades 1-8).

Throughout the year, your family will learn about seven themes on roughly a month-by-month basis: the Bible, Jesus, Sacraments, Prayer, Mass, Service, and Discipleship. Each of these themes is explored on a three-week cycle, as listed on the Family Program Calendar (linked below):

  • Week 1: Attend a large-group Zoom session facilitated by Dr. Sozek
  • Week 2: Do an activity as a family, chosen from a menu of options
  • Week 3: Each child completes and submits an age-appropriate individual project

Each grade in the Family Program will be headed up by one of our experienced catechists, who will contact all families in that grade regularly with ideas for how to enhance your child’s learning experience.

View the Family Program Calendar

Sacramental preparation

Regardless of what program they register for – the Traditional Program or the Family Program – children in Grades 2-3 take time out during the year to prepare to celebrate a sacrament. Children in Grade 2 prepare for and celebrate their First Reconciliation (confession). Children in Grade 3 prepare for and celebrate their First Communion.

> First Reconciliation (Grade 2)

In November and December, children in Grade 2 take part in a six-week mini-course to prepare for their First Reconciliation. This period of preparation is preceded by a Parent Orientation via Zoom at the end of October (date indicated on the calendar, linked below) and followed by an in-person First Reconciliation Retreat in early January (so long as public health guidelines permit).

For the period of preparation itself, children work at home with the textbook series Signs of Grace: You Are Forgiven from the Augustine Institute. Each child receives both a textbook and activity book for this series. Detailed instructions will be provided for families – including a brief weekly video – to help you support your child in learning this material. Further support will be provided by your child’s catechist, who will reach out to you in each week of the preparation period to provide ideas and guidance for how to make the process effective and meaningful.

All relevant dates are listed on the First Reconciliation Calendar, linked here below.

Click here to view the First Reconciliation Calendar

> First Communion (Grade 3)

In February and March, children in Grade 3 take part in a nine-week mini-course to prepare for their First Communion. This period of preparation is preceded by a Parent Orientation via Zoom at the end of January (date indicated on the calendar, linked below) and followed by a series of in-person events in April and May: the First Communion Retreat, Rehearsal, and Ceremony (so long as public health guidelines permit).

For the period of preparation itself, children work at home with the textbook series Signs of Grace: You Are Loved from the Augustine Institute. Each child receives both a textbook and activity book for this series. Detailed instructions will be provided for families – including a brief weekly video – to help you support your child in learning this material. Further support will be provided by your child’s catechist, who will reach out to you in each week of the preparation period to provide ideas and guidance for how to make the process effective and meaningful.

All relevant dates are listed on the First Communion Calendar, linked here below.

Click here to view the First Communion Calendar