"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Monday, February 28

Preparing for Lent

There are so many options out there to help guide our children through the Lenten Season.  Do you have any special traditions in your family?  We have really never found that ONE thing that stuck with us through the years (yet) but it has not been from lack of trying! 

One of my favorites was the last year we were in the farm house.  We have a good size cork board that i covered with paper and we made a lenten calendar following the directions given at These Forty Days.
This is from These Forty Days - i cannot find our picture!
Isn't it beautiful?  We have a little plastic Caterpillar that sat on our board and each day the kids punched a hole in a leaf to show his journey.  The kids love calendars!  So i guess there is one thing that we do every year....i stand corrected! (it has only been these past few years but you gotta start somewhere)

This year we are still not in our own place so i have been thinking of ways to have a calendar without impinging upon the rest of the household.  Lacy, over at Catholic Icing, just blogged about lenten activities including a lapbook. 

This Lapbook comes from Homeschool Goodies

I love the idea - it gets things out of the common area of the house (though really the only area we have alone are our 2 bed rooms) and puts things in the hands of the kids.  One problem though - the big guys might not be as excited about this activity as the little ones ...so the thinking continues.....

A poster might work if i keep it small and replace our daily calendar with it in the school area.  I think i would like to add feast days that fall in the season as well as maybe a weekly activity for the family - whether prayer, fasting, or alms giving.

Growing up we always gave something up - didn't you?.  Once we had kids of our own that was our first thought, but as we grow in our faith as adults we have begun to understand the true reason for the lenten season.  We started looking at not necessarily giving up for Lent so much as giving up for good...a much harder, but truly lenten, plan.  We have tried but failed at many things too.  But it has all been a learning process - and will continue to be so for the rest of our life. 

Our hope is that our children will understand far better than we ever had and that they will carry this knowledge with them once they leave home. 

There are many confusing, though seemingly wonderful, lenten activities to help your children keep track of the season.  One year, long ago, we used a Noah's Ark activity that took us through the entire season.  After that the little kids kept thinking Noah had something to really do with Lent.  It prefigures or typifies the season but it is not what Lent is about.

So what is Lent? 
This is getting a bit long....i think i'll continue that thought in the next post...

Any ideas for a March give away?  I'd like to keep it in line with the season, should it be handmade or a book?  What would you be interested in?  Maybe a school item? .... guess i need to come up with something soon!  Tomorrow is March 1st! (and the birthday of our own little Ladybug!)


Art and Dee said...

We usually do a paper chain for Lent. Then tear one off each day. We even would do different colors for different days--Mostly purple--but Good Friday --black. I think the Sunday half-way through--was pink/rose. I don't remeber all of them. And this year, we didn't get ours made. But we still have time! I just hope Abagail doesn't have it ripped up in a day!! LOL!
Dee Dee

allison said...

Thanks for the idea Dee Dee!

We can definitely use it!... do you write anything on the chains or are they just a count down?
And hello to your crew!