by Maryanne Patterson
When Family of God arrived, I knew it was something really special just from the title alone. The author has put together an outstanding resource from which all families would benefit in their study of history. The greatest feature of this program is that children are able to connect to history on a very personal basis in a way that makes it more meaningful and memorable to them. Families are given an increased appreciation for the past—and the real people, including their own family members, who lived in the past—in such a way that their perspective on the present and the future is changed for the better. All ages from little ones to adults are able to participate in individual or whole-family projects which benefit each member, no matter the children’s ages or ability levels. Faith and family are truly the centerpieces of this unique history program.
What is probably the best thing about Family of God is how it brings to light the importance of praying for the Holy Souls, and to especially pray for the souls of the departed in our own families. That is why this book comes with its own prayer companion.
In the author’s own words, “I believe the direct aims of this study are as follows:
- To give children a chance to connect with history on a personal basis in a way that makes it more meaningful and memorable to them
- To give families a chance to participate in a whole family project that is fun and which benefits each member, no matter the age or ability level
- To increase in families an appreciation for the past-and the people who lived in the past – in such a way that their perspective on both the present and the future is changed for the better
- To plant seeds of love in the hearts of families for all the holy souls in purgatory, especially the souls of their ancestors, so that there will be a greater outpouring of prayers on their behalf as God wishes.”
Family of God is flexible, economical (just download and go), and easy-to-use, this year-long unit study is well-organized with a 32 week suggested lesson plan chock full of resources, hands-on projects, and most importantly, tons of photographed examples from the author’s own family study for your reference.
I especially loved the idea of developing a questionnaire with your kids involvement that they then ask their grandparents and/or relatives of their grandparents generation. These questions then can be mailed to the relatives or done as a phone interview. Then they can be collected and shared with the extended family. This comes as an additional kits if you want to sample just a portion of the program, in the Family of God: Grandparent Interview Activity Kit eBook.
Other ideas from Family of God include a Family Coat of Arms, the Family History Scrapbook, the Family Mobile, and the Family History Timeline, finding out when your relatives celebrated sacraments, searching to find is there were any in religious life or perhaps family Blesseds or saints, finding out the occupations of your relatives, mapping out where all your relatives moved to when they came to America (if they were Irish you there is the the The Ireland of Our Ancestors: A Collection of Discovery Activities eBook) and tons more. Any part of this program you do together then becomes keepsakes of their year of study. Even if your family completes only one week’s worth of ideas you will have given them a gift of a lifetime!
Great care has been taken to provide a strong framework of helpful support and guidance while, at the same time, you are able to create your own individualized family masterpiece of history study, beginning with your family’s countries of origin and continuing through the generations to the present day. Important events and significant people in both World and US history are covered, but from a customized perspective so that your study of history connects to your own family’s past. This is what makes it so much more enjoyable and memorable for everyone, including you as teacher! (All ages, 171 pages, PDF)
Click here to obtain a copy: Family of God