Enrichment Programs

Pilgrims of the Holy Family

Book cover: 'Pilgrims of the Holy Family'
Author(s): 
Kerry and Nancy MacArthur
Copyright: 
1998
Publisher: 
Catholic Heritage Curricula
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
117 pages
Review: 

This program encourages children to learn about themselves and their world while imparting Catholic ideals. Pilgrims of the Holy Family is well suited to be used by individuals or in a group setting as an alternative to secular scouting programs. Written by a homeschooling family of five, "Pilgrims" presents 75 enrichment activities each of which allows the child to achieve a degree of mastery in a particular topic. Those familiar with scouting will recognize some of the topical activity sets as similar to scouting badges. Catholic Heritage Curricula has produced a beautiful set of badges to be awarded at the completion of each topic.

Each topic set is paired with a saint and includes a brief biography along with a list of 5-10 actives that must be done in order for the child to have achieved mastery of that topic. For example "Citizenship" is paired with St. Paul and includes activities such as discussing the difference between loyalty to family, community and the Catholic Church and reporting on five types of government that can be found in history. Topics range from American History and Botany to Reading and Wilderness Survival. Topic areas unique to the Catholic faith include: Catholic Social Thought, Charity, Church History, Missions, Prayer, Virtues, Vocations. There is an appendix at the end of the book that lists appropriate reading material for each of the 75 topic areas.

The authors recommend this program for ages 10 and up. Younger children may find a few topic sets that they can complete, but to perform the work independently the majority of the topics require the cognitive maturity of a child who is at least 10 if not older. We plan on continuing to use this program for after school activities and during summer break throughout high school.

Those interested in support from the authors and others using the program can sign up for the yahoogroups e-mail list.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
8-8-02
Reviewed by: 

The Blue Knights Boys Club

Author(s): 
Dan McGuire
Copyright: 
2004
Publisher: 
Ecce Homo Press
Binding: 
Softcover
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

General Overview...

The Blue Knights Boys Club is “a catechetical program” for young boys modeled after the Little Flowers program by Rachel Watkins. The age group that is targeted is 4-7, but it could be used for older boys up to age 12. The goal of the Blue Knights program is to develop in the boys a devotion to St. Joseph, using the theme of Knighthood based on virtues. This program “seeks to lay a foundation of virtue on which subsequent stages of catechesis can build.”

Each month members will be building the "armor of God" loosely based on Ephesians 6:10-20. The program covers nine monthly sessions with each session lasting approximately one hour. In a typical session, as the boys arrive, they color in a picture related to the virtue or the saint talked about. A group prayer and a very short lecture (usually about five minutes) on a virtue follow. At the end of this time, the boys stand up and do the “Bible memory shout.” They will assemble a piece of armor or weapon that corresponds to the virtue. (The craft varies from group to group, adapting the craft item to the age of the boys and following the suggestions given in the manual). The lecture, craft, coloring page, and games are related to the virtue covered in each session. After the craft is completed, the boys go outside to release some energy in a game related to the virtue. In the case of bad weather, the book provides alternative games for indoors. The boys end the meeting with a snack and a few final words from the leader to recap the virtue presented.

The boys then take home their saint coloring page and an activity page for them to work on during the next month to reinforce the virtues covered. The activity page includes references to the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The activities are thought provoking and not merely "fill in the blank". They are not considered "homework", but rather an impetus for the boys to reflect on the virtues.

Four years are available.

Individual Products...
Blue Knights Boys Club Leader's Manuals by Dan McGuire
copyright 2001-2004, 110 pages, softcover

Blue Knights Boys Club Leader’s Manual includes everything a leader could need from practical suggestions on how to run a meeting to the actual talks on the virtues. In addition, there are short biographies of the saints, help for boys with special needs, a projected plan for the virtues covered, and more. All you need is a leader and a group of boys.

Blue Knights Boys Club Member's Guides by Dan McGuire
copyrights 2001-2004, 39-58 pages, softcover
Each of the four guides covers nine monthly sessions

Blue Knights Boys Club Member’s Guides include all of the prayers, activity sheets, short biographies of the saints, and coloring pages used in the group meetings and for reinforcement at home.

Blue Knights Craft Companion: Year One by Karina L. Fabian
2004, 59 pages, softcover (stapled), black and white photos and line drawings.

Vests, T-shirts, Breastplate, and Badges are also available from the publisher.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

Copyrights on individual items 2001-2004.

Review Date: 
4-26-05
Reviewed by: