Lent is just days away, and I’m hoping to get a headstart on how we’re going to observe this solemn, wonderful, meaningful season which leads to the GREATEST celebration in the Church: Easter!
Here’s what we’re planning for Lent — I’m sharing it with you, dear friends, in case you’re looking for ideas. (There are hundreds, no, thousands, of ideas on the Internet actually! )
(FYI: Most of our plans are inspired by other Catholic mom bloggers, particularly homeschool moms, like Lacy of Catholic Icing, Jessica of Shower of Roses, Melissa of Homegrown Catholics, and of course, my friends Erika of Raising and Teaching Little Saints, and Monica of Equipping Catholic Families, who are co-hosting the “Keeping Love in Lent Link-Up” with me (click here if you want to join that!).
Taking off from Lacy’s checklist for preparing our family for Lent, plus bits and pieces of inspiration from the other fabulous moms mentioned above, this year, our Lenten activities will pretty much be the same as the previous two years’, and will include:
- Learning more about Ash Wednesday and Lent through our homeschool “lessons” — For our specific lesson plans for this week, you can go here. (You can download them if you like, no problem with me!) We’re joining the families of Catholic Filipino Academy in their trip to Anawim, a home for the abandoned elderly (founded by Bo Sanchez) this Friday, so I thought it would be good to use Storm in the Night and other books that have elderly people in the stories (mostly grandfathers and grandmothers) this week for our read-alouds.
- Continuing the practice of “giving up” something for the entire season of Lent — as a family and as individuals — and doing more of something good, like being more patient, charitable and kind to others. Specifically, we will have less “gadget” time for the kids and more free play/read-aloud time.
Since Tim’s already six, I have also asked him to choose something he’d like to give up for Jesus. (He still hasn’t decided yet though!) Also, less of the things they like and consider as “treats,” like sweets (I hope and pray God will “whisper” our intentions to those people who always spoil them with sweets, especially the grandparents! Ha, ha!).
Personally, I plan to focus on being more patient and loving, and do less nagging (that’s giving up something, right?) and criticizing. (I was thinking of less screen time and social media time, but it’s part of my job, so that would be a bit difficult!).
- Continuing the use of the Lenten countdown calendar (I’ve already printed out Lacy’s version.)
- Continuing the use of our Jesus Tree — I printed out Melissa’s ornaments last year and we use the branch that came with our Jesse Tree kit. You can get the ornaments by clicking here if you like. (Melissa has some other great Lenten ideas in that post, too!)
- Continuing the tradition of setting money aside for our offering box (also inspired by Lacy — click here for her post on that)
- Finishing the de-cluttering and organization of our things (still not completely done from Christmas! Yikes!) — The kids have finally agreed to give the toys that they don’t play with anymore away! (Yes, we had issues with this before!)
- Going to Confession (for Anthony and me). I’ll also start teaching Tim about the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a “deeper” way. (He’s always so curious whenever his Papa and I line up for Confession, and asks, “Why can’t I go in with you?”) I got a book from Book Sale that I hope will be able to help me explain things:
- Doing the Stations of the Cross — Admittedly, we didn’t do this much during previous years, which is why we plan to do it more regularly this year. I plan to use some ideas from Jessica (Shower of Roses).
- Attending Masses aside from weekly Sunday Mass and praying the Rosary more frequently (Especially the sorrowful mysteries during Lent)
- Reading more books connected to Easter and Lent (though we hardly have any of the latter — still need to scour more local bookshops for those! Hopefully, The Learning Basket will also have some related titles soon. *Keeping my fingers crossed*)
These are just some of the things we plan and hope to do — though just typing them out already makes them seem like so much. More than anything else, of course, we want the kids to remember what Lent is really about:
This video from Our Sunday Visitor sums it up perfectly:
Here’s to a meaningful Lenten season for us all!
P.S. For additional Lenten resources, you may want to read the following:
9 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Lent (an article I wrote for Smart Parenting last year)
P.P.S. Update as of Shrove Tuesday (Feb 12): I’m linking up to Catholic Inspired’s Lenten Link-Up.