For the past few years we have been using a catechism to teach our children the core tenets of the Christian faith. Catechisms are simple dialogues which summarize what we believe in a question and answer format. There are several versions of the catechism available free online, including The Westminster Shorter Catechism, The Catechism for Young Children and A Baptist Catechism.
A parent or Sunday School teacher asks the child a question, and helps him to learn the correct answer, much in the way math facts are taught and drilled. In this way, even a preschooler can learn what a Christian believes.
Knowledge of the catechism helps our children to recognize truth–and error–when they hear it. Our children will be bombarded with voices, all claiming to be true. Many will say they are Christians, and yet will not hold to the bedrock teachings of the Christian faith. As Christian parents, it is our duty before God to raise up children who “correctly handle the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2: 15). Knowledge of the Catechism can be a wonderful aid in this.
We recently discovered Holly Dutton’s Westminster Shorter Catechism Songs. On these four CDs, Holly sets the questions and answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism to music. The catechism is presented verbatim, with no extra lyrics. Songs are performed with guitar and voice, and are easy to sing along with.
After listening to the sample tracks on her website, I bought all four CDs. My children listen to these songs as they are falling asleep, and we also keep one of the CDs in our car. All of us have found learning the catechism to be much easier since we started listening to Holly’s songs….even me!