One of the commenters made the following awesome summary statement: “I’d love to see them redo the early years and have a much more comprehensive syllabus (like CHC). I think many are turned off by the first couple of years. They are fine when you know what you’re doing, but for just starting out and not having read/listened to all the resources, you miss a lot!”
That pretty much covers my whole blog. Just starting out you miss a lot. But, in lieu of a comprehensive syllabus, let’s struggle on together to figure out the scope and sequence. Perhaps our (my) misunderstandings will be fodder for a fabulous pile of introductory parent resources some day!
The Content: 2GRD-7GRD
Both catechisms follow the same chapter numbering convention. Only the questions numbers are different. So, though No.2 is more in depth, I want to show you how the subjects rotate through. The grown up CCC has four pillars: Creed, Sacraments, Commandments, and Prayer. The BCs combine the Sacraments and Prayer pillars into one. So Part III is really Pillars II and IV.
- 2GRD is No. 1, Ch 1-14, Part I: Creed
- 3GRD is No. 1, Ch 15-22, Part II: Commandments, review Q/A Part I
- 4GRD is No. 1, Ch 23-37, Part III: Sacraments and Prayer, review Q/A Part I, II
- 5GRD is No. 2, Part I: Creed (12/14 chapters); Part II (2/15 chapters); Part III (5/15 chapters)
- 6GRD is No. 2 Part I: Creed (all 14 chapters)
- 7GRD is None
Notice that 4GRD is the first and only time that the vast majority of “Part III: Sacraments and Prayer” is ever mentioned in the 2GRD-7GRD curriculum. I get the impression that it comes around again in 8GRD. But, I’ve never seen those lesson plans. Anyone?
The Questions: 2GRD-4GRD
- In 2GRD, we add 83 questions. They will be repeated forever and ever, amen. You will see most of these questions five years in a row.
- In 3GRD, we add 54 new questions. They are repeated next year. Only 3 come back in 5GRD. None reappear in 6GRD-7GRD.
- In 4GRD, we add 75 new questions. Only 25 questions will be seen again before 8GRD.
5GRD is Disordered, but EASY
The BC chapters seem to follow the subject order of your Faith and Life book. That order is: Chapters 1, 3, 2,4-5, 15, 6-7, 29-30, 8, 27-28, 9, 11-12, 21, 23, 14. (21, 28 are for content only, not Q/A) In numerical order: Chapters 1-9, 11-12, 14-15, 21, 23, 27-30
Are we just doing the questions? In some assignments, you introduce the chapter by “going over” the catechism questions and answers only, no mention of READING chapter material; other assignments say to “go over” the chapter, then work on the questions; some say “Review” the chapter, even though it hasn’t been seen yet this year; and some questions appear in the 5 min reviews without being introduced [EDIT: Nope, I found Lesson 2, it was the order thingy.] I can’t tell if this is intentional or not. I have emailed the database person.
Of the 101-102 total questions (I keep counting a different number each time), only 35 are in any way NEW. Many of those are only “new” in an added phrase or a changed word. The number lists in the plans look nuts, but it’s because they’re using mostly questions that appeared in Catechism No. 1. But if you can struggle through the organizational issues, this is the EASIEST catechism year, in terms of new questions to memorize. THIRTY FIVE! It’s like one a week.
The final has only 11 new questions. There is a “final” test in the lesson plans. Of those 46, only 11 are new in any way. SWEET.
6GRD is INTENSE
6GRD catechism is a complete repeat of the chapters from 2GRD. But No. 2 has double the questions. I know 149 isn’t double 83, but there are lots of sub-questions (23A, 23B, etc). Also, you need to know that only chapters 1-10 are paced out. 11-14 are all assigned in the next to last week for discussion, but thankfully, there are NO NEW QUESTIONS.
70/167 questions are EXACT REPEATS from previous years. Thank God! The sad part is that 80 of them are 100% new, not new phrases, completely NEW.
7GRD is None. What’s next?
I don’t know what comes next, because I’ve never taught it, never seen it. Anyone? We take a year off. Then what? Anyone know? Do Part II and III come back in 8GRD? I don’t see BC on the booklists ever again after 8GRD. Oh, and have you SEEN THE NEW BOOK LISTS? On the website, they’re all interactive and stuff like ours on the enrolled family pages.