Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a hands-on approach to religious formation in which a special room called the Atrium has been prepared for the children. Many of the materials, which are specially designed to help the children “fall in love with God” as they explore the essentials of our faith, have been crafted by members of St. Nicholas Parish. Working quietly with these materials slowly helps the child to connect with what s/he sees at church. During these sessions they sing, pray together, and listen to short stories about Jesus and some of his parables.
In the early church, the Atrium was a place where the catechumens prepared to enter the church. For our children, it is a place to aid the child’s fuller participation in our church’s life.
Our curriculum is a discovery-based learning experience aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards which include language arts, mathematics, science, social science, physical development including fine and gross motor skills and health. Religion is part of our daily routine with activities, prayer, and song that support the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Participation in small group activities and learning centers allow each child to work at their level. Curriculum is planned by the teachers to meet the developmental needs of each small group.
There is opportunity for learning to take place through social experiences and dramatic play that encourages problem solving, creative thinking, and cooperation. Our goal is to create learning experiences to nurture the unique potential of each child.
Enrichment Programs will supplement our academic curriculum with special projects and class activities. Through these programs we are able to expand on our daily lessons with fun and unique learning experiences.