Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Update

St. Patrick’s Day Activities

Well, as I had feared, below are photos of some of the St. Patrick’s Day “busy work” my daughter came home with … from Catholic school. I really feel like quite a curmudgeon for nitpicking all this stuff. I guess my expectations were a little high for our “modern” Catholic education system.

NONE of the work she came home with referenced St. Patrick or the story/legend of how he used the clover as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, or any of the symbolism in the renderings of St. Patrick, such as his staff and the snakes. I asked and she said they did learn about “St. Patrick” but that she just couldn’t remember what they did. I have no doubt that Saint Patrick was indeed discussed. The attention span of a first grader is short lived to be sure. But what will she remember more, St. Patrick or leprechauns, four leaf clovers & pots of gold? Of course, I made sure to reinforce what I knew about Saint Patrick and we did some activities at home.

I certainly don’t think there is anything terribly wrong with hearing about mischievous little leprechuans and the Irish fairy tales based on them, but I just expected so much more in sending her to Catholic school where we can actually talk about the Saints instead of using pagan customs and modern traditions that were established so that these religious holidays could also be celebrated by those who do not wish to acknowledge anything religious but still participate in them. Focussing on leprechuans is like diverting attention from the true meaning of Easter and Chrismas by making it about visits from Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

I thought Catholic school would be where instead of writing an “acrostic poem” about being lucky, she would copy down a verse from Hail, Glorious St. Patrick! But alas, modernism has crept into our Catholic schools where some teachers (but certainly by no means all) don’t even seem to look to Catholic resources for classroom materials.

The worksheets pictured below came from www.abcteach.com. So I went to the site to see what choices they offered for classroom activites to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. None of the activities referenced or even mention Saint Patrick (except for using his name to describe the day) or anything Catholic for that matter.

If I mention it, they will say they are just trying to make things fun for the children as if children could not possibly understand or appreciate the lives of the Saints. And even if they are a little bored, so what. Aren’t we supposed to educating future saints here?

Here are some of the activities she did in school:

There was an activity about the Irish flag, Celtic musicians, and an information sheet on the origins of the harp, with the only “religious” reference being “The harp is at least as old as the Bible.”

Wearin’ Of the Green

St. Pattys Coloring Page - Lephrechau

Complete the Story

And they had this little story assignment about the life of St. Patrick .. oops, I mean about leprechauns, gold, and shamrocks …

St Pattys Day - Story Page

Lucky Shamrock

She also colored a lovely pink shamrock and wrote an acrostic poem about being lucky.

St Patrick's Day - Lucky clover

One of My Activities

For our own activity here at home, I had printed off this activity from the awesome website http://www.catholicinspired.com. I also did the mobile pictured below. The child cuts and pastes the beautiful and inspiring images of God, Jesus & the dove (Holy Spirit) onto the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity, three in One.

from www.catholicinspired.com
from http://www.catholicinspired.com

Compare & Contrast

Just to “compare and contrast” (a favorite Common Core language arts technique) – here are two St. Patrick’s Day craft activites that involve making a mobile:

This one from abcteach.com:

Source: http://www.abcteach.com/documents/craft-st-patricks-day-mobile-primary-18596
Source: http://www.abcteach.com/documents/craft-st-patricks-day-mobile-primary-18596

And this one from http://www.catholicinspired.com:

Source: http://www.catholicinspired.com/2015/03/st-patrick-mobile-color-cut-glue-and.html
Source: http://www.catholicinspired.com/2015/03/st-patrick-mobile-color-cut-glue-and.html

Which one is more inspiring and reverent of the true meaning of St. Patrick’s day? Which one would you expect to find in a Catholic school?

Saint Patrick, Pray for us.


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