Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

As promised, I want to share some of my favorite online resources for middle school aged kids. Many of the amazing resources floating around on Facebook right now seemed aimed at younger children or for other academic subjects than religion. So here’s what I’m going to be sending to my students in the days ahead.

Formed.org is a treasure trove of faith based movies, talks and books for Catholics of all ages. While you do need an account to access the information, many parishes and schools have this available for their students. My son and I are checking out their saint cartoons, and there are many beautiful prayers and reflections to listen to.

Magnificat magazine is a beautiful prayer resource, and normally not super cheap, but during mandated church and school closures, they are making the magazine free online. Each day features morning and evening prayer, a reflection (often from a saint), the mass readings, and often the story of a saint. It’s such a rich way to pray with scripture each day.

Look to Him and Be Radiant is an amazing blog by Katherine Bogner, a middle school teacher and DRE from the Midwest. All her resources span those middle grade ages beautifully- nothing seems “little kiddy” to my students. And best of all, her resources are totally free!

Dynamic Catholic is an online resource for short videos and books on faith formation. Some of the resources cost money, but a great many are free. Their Best Lent Ever videos and some of Matthew Kelly’s videos were big hits in my 8th grade religion class this year.

Busted Halo is a great website with all sorts of offerings- from podcasts to videos to articles, they have great graphic design to support their mission of “faith shared joyfully”. They also have a weekly newsletters and fun photo contests on Instagram- for your students on social media, a religious photo contest could be a nice change from TikTok.

For families with littles, I am going to cram my 3 favorites into one paragraph because I said that this would be resources for middle schoolers. But I am a mom to a three year old, so these merit a mention. Catholic All Year is Kendra Tierney’s blog about liturgical living, which could really help all of us homebound Catholics during this season without mass and the sacraments. Catholic Icing has tons of great craft and homeschooling ideas. Catholic Family Crate is a monthly subscription box filled with things to help your family live the Church year. It can be pricey depending on your budget, but it was a family gift to ourselves when I got a raise this year. Each month you get a box full of crafts, celebration ideas and a spotify playlist sent to your family. I love it so much. (By the way, I’m not getting paid to advertise them- they just are really wonderful and I want everyone to try it out.) Their special Lent and Advent boxes are even better and are also available as a separate subscription.

What are your favorite online resources? Share them in the comments to help families out in this tricky time for education!

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