Pope Benedict XVI said: “Raising children can be a difficult task but when we work together with God, it becomes a wonderful task.” The basic education course for parents focuses on this wonderful task and on how to accomplish it with greater joy and sensitivity. The course is based on Fr. Kentenich’s understanding of education and was started by couples, which attended the Kentenich pedagogy course at the Family Pedagogy Academy in Schoenstatt – Memhölz. It has as its driving force a sentence by Fr. Kentenich: “We should be authors of life, authors of life in others.” By working together with God, who is the author of new life, the course focuses on the wonderful task of being co-authors in the development of the most valuable thing that God has entrusted to us: a child.
Education of children in the family: this is the greatest desire of the course founders and presenters. It is also the principal reason for the emergence of this project in 2010 as the International Schoenstatt Family heads towards Jubilee 2014, and falls under the “Marriage and Family” apostolic field and the corresponding virtual tent of covenant culture.
The course provides a different way of looking at children and their upbringing; it rejects current society’s view that it is a problem and a burden and focuses instead on the joy that strengthens life in our children, focusing on their growth, development and uniqueness. The course does not see child education purely as a theory or difficulty but rather as a task that complements us. It uses positive experiences and a pedagogy born in the joy of educating people to become free personalities.
A team of couples, who are advisors for the Family branches, together with experts in the field, share the fundamental concepts of child education in three different phases: pre-school children, school-age children and teenagers. These modules can be taken independently, or as a set. The principal elements include the transmission of pedagogical concepts based on the age of the child, complemented by examples of education in daily life, sharing as a couple or together with other couples. During this course, a special program was also held for the children, given the course was about them.
Various testimonies from the parents who took the course confirm the concept: “We had good experiences in the previous courses and so decided to participate in this one as well,” said one couple. “The desire to learn and share experiences with other parents,” motivated many couples to participate and the course exceeded their expectations. “It really helped me to reflect on my actions, I received support and understanding, and took in new ideas.”
One of the couples, which taught the “small child” module, summarized the concept perfectly: “Our child is a gift from God to us. We should get to know him better every day during the first few months and years of his life. For this, we need to look at him with the eyes of love, watch him in the different phases of his development and accept him with the unique traits of his personality. This will allow us to respond to each of our children in an individual way, so that in accordance with the structure of his personality we can give him support and give him a home. As our child unites himself more to us, with increasing closeness, care and experimenting love, the more we can, as father and mother, build the first foundation of his personal relationship with God.”
The course is held at the Schoenstatt centers in Menhölz and Aulendorf – one module per city and once a year. The participating families come from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Address and contact details
www.grundkurs-erziehung.de (en alemán)
Tanja and Stefan Loriz
Laubenerweg 11 88317
Tel: +49 (0) 7565 7448
English translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Johannesburg, South Africa