Over the years we've tried a variety of ways to stay focused: rosary videos, a rosary CD, rosary coloring pages, laminated pictures of the rosary (yeah, that worked great...the kids constantly fought over who would get to switch the picture!). I figure it is our job as parents to just keep trying to reign everyone (even ourselves) back in every once in awhile so we can hope that we might get one truly good prayer with each rosary! I know, lofty goals, aren't they??
A few months back, I received a copy of a wonderful rosary program aimed at helping children really learn about the rosary and learn how to focus their prayers. Cassandra Poppe, the author, describes why she wrote this program:
"I created the Rosary Quilt, Rosary Quilt Manual and Rosary Quilt Workbook to help teach the Rosary devotion to my children. My children already knew the prayers and had a basic idea of what the Mysteries were about, but they had too much energy in their little bodies and nothing to keep them focused. The Rosary Quilt served as a “practical aid”, which certainly increased their appreciation of the prayer! And the book served as a learning tool to deepen their understanding of the Mysteries as well."
The Rosary Quilt Curriculum is a very detailed and thorough program that will help you to teach your children the mysteries of the rosary using information from many sources, including St. Louis de Montfort's "The Secret of the Rosary", as well as information and many activities to teach them the virtue associated with each mystery. For example, the Annunciation focuses on the virtue of humility, so there are five days of lessons and activities to help your children learn the mystery and the virtue of humility.
There is also a workbook that contains a variety of pages for each mystery, including a coloring page and a page to record appropriate bible verses that have been memorized.
I think the thing that makes this program so unique is that it also has instructions on how to make a rosary quilt. The pictures I saw of an already made rosary quilt were wonderful. The quilt is meant to be made by the family and used during the praying of the rosary as an aid to staying focused. If you are crafty, this quilt would be a wonderful project for your family to do and then to use whenever you prayed. If you aren't crafty (ME!!) this rosary quilt is not an essential part of the program. Cassandra gives you ample directions on how to work without it (although I do think it would make a wonderful addition to family prayer!).
If you are looking for a comprehensive, well layed-out program to teach your children this powerful prayer and its corresponding virtues, I would definitely encourage you to take a look at The Rosary Quilt Curriculum. This would be great with an RE class or homeschool co-op, too! Although it could be used and adapted to any age, it seems best suited for kids up through third grade.
You can purchase the Rosary Quilt Program through her etsy shop.
I think that this would make a great gift for a young family, so if you don't have young children, consider giving it as a gift to someone who does!
BTW, I did receive a copy of this program in order to do this review, but I'm being completely honest in saying that I would not recommend it if I didn't really think it was a good program!