Since this is a very new and unfamiliar way for us to facilitate our PSR program this year, rather than make a PDF guide on the how to’s for PSR families and email it out to everyone once at the start of the year, I’ve decided to make a post on our parish website that I can update as needed as the year unfolds. Despite all our best efforts, I’m sure there will be some hiccups and challenges this year, especially in the beginning as we all learn how to to use each piece of the program and work-out any kinks, so as difficulties arise I will be going back to add/edit/clarify or give workarounds that may be needed for some devices or situations on this post. If you run into a problem, please refresh this post to ensure you have the latest version and check my comments or directions. If you still are having a problem, are confused about something, or just need some guidance, please reach out to me via email or at the parish office. I’m happy to give direction and encouragement as I can — I may not have the answer off the top of my head, but I promise to help and support you in these new ways of learning and facilitating lessons as we work together for your children’s religious education.
For our Homeschool – Parish School of Religion this year we’ll be using a new digital textbook series by Sophia Institute called Spirit of Truth. I hope the guide that follows will be helpful to communicate the “lay of the land” for this year of homeschool – religious education and to help you navigate the Spirit of Truth series for you and your child.
There are helpful links on our parish website to make accessing Spirit of Truth for both students and parents/teachers as easy as possible — See Below. Please note them under FAITH LIFE -> PSR Program. Under the sub-menu for PSR Classrooms are links to the particular Google Classroom pages for our PSR Grade Levels — this is for our Hybrid Students who are meeting virtually every other week and does not affect our homeschool PSR families. The Spirit of Truth link under the PSR program menu goes to the web browser login for the Student Portal (Ideally, students can use the App on an iPad or tablet device in the home as this will work best – but you can access the digital workbook via a web browser if needed). The Parent-Teacher Login link takes you to the teacher login page where parents can log in to access the lesson plans to facilitate in the home.
Please give this entire post a read first before attempting to follow some of the directions. Some things are referenced early on and later explained more fully in this post. Thanks.
PLAN B PSR: Home instruction facilitated by parents
There are 34 Sundays we would have met this year for PSR if classes were held in person. Originally, I was going to suggest a particular lesson for each Sunday by grade level. After more thought, I’ve decided to let parents chart the best course for their child(ren) this coming year with deciding how they will stagger the lessons between 13 September and 16 May. For each grade level, there are 32-33 lessons to complete so each homeschool family may decide how they’ll facilitate them with their child. You may decide to facilitate the lesson on each of the PSR Sundays on the calendar below and choose to do so at the 10 am hour or in the evening. Or you may choose to facilitate a lesson for each of the weeks below but the day/time you facilitate the lesson with your child may change week to week depending upon family schedules.
PSR Sundays for 2020-21
Sept: 13, 20 and 27
Oct: 4, 11, 18 and 25
Nov: 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
Dec: 6, 13 and 20
Jan: 10, 17, 24 and 31
Feb: 7, 14, 21 and 28
Mar: 7, 14, 21 and 28
Apr: 11, 18 and 25
May: 2, 9 and 16
SPIRIT OF TRUTH – OVERVIEW VIDEO
SPIRIT OF TRUTH – STUDENT APP & WEBSITE
There is a Spirit of Truth Student Portal/Digital Student Workbook to complement and reinforce the lessons facilitated by parents and teachers. The student portal was written first to be an App for an iPad or tablet device and later translated to work in any web browser. The portal works best if the student can install the App and run it on an iPad or Tablet. If this isn’t an option, there is a website you can visit and login via the browser — some interactions may be a bit awkward or clunky using a mouse or trackpad since it was designed with touch-screen gestures in mind.
Download App or Use Web Browser
Here are the links:
** Update on Student App: Since the Student App was written for iPad’s and other tablets, if you choose to use it via a web browser, you need to use your mouse or trackpad with gestures similar to a tablet. For example, when you login and come to the Unit/Lesson slider, you can point and click on an activity to complete, you must hold-click and drag the slider so it moves. Whatever activity is centered in the white selector box is what you can click on to launch.
Spirit of Truth – Student Login Credentials
Unless you’ve been emailed something different, your child’s login name is the first letter of their first name and entire last name followed by 43130. For example, John Smith’s login would be jsmith43130. Your child’s password is their date of birth in this format: DDMMYYYY. For example, if your child’s birthday is June 25, 2006, their password would be 06252006. Please ensure your child’s username and password works sooner than later.
SPIRIT OF TRUTH – TEACHER-PARENT ACCESS
Login Credentials for Parents
You can access the parent-teacher login via our parish website under the Faith LIfe – PSR Program or via this link ( here ). For all parents, I’ve used the email you registered with to PSR as both your email address for the username and email address for your password. To be clear, both your email address and password is initially set to your email address. Once logged in, I strongly encourage you to change your password by clicking the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner of the window and drilling down to select “change password” from the menu. Please ensure you can log in sooner than later.
USING THE SESSION PLANS in the TEACHER EDITION for PARENTS to FACILITATE the LESSON
Parent-Teachers will need to review each lesson and do some preparation as to which parts of the lesson they will lead their child through and what adaptations they will make to the lesson since it will be facilitated in the home and not the classroom. Please allow yourself 30 minutes each week to review the lesson and make preparations. Not all of the Warm-Up or Activities will need to be completed. It’s best to think of a lesson as a toolbox full of different tools you can select from to teach a lesson. If you were to do every option and part of the lesson, it would take about 90 minutes. For the parent-facilitated lessons, we suggest you choose 1-3 of all the activity options to do with your child so the entire lesson, prayer, warm-up, activities, etc. takes between 30-45 minutes in total.
Here is a short video of how to navigate the lesson on the teacher portal… each section is further explained for our PSR program below in the different sections that follow.
PARTS OF A LESSON IN THE TEACHERS GUIDE
Unit Overview (picture below)
At the beginning of each unit, there is a Catechist Introduction which introduces in an adult-level the content that the teacher or parent will be communicating to the children in the various unit sessions. The series doesn’t expect teachers and parents to have a formal education in theology so the lesson overview is a means to develop the teacher/parents understanding of the topic in theology so as to better support them in teaching the material and responding the questions the children may ask on the topics at hand. Please read the unit catechist overview before teaching the lessons within that unit. Since parents will be teaching every other week, this unit overview may even be worth reading as you prepare for each session to bring the content back in your minds.
Lesson Overview (picture below)
Once you select a Session within a Unit on the left column, the main page will display the Lesson Overview tab to give you the learning goals, vocabulary (for the teacher), Catechism references if the teacher wants to do more reading for preparation, materials that could be needed, and the prayer for the session.
Lesson Planning – Warm-Up (picture below)
After you review the Lesson Overview, select the Lesson Planning tab and the main content window will change and you’ll now see two sub-tabs: Warm-Up and Activities toward the top. The Lesson Planning window will note to begin the lesson with prayer then facilitate the warm-up activity with your child. Again, do your best to select/adapt the parts of the warm-up that can be done with your child in the home since we aren’t holding classroom sessions at this time.
Lesson Planning – Activities (picture below)
After you review the warm-up, click on the sub-tab toward the top called Activities. On this page, you could see anywhere from 2-6 different lesson plan activities — remember if every activity option is done the lesson would take about 90 minutes. Please look them all over and select 2-3 that can be most easily adapted to be done with your child in the home. Additionally, there are follow-up interactive activities on the Student App for each lesson that can be done – these are always identified in bold font within the lesson to designate them as activities in the Student App to be completed. I strongly suggest your child does at least 2 of the Student App Activities for each lesson in the home for accountability.
SUMMARY – LESSON FLOW PLAN
Opening Prayer (Lesson Overview Tab)
Lesson Plan – Warm-up (Lesson plan tab)
A few of the Lesson Plan Activities (Activities tab)
The child completes 2 of the Student App activities for the lesson either within the Activity time or during the week as reinforcement.
Offer of Support
Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email if you’re struggling or having difficulties and we’ll try to figure things out together. You are welcome to ask your child’s teacher questions by commenting on their posts, but especially with more technical questions, I encourage you to just come to me.