My love for Mary was fostered by my mother from my earliest years, and continues to grow as a homeschooling mother. Here are some ways your family can foster devotion to Mary:
1. Celebrate Marian Feast Days. Assist Holy Mass on Marian Feast days. If you can’t make it to Eucharist, your domestic church can pray a litany for Mary and cook a special cake or dish in honor of Our Lady. You can also begin novenas nine days before Marian feast days and encourage your children to think of a special intention. They can write their intentions and place it under Mary’s statue.
2. Pray the Rosary. The rosary is the best way for teaching your children devotion to Mary. Homeschoolers are with our children more than most mothers, so we have the best opportunity to pray the daily rosary. Find a specific time and make it part of your daily devotions. Start with a decade a day. Many families work the rosary around their schedules: before bedtime, travelling in the van, at 6:00 in the morning before father leaves work, or a decade here and there throughout the day. It is not impossible to pray the daily rosary. Ask Mary to help you and she will.
3. Enthrone your home to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts with a ceremony. Purchase statues or pictures of the two hearts, and ask your parish priest or head of your family to do the consecration and enthronement prayers. Enthronement means to invite invite into your family the King and Queen of Heaven and declaring your home to be a kingdom of Jesus and Mary.
4. Surround the children with Sacramentals. Decorate various rooms of your home with Mary’s statues or pictures. Have your children wear the sacramentals with promises attached to them like the brown scapular and the miraculous medal.
5. Consecration Prayers. Consecration means to dedicate a specific thing to Jesus through Mary. Weave in your morning prayers a short form of consecration. Teach your pre-schoolers to say “Good Morning, Mama Mary!” which encourages them to think of Mary as a real mother. Rotate prayers like the Memorare, the Angelus and Miraculous medal prayer.
6. Plant Mary’s garden. Children love planting flowers for an outdoor statue of Mary. When the flowers bloom, they pick flowers from the garden, put them a vase and offer them to the statues for Marian feast days.
7. May Crowning. During the month of Mary (May), prepare a coronation ceremony for Mary’s statue. Sing songs and have each of your children crown her with real or silk flowers or pre-made crowns. Gather homeschooling families for a living rosary and have each family prepare a presentation of their talents to Mary.
8. Build up a Marian Library. The CCC cartoon videos of Guadalupe, Fatima, and Lourdes are recommended starters for the children’s video library. Also, find them age appropriate books about Mary. Josephine Nobisso’s “Take it to the Queen” is a beautiful book to read aloud over and over.
9. Pilgrimage and visit Marian Churches. Unless you can afford to, you don’t have to go somewhere exotic to pilgrimage. Find a parish dedicated to Mary one in your area and make a special field trip out of it. Study the statues, icons and windows and research their significance.
10. Arts and Crafts. Kinesthetic learners enjoy simple arts like coloring books, painting, cross stich or embroidery, cut outs, rosary making, and doll sewing.
Don’t think you have to do these all at once. You have an entire childhood to teach your children.