This is an assembly of the responses that seem to be the most consistent across several situations.
Formation Course:First and foremost: see if there is a formation course available to you. If there is not, consider hosting one! Especially if you have another adult in the area who is interested. You can contact a formation leader directly or contact the CGS National Association who will help put you in touch with someone. You might be able to have one in your own area on your own schedule! You'll set the dates with the formation leader, it will be advertised on the national association's website and other participants will likely join as well, thus cutting the costs considerably.
Courses are offered at 3 age levels:
- Level 1: ages 3-6
- Level 2: ages 6-9 (includes sacramental preparation)
- Level 3: ages 9-12 (applicable to middle and high school, RCIA and adult faith formation as well.
All formation courses are retreats for the adults as well as preparation for working with the children.
Visit functioning atriums -both to tour outside when children are not present as well as observe while children are present.
Books to Read:There are many wonderful resources with which to learn about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I recommend the following books and resources in this order; from there, branch out to the areas of personal interest and need.
A page on Montessori Trails homeschool blog about Maria Montessori and faith formation.
Bundle of three key books for the level 1 course. While these mostly focus on ages 3-6, there are portions appropriate for younger children as well as a foundation laid for the older children.
- Listening to God with Children
- The Good Shepherd and the Child: Joyful Journey (this has been recently updated; be sure to get the update)
- The Religious Potential of the Child (this one could be read before or after "The Child in the Church")
If you are not able to access a formation course and want to get started working with your 2-7 year old at home, I suggest the God and the Child Collection. Originally written in Spanish (the original Spanish is available on the same site), roughly translated into English, it is a functional resource for getting started while awaiting a proper formation course.
The Child in the Church by Maria Montessori and others
Moving to the older children ----
The bundle of three key books for the level 2 and 3 courses.
- The History of the Kingdom of God From Creation to Parousia (previously History's Golden Thread)
- The History of the Kingdom of God: Liturgy and the Building of the Kingdom (previously Living Liturgy)
- The Religious Potential of the Child Part 2 for ages 6-12