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The New City Catechism Curriculum Kit Review by Jacquelin Caffey

The Gospel Coalition
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, IL 60187 USA

Like many Christian families my greatest goal in life is to make God known to my children in every aspect of our life. To teach them His words and help them hide them in their hearts so that when needed they can call on scripture in times of trouble. And most importantly know the truth. A few months ago I received The New City Catechism, a new Bible curriculum, from The Gospel Coalition to help me teach my children the core doctrines of the Christian faith.


The New City Catechism Curriculum includes fifty-two engaging Bible lessons developed to teach the questions and answers of the catechism. The lessons were designed to help children aged 8-11 years old learn the core doctrines of the Christian faith whether in a Sunday school, Christian school classroom, or homeschool setting. So, what exactly is the Catechism? A catechism is a series of Biblical doctrines in question and answer format designed to “teach or instruct”.  The process of using the catechesis has rich Reformation roots of Martin Luther and John Calvin and church history. 


There are three different engaging and dynamic lesson outlines scheduled out in 30-, 45-, or 75-minute sessions to teach the material in The New City Catechism. You get to decide just how little or much work you do on each question. It really just depends on how much time you have for your session. The lessons are designed to be taught in succession from Question 1 through Question 52.


Each lesson includes:

Lesson outlines

A “Big Idea”

Detailed teacher notes 

A weekly memory verse

A supply list

Detailed instructions for two activities

Bible lesson on a related passage

Discussion questions

Memory activities

A closing prayer


The curriculum arrives in a sturdy rectangular box with a velcro flap. Inside the curriculum kit contains three lesson volumes that are color-coded, a reproducible graphics and activities volume, as well as four copies of The New City Catechism for Kids books. 


Using this curriculum is really simple right out of the box. The curriculum is divided into three separate parts and is published in three different colored volumes. Volume 1 is a bright orange and focuses on God, Creation & Fall, Law with twenty lessons covering questions 1-20. Volume 2 has a vibrant blue cover and discusses Christ, Redemption, and Grace within the fifteen lessons covering questions 21-35. The final part is covered in the green Volume 3 dealing with Spirit, Restoration, and Growing in Grace. The final seventeen lessons in this volume cover questions 36-52.


Each lesson is intended to be flexible so don’t feel like you have to complete every section provided. It really is a buffet giving you, the teacher, the ability to customize learning activities for the group of children you are teaching. Memorization is an essential component of this curriculum. There are plenty of activities and games to help the child in this endeavor including visual resources and worksheets found in the purple resource book.


In our homeschool we have used The New City Catechism as our main Bible curriculum for my two youngest daughters who are 12 and 9. After reading the teachers notes and helpful tips I decided that the 75-minute lesson outline would work best for our family. I modified our usage though and spread each lesson outline out over the course of three days. We typically only spend 25-30 minutes learning the catechism on Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays. Some weeks we have spent more than one week completing a question just because our schedule was busy, or I felt my children needed or wanted to dig in a little more, because of that we are currently finishing up Question 8 dealing with the 10 commandments. 


I really like the way the curriculum is set up for each question and the fact that the girls each have their own little book with all 52 questions of the catechism. The opening question page is marked with a vertical stripe on the right-hand side of the page corresponding with the volume cover color. The answer to the question is also printed in the volume color. The opening page also gives the overall of what is to be covered with the question asked. From the “Big Idea” the Memory Verse. As you make your way through the lesson outline I appreciate the little clock with a numeral inside noting roughly how much time I should spend on each section. This subtle gesture has helped to ensure I stay on task.


Teaching the catechism lays a strong and deep foundation and instills a lifetime of faith. Since young children’s minds are constantly growing and acquiring knowledge, teaching the catechism is an excellent way to impart important church doctrine. I love this Bible curriculum as much as my children do! My older daughter is also studying the Catechism within her own Bible curriculum and I love that we are all on the same page in our biblical studies. We have all enjoyed the hands-on nature of this curriculum, especially the activities. We are excited to continue our journey in learning these Biblical truths the rest of this year and into next school year.


-Product review by Jacquelin Caffey, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2018