I grew up in a very Catholic home, centered on faith, went to Catholic private school, etc. But for some reason, I feel like I am learning the 10 Commandments for the first time along with my 1st grader. Seton Home Study does such an excellent job of explaining how we could possibly fail at keeping these laws of God. I knew I would never "kill" someone, or commit adultery, so where does my life fit into these rules? God's insight on his commands is much deeper than our own. So here's how I've helped my daughter simplify these laws for her age.
1. There is only one God. Nothing and no one is more important than God.
2. Don't say "God or "Jesus" disrespectfully.
3. Go to church on Sunday and Holy Days, make it a family day, not distracted by work/chores.
4. Respect, love and obey your parents.
5. Don't kill or hurt yourself or others.
6. Be pure and modest.
7. Don't take what isn't yours.
8. Don't lie or keep serious secrets. Always tell the truth.
9. Be friendly and be sure to include everyone in the fun.
10. Appreciate all that you have.
We worked really hard on these, and I found some other tricks to help in memorization. Since God wrote the 10 Commandments with His own hands, let's use our hands to remember.
*1-3 is all about God, because he comes first. And 3 is like the Trinity.
*4 is about our family, because they come next.
*5 - when you hold your 5 fingers up, it's your choice to not make a fist and hurt someone.
*6 - hold up one hand of 5, then your thumb for 6. Focus on the thumbs up for being pure.
*7 - hold one palm open for 5, and your thumb and pointer for 6-7. It looks like you're holding a gun and holding out your hand to take something. This is a sign of stealing.
*8- you can take the 3 fingers on one hand of 8 and pinch your lips closed.
*9 and 10 are about our neighbors. Wiggle your fingers for all your neighbors, then spread your arms out to bring attention to all the wonderful things around you.
Image from here