Select Page

Welcome to Illumination Learning!

A collection of Orthodox Christian resources for family-centered catechesis

Begin Browsing

Week 6: The New Testament

The goal for this week is to explain the different sections of the New Testament. It's important to place the Bible in context of its layout, content, and how we use it in our daily life - both in our worship and in our own personal, daily reading. Gospels: Matthew,...

read more

Week 5: The Old Testament

The goal for this week was to learn some basics about the Old Testament. Within the Old Testament, each book is grouped together by theme: The Law, Books of History, Books of Wisdom, and the Prophets. We used Fr. Jon Emanuelson's Old Testament banner as a visual aid...

read more

Week 4: Saint Romanos the Melodist

This week, we learned about Saint Romanos the Melodist since we commemorate him on October 1st and he is part of our 4th grade GOA curriculum. The main goals for this week were to learn about the life of Saint Romanos, find where he lived on the map, listen to the...

read more

Jennifer Hock will be sharing her research resources, lesson plans, activities, and parent engagement during the 2017-2018 Sunday Church School Year for her 3rd and 4th grade classroom. The main topics being covered this year are: introduction to the Bible, introduction to the Divine Liturgy, patron saints, and the major feast days of the Church.

Research Resources: Bible

Research Resources: Divine Liturgy

Research Resources: Major Feast Days

Research Resources: Patron Saints

Week 6: The New Testament

The goal for this week is to explain the different sections of the New Testament. It's important to place the Bible in context of its layout, content, and how we use it in our daily life - both in our worship and in our own personal, daily reading. Gospels: Matthew,...

read more

Week 5: The Old Testament

The goal for this week was to learn some basics about the Old Testament. Within the Old Testament, each book is grouped together by theme: The Law, Books of History, Books of Wisdom, and the Prophets. We used Fr. Jon Emanuelson's Old Testament banner as a visual aid...

read more

Week 4: Saint Romanos the Melodist

This week, we learned about Saint Romanos the Melodist since we commemorate him on October 1st and he is part of our 4th grade GOA curriculum. The main goals for this week were to learn about the life of Saint Romanos, find where he lived on the map, listen to the...

read more

Week 3: The Septuagint & Symeon the God-Receiver

This week, I wanted to present a basic introduction to the Bible for my students. Some of my students knew a little bit about the Bible and some had zero experience with it, other than what they hear in church. One of my students told me, "I don't think we even have a...

read more

Week 2: Patron Saints & Namedays

This week, I put together an introductory lesson on patron saints and namedays in preparation for our year-long project on our class' patron saints. The goal of this lesson was to review, or introduce (depending on the student), the celebration of namedays and how our...

read more

Classroom Prep & Week 1: Welcome to Class!

After creating a rough outline of my lessons for the year, I was able to start planning how I wanted to set up my classroom. The classrooms at our parish were recently re-painted. The teachers were asked to only hang visuals on the bulletin board and not to use any...

read more

Sowing Seeds in Our Sunday School Classes

I'm talking to my students about our upcoming year of Sunday School as the room morphs into a well-trodden path along side of a field. I'm sowing seeds within the hearts of these young children as we talk about their patron saints and the upcoming feast of the...

read more

The Epic Search for an Orthodox Christian Curriculum

Why is there a seemingly lack of resources for teaching our children about their Orthodox Christian faith?  Why is it that so many people are adapting curricula from Catholic and Protestant resources?  What does an Orthodox Christian education look like and how do we...

read more

Teaching Our Children About the Holy Fire from Jerusalem

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the old city of Jerusalem, which is in Israel. This church was built on the site where Christ was crucified on the Cross and also houses the burial tomb of Christ. Every Pascha, the patriarch enters the small chapel...

read more

How to Naturally Dye Eggs with Onion Skins for Pascha

Several years ago, I set out on a quest to successfully dye a batch of eggs red using yellow onion skins. My first two attempts failed to even come close to that desired deep red I was told could be achieved using them. I searched and searched online and was basically...

read more

Our Journey to Pascha

Three weeks prior to Great Lent, the Triodion (the service book for Orthodox Christians which contains the services for the three weeks prior to Lent, Great Lent, and Holy Week) begins. In these three weeks prior to the beginning of Lent, it is a time of preparation...

read more

The following six posts are from a mini-series of Lenten posts on parenthood from three Orthodox Christian dads and moms.

Abba Poemen said that Abba John said that the saints are like a group of trees, each bearing different fruit, but watered from the same source. The practices of one saint differ from those of another, but it is the same Spirit that works in all of them.

Source: Sr. Benedicta Ward, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), pp. 89-95

Partnership in Parenting

Christ is Risen! Some might say that I am not a typical man. Ever since I was kid, I have liked to talk, socialize, and listen to other people’s problems.  This is probably why I never felt comfortable meeting people at bars or night clubs; to me, everyone at these...

Facing the Mirror of Motherhood

Once upon a time, I thought my primary role as a mama was to nurture my children - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Time - and many children later - have refined and broadened that perspective. I still think this is a primary role of mine, but I have also...

A Mother’s Hidden Heart

Once a very devout woman came to me and asked: "What shall I do father? I am illiterate and do not know the prayers. Will I be saved without praying?" I asked her: "You do not pray?" "Yes, I pray." "So how do you pray?" "This is how I pray when sweeping the house. I...

Dad, a Living Icon of Christ

When I first started writing this post, I don’t think I had any idea of the places it would take me as I thought about what it truly means to be a dad. After being a father to 8 amazing children, I also never expected that I would come out of this feeling wholly...

Asceticism of Fatherhood

At 3 in the morning, our house is quiet and dark. The distractions of the day all fade into silence, no to-do lists, no errands, no calls, nothing. I learned this the night we brought Elise home from the hospital and was reminded the countless nights over the next...

Planning Our Upcoming Orthodox Homeschool Year

Last spring, someone asked me if I could create a planning tool for an Orthodox homeschool year. I spent the entire summer wrestling with the idea of how to plan and create a resource useful for all Orthodox homeschooling parents. There are so many factors at play -...

read more

Planning Our Upcoming Orthodox Church School Year

This coming school year, I am thrilled to be returning to the church school classroom! I haven't taught Sunday church school since having my youngest two children, so I'm pretty giddy about teaching again. I'll be teaching 3rd and 4th grade at our parish and have been...

read more

Connecting Church & Home

A year long cycle of living our faith for families

Special Needs, Small Classrooms, and One-Room Classrooms

Overview of a recent church school seminar which includes links and resources

 

Family as Nurturer

“The family is not just the principle educator but the educator of such importance that the influence of all other factors is at best marginal.”

– John Boojamra, Foundations for Christian Education

 

“You can only teach that which you have made your own…”

– Sophie Koulomzin, Our Church & Our Children

“Experience before understanding, participation before explanation, is advocated as the way of catechesis in the Church.”

– Anton Vrame, The Educating Icon

“Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the Orthodox Christian learning process begin from the very birth of the child.”

– George Nicozisin, The Road to Orthodox Phronema

“The religious education of children is mainly brought about by example, and by the atmosphere of love and prayer in the home.”

– Sister Magdalen, Children in the Church Today

Contact Us:

3 + 15 =