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Welcome to Illumination Learning!

A collection of Orthodox Christian resources for family-centered catechesis

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Saint Basil Academy’s Impact on Our Family

Our first trip to Saint Basil Academy in New York was about fifteen years ago. We were dropping off my brother there as his meeting point for a mission trip. I still vividly remember a boy walking sullenly towards a rail at the side of the road on the estate. A man...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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

A Study of North American Saints

This past autumn, my kids and I embarked on a semester long study of North American saints, ignited by a love of Saint Herman of Alaska. My goals for this project were: to read about the lives of these saints, locate where each saint passed away (for consistency sake)...

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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

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