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Welcome to Illumination Learning!

A collection of Orthodox Christian resources for family-centered catechesis

Teaching Our Children About the Life of Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas is one of the most beloved saints of all time. Stories about his life are re-told from one generation to the next, year after year. You can also find churches around the world named in memory of him. Just recently, there was a book published called, St....

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Living Our Faith: The Nativity Fast

This autumn, I made an intentional effort to slow down and enjoy the radiance of the leaves changing on the trees. I made the time to go hiking several times with my boys and we incorporated our botany study before, during, and after these hikes as well. I soaked in...

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Week 9: Icons in Our Narthex – Abraham and Isaac

This week's goal was to learn about our icon of Abraham and Isaac in our church's narthex. (Genesis 22: 1-19) In November, our parish has a “Youth Sunday” where our Sunday School students have an opportunity to do tasks around the church just like everyone else. Each...

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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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Our Family Forgiveness Night Tradition

Many years ago, when my big kids were but wee ones, we were unable to make it to Forgiveness Vespers for a variety of reasons that night. If you’ve never been to this vespers, it is a wonderful service where you approach each person individually in the church and ask...

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Living Our Faith: “It’s Too Hard For My Kids”

I've heard many times over the years, "It's too hard for my kids" when someone brings up the topic of fasting and children. Let's consider for a moment our children's education.  I don't know of any parent who would present a college math textbook to their toddler and...

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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.

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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

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The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Living Our Faith: The Nativity Fast

This autumn, I made an intentional effort to slow down and enjoy the radiance of the leaves changing on the trees. I made the time to go hiking several times with my boys and we incorporated our botany study before, during, and after these hikes as well. I soaked in...

read more

Week 9: Icons in Our Narthex – Abraham and Isaac

This week's goal was to learn about our icon of Abraham and Isaac in our church's narthex. (Genesis 22: 1-19) In November, our parish has a “Youth Sunday” where our Sunday School students have an opportunity to do tasks around the church just like everyone else. Each...

read more

Week 8: Icons in Our Narthex – Prophet Elijah

This week's goal was to learn about our icon of the Prophet Elijah in our church's narthex. This is part 2 of 4 for our Youth Sunday project coming up in November. Week 8: In addition to the the teacher's outline, you will need the following for this lesson: A Bible...

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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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