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Welcome to Illumination Learning!

A collection of Orthodox Christian resources for family-centered catechesis

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Week 7: Icons in Our Narthex – King David

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 class is assigned something to do for that Sunday. This year, the 3rd/4th grade class was asked to share a...

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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,...

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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...

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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. 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 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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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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Journeying Through Great Lent to Pascha as a Family

I spent the weekend preparing our home for our journey to Pascha as Great Lent is on our doorstep once again.  We received our Pascha Passports in the mail along with the new companion booklet, Raising Lazarus Project Booklet, which is intended to help prepare our...

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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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Week 7: Icons in Our Narthex – King David

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 class is assigned something to do for that Sunday. This year, the 3rd/4th grade class was asked to share a...

read more

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 -...

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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...

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

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