Here is a Holy Week activity for everyone to try. This is a good way to teach kids about the concept of past, present and future using the events from the Holy Week services.
You will need to print out all the icons for the Holy Week services and laminate them. Using a board, divide it into three sections: on the left is the future, middle is the present and the right is the past. In the beginning of the week put all the icons on the left, as each day comes put the icon of the day in the middle with your child and read the scripture that goes with the Holy Week service.
Talk about the icon with your child, what do they see? What do they think the readings mean? Then the next day as you put a new icon in the middle simple move the old icon to the right on the past side.
Go to as many Holy Week services with your kids as possible for them to make the connection with the readings and the icons to the church. They will recognize the shift in the regular rhythm. Also, teach them the Behold the Bridegroom hymn or the Alleluia hymns that are sung in the church for the first 4 days.
Hope your Holy Week is gearing you up for Pascha!
Well folks I finally finished something. A washcloth. Although to expert knitters out there this may not seem like a big deal but to this newbie it is. I honestly stopped counting how many days it takes for me to finish a knitting project because I just get down thinking about it. Boredom, no time, no motivation, sleepy, lazy have all been my excuses to not finish projects. Am I the only one that finds this difficult to accomplish? Maybe handwork in our little homeschooling journey will not be our strong suit. I’d rather get dirty in the garden honestly. At the very least I did hope I was going to finish before Holy Week and did accomplish my goal. Horray!
Please share your motivation for handwork with me. Do you find it as difficult to complete one project? How do you keep doing it with small kids around that have such high needs all the time?
We are not in California anymore…
Nothing like a snow storm here in NYC to remind us of how lucky we were in California with our weather. Our homeschooling week was interrupted by stomach sicknesses and a snow storm brought a stop to classes for my husband. We still did our story from Tell me a Story using Snowdrop on page 31. Also did out wet on wet painting and bread making since the boys couldn’t eat anything but bread. Our poem for the month is from All Around the Year by Elsa Beskow.
Since everyone was down this week we had plenty of book time and also retold stories using our animals from the Tell me a Story book about Mr. Grienders farm. Such simple and nice stories the boys seem to respond to them.
I did use Winnie the Pooh movie when I needed to sleep, when I am sick I am not so crazy about technology. Recently my husband and I were previewing some popular kids shows that people in the community have their kids watch and we were so disappointed about the mixed messages or just crazy flashing from one scene to the next. Maybe we are getting old but what happened to quality with kids shows? Anyone else feel this way?Sigh.
The rest of the time we did get some outside time in with shoveling our car out and just having sled fun.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Tomorrow is a great Feast of the Presentation of our Lord into the Temple according to Orthodox tradition. I love sharing this Feast with my children and everyone because St. Simeon’s prayer can be heard every Vespers in our church:
Lord now let your servant depart in peace
According to Thy word
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which Thou has prepared for all people
A light to enlighten the Gentiles
And the glory of Your people Israel
(Luke 2 29-32)
With my kiddos we took the pictures of our sons when they were being presented to the church after 40 days and showed them those explaining that this is also what happens during this Feast as Christ himself gets presented into the Temple. The deep tradition and history can be clearly seen with this Feast which is why I love talking about it with children. You can see their wheels turn and make connections and it’s beautiful.
We took Sculpey clay and made our own figures of
- St. Simeon
- St. Joseph
- Two turtle doves
- Baby Jesus
As I read the story I retold the story using the figures and left room for my oldest to reenact it on his own afterwards. Also showing them an icon of the Feast and pointing out who is who in the icon before he sees it in church to make the connection as well.
My husband, the artist that he is, drew a wonderful chalkboard drawing of the icon and we will have it as our story for the rest of the week.
This is all part of the Catechism of the Good Shepherd program which teaches kids about the church using the Montessori method.
Enjoy this Feast tomorrow!
DIY nativity set
We had always wanted to get a nativity set but never end up buying one so what to do?? Make one!
Does not look super professional but the boys love it. It goes nicely with our lesson about the birth of Christ and advent season from the catechism of the good shepherd lesson plan we use to learn about the church.
This week was a cold one. King winter has definitely come. Our addition to circle time is this finger play because it’s cold but no snow yet. We will add another once there’s snow on the ground:
Now that king winter has come to stay
All the trees are bare
Little birds must fly away
To find their food elsewhere
Little seeds lie hidden
In the quiet dark earth
Waiting till they’re bidden
To rise above the earth
We focused on a letter B this week with my own story for the boys about a bear that wants to pray and he searches the forest for an animal that knows how to pray. He sees a beaver and the beaver cannot pray and he sees a butterfly but the butterfly cannot pray either. They hear of a monk that lives deep in the forest that prays all day. So the bear goes and finds the monk.
This is a shortened version of course of St. Seraphim of Sorov that is a beloved saint in the Orthodox Church but this is from the bears side of the story.
I am still working on my artwork.
We also made our friends presents this week for St. Nicholas feast day on Tuesday. Our original idea with salt dough backfired because there was not enough room to fill with beeswax but in the end we ended up making a bear and a letter B then painted them blue and used them as ornaments for the tree. Our friends got cookies and a regular tall beeswax candle we made.
We also finished up the week with walking the letter B and braving the cold days with daily outside time.
I have noticed that the boys need to have games when we go outside because it’s cold so taking walks and playing I spy works for us. These stumps we are hoping to transfer to our house and use them as play things for the boys.
Our random acts of kindness this week included; listening to someone, giving a hug, and giving something to someone else.
More ordinations this weekend for us in seminary. Then off to Mt. Athos goes my husband for 2 weeks! After Christmas of course.
Blessings to all.
Wrapping up our week here we made our first attempt at melting beeswax and making candles
Made a pretty good first candle. My oldest is going to be making these for his friends for Christmas presents.
We also lit the first two candles of our salt dough advent spiral that one is also working out well. It is accompanied by the random acts of kindness for each day of advent the boys and I try to practice each day.
I myself am working on my handwork, trying to do it Russian style with a YouTube tutorial my mom send me. So far I have made a wash cloth, a scrubby and keep failing at a scarf…
Did turn this one into a bunny that we use for our counting, tossing it back and forth during circle time and counting to 10 in English and Russian.
For the rest of the time we explored nature on our hike before it started raining on us and finished up our J activities with jugs we painted.
We have two friends being ordained over the next two Sundays, one to deaconate and the other who is a 3rd year student here in seminary to the priesthood. Axios axios to both!
We are getting ready for another year here in seminary. The boys and I did this salt dough advent spiral and they are super excited about getting it going with candles. I was thinking about cutting out cardboard figures of Mary and baby Jesus to keep it moving with every candle being lit but decided against it this year.
We are also working on our letter J this week using our Waldorf curriculum. My oldest really loves it and asks for school time all the time after our breaks.
I am obviously working on my art skills…
We made our bread also with the letter J and jam on top they both enjoyed the snack after it was done… so did papa bear. For the rest of the homeschooling week we are going to make jugs from clay and paint them! Fun time.
Will keep these updates more consistent now that I have a better vision for this blog :o)