Category Archives: Learning

Book Review: When My Baba Died by Marjorie Kunch

The other day, we were driving down the road when a funeral procession stopped all traffic in order to cross a busy intersection.  My oldest turned to me and asked if only “really important people” have funerals, and I explained how anyone can have a funeral if they desire.  “Mommy?  Did you have a funeral for the babies who died in your tummy?” he asked.  I told him how we did special prayers at church for the littles ones that we lost to miscarriage.
As a family, we have only been to one funeral, and
I, then, realized that none of us has been to an Orthodox funeral.

When My Baba Died

Recently, I had the pleasure of previewing Pascha Press‘s first book: When My Baba Died by Marjorie Kunch.  When My Baba Died is a lovely guide for children through the loss of a loved one.

The description from the website:

This warm, accessible, faith-based book ministers to a child’s specific needs when faced with their first experience of an Orthodox funeral.  It will help parents guide their children during this difficult time and illustrate the progression from the funeral home visitation, to the funeral ceremony in church, to the cemetery graveside service. I also answer the most common questions children asked of me during my twelve years serving as a funeral director, define newly encountered words,  and address the emotions they may be feeling as they begin their journey of grief. This is accomplished with the use of simple text, accurate terminology, and beautiful photography digitally edited to create tasteful illustrations of all phases of the ceremony. It is my humble prayer this book brings you closer to our Risen God and the comfort of the Orthodox Faith.When My Baba Died

I think When My Baba Died would be the perfect addition to the library of any Orthodox family.  It helps prepare a child for what they will encounter at a funeral by going through what will happen, step by step with photos, from the visitation to the burial.  This book lets children know that it is normal to cry and feel sad, but also gives them hope that their loved one is with the Lord. The author, Marjorie Kunch, is a mortician and an Orthodox Christian, and she does an excellent job making this difficult subject accessible to young children.

When My Baba Died

 

When My Baba Died will available June 21st from Pascha Press!

Follow Pascha Press on Facebook for updates.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Holy Week Passport {Printable}

Holy Week Passport

I have created a Holy Week Passport to be used from Lazarus Saturday through Pascha.

Holy Week Passport

It is very simple and geared toward younger children; it doesn’t require any reading.

Each page has a drawing relating to the day that the child can color.
It also has space to either write or draw.

To treat it like a passport, and each time the child goes to service, use stickers from Sermon on the Sidewalk to “stamp” that page.  These can just be cut out and pasted in the blank areas on the pages.

Holy Week Passport

All you do is print out the booklet and then fold.  When you print, make sure your settings are landscape, two-sided and short-edge binding.
I used brads to complete our booklets, but you can use staples as well.

Enjoy!

St Cuthbert’s Cross Printable

ColorStCuthbertsCrossSt Cuthbert’s Day is February 28th.  He is called the wonderworker of Britain and was born in Northumbria around 634.  While we do not know much about his life, we do know a remarkable story from his childhood:

As a child, Cuthbert enjoyed games and playing with other children. He could beat anyone his own age, and even some who were older, at running, jumping, wrestling, and other exercises. One day he and some other boys were amusing themselves by standing on their heads with their feet up in the air. A little boy who was about three years old chided Cuthbert for his inappropriate behavior. “Be sensible,” he said, “and give up these foolish pranks.”

Cuthbert and the others ignored him, but the boy began to weep so piteously that it was impossible to quiet him. When they asked him what the matter was, he shouted, “O holy bishop and priest Cuthbert, these unseemly stunts in order to show off your athletic ability do not become you or the dignity of your office.” Cuthbert immediately stopped what he was doing and attempted to comfort the boy.

On the way home, he pondered the meaning of those strange words. From that time forward, Cuthbert became more thoughtful and serious.This incident reveals St Cuthbert as God’s chosen vessel (2 Tim. 2:20-21), just like Samuel, David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and others who, from an early age, were destined to serve the Lord.  (read more here)

I made a printable that you can use in your home this Lent:

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ColorStCuthbertsCross

I’m Bored Jar *Printable*

I'm Bored jar

There are many different “I’m Bored Jars” all over the internet, especially on pinterest, but I wanted one that I could use specifically for Lent.

While there are many ideas that work all year long, I added a few to help with my children’s spiritual development as well.

You can print out a copy of the pdf ( ImBoredJarforLent ).

Feel free to tailor it to your needs.  Enjoy!I'm Bored jar
I'm Bored jar

Lenten Activities for Kids

I’ve put together a list of activities that you can use in your home during Lent.  
Just click on the photo for the link to the activity.

First, some Lenten Crafts from Be As A Light:
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Laura of Many Mercies has so many wonderful *free* printables on her blog!

Lenten Calendar Printable:

http://manymercies.blogspot.com/2014/02/orthodox-lenten-calendar-printable.html

This year we are using this Memory Verse Garden:

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We use this one in our homeschool:

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Learning about “Lord Have Mercy”:

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Printable Pascha Cards and Basket Cover:

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We made this little Resurrection Garden last year:
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Matushka Emily made this lovely calendar, which we used last year:

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Bingo from Orthodox Education Blog

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Here is my Orthodox Children’s Prayer Book:

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You can use my Weekly Planner to help organize your activities:
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Have fun teaching your children during Lent this year!

{FREE} Weekly Planner Printable

Weekly Planner
I’ve created a Weekly Planner for myself,
and I thought I would share it with you, too!

It is very simple and contains an inspirational quote:

“With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.”
~ St. John Chrysostom

You can download it here: Weekly Planner.

Enjoy!

Advent Reading for Children

As Advent approaches, I made a list of all the books I plan to read with the children during the Nativity Fast, which begins on November 15th in the Orthodox Church.  Our Advent occurs during the 40 days before Christmas. We will read one book or story per day.
Advent Reading
Our list of books (these are all books that we own):

    • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
    • Peace at Last (St Volodymyr) by Savedchuk
    • Book of Bible Stories by Tomie dePaola
    • The Feast of Pentecost (12 Great Feasts Series) by Mother Melania
    • The Miracle of St Nicholas by Whelan
    • The Story of Mary the Mother of God by Dorrie Papademetriou
    • Zeek the Christmas Mouse by Scherde
    • One Baby Jesus (boardbook) by Pingry
    • Uncle Vova’s Tree by Polacco
    • A Children’s Paradise of Saints by Nun Nectaria Mclees
    • The Monk Who Grew in Prayer by Claire Brandenburg
    • The Miracles of Jesus by Tomie dePaola
    • Sweet Song by Jane G Meyer
    • Christmas is Coming (boardbook) by Ailie Busby
    • How the Monastery Came to Be On Top of the Mountain by Currier
    • St Nicholas and the Three Poor Girls by Potamitis
    • The Legend of St Nicholas by Demi
    • Room for a Little One by Waddell
    • The Trisagion Hymn by Potamitis
    • St Spyridon and the Horses by Potamitis
    • North Star by Dorrie Papademetriou
    • The Story of the Nativity by Winthrop
    • Away in a Manger by Thomas Kinkade
    • The Friendly Beasts by Tomie dePaola
    • The Annunciation (12 Great Feasts Series) by Mother Melania
    • Christmas in the Manger (boardbook) by Nola Buck
    • The Nativity of Our Lord (12 Great Feasts Series) by Mother Melania
    • The Nativity by Potimitis
    • What Do You See at Liturgy? Orthodox Board Book

Please share your favorite children’s book in the comments!

The Feast of Transfiguration

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God,
revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it.
Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners,
through the prayers of the Theotokos.
O Giver of Light, glory to You!

TransfigurationMatushka Emily has some wonderful resources on her blog that we used for our lesson today.

Transfiguration

We also read from The Children’s Bible Reader about the Transfiguration of Christ. 
Transfiguration

We used our book about the Transfiguration of our Lord from this set.

Glorious Feast!

Our Lenten Candle

Several years ago, the children and I decorated a candle for Lent.  We only used it during our morning prayers, and it lasted a long time.  Now, we are in need of a new candle.  I bought a simple vigil candle at the grocery store in the Mexican food section.  Our previous candle had been decoupaged, but I wanted to do something a little bit different this time.
coffee filter art
I pulled out the liquid watercolors, coffee filters and a dropper.
I let each child make their own designs on a coffee filter.
coffee filter art
coffee filter art
coffee filter art
They enjoyed it so much that they even used the leftover colors on the paper towels to make more decorated coffee filters.
coffee filter art
In the end, I only needed three coffee filters to cover the candle, so I’ll have to come up with something fun to do with the other…. twenty.

I took this photo tonight, so the lighting isn’t perfect, but you get the idea:
lenten candle