Category Archives: Homeschool

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.


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


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.


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

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

Understanding Gifted Children

One of the reasons that we decided to homeschool our oldest is due to his giftedness.  He was bored in 1st grade, and, even now, as we do 2nd grade Math and Language Arts at home, he says most of it is “too easy.”

report  card

Gifted children tend to be those who do exceedingly well in school, possibly in all areas, but most likely in one or two specific areas.  The public schools attempt to identify students who are not challenged by standard school curricula and offer additional or specialized education for them. Unfortunately, most of the time, these types of classes/programs are not offered until 4th or 5th grade.

Generally, gifted individuals learn more quickly, deeply, and broadly than their peers. Gifted children may learn to read early and operate at the same level as normal children who are significantly older. The gifted tend to demonstrate high reasoning ability, creativity, curiosity, a large vocabulary, and an excellent memory. They can often master concepts with few repetitions. They may also be physically and emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic, and may frequently question authority. Some have trouble relating to or communicating with their peers because of disparities in vocabulary size (especially in the early years), personality, interests, and motivation. As children, they may prefer the company of older children or adults.

from Wikipedia

Writing A New Way

In the case of our son, he became bored in class during instruction, because he understood the lesson immediately, and would then tune out the teacher. Many times, he would get into trouble for not paying attention or being unprepared to answer questions. His teacher understood this and was very patient with him.  She was also aware of his “idiosyncracies,” as she called them.

Gifted children are often extremely sensitive to environmental stimuli. Their senses are assaulted daily by things that others cannot imagine even being bothersome. The florescent lights that hang above their desk, the smells in the lunchroom, the frantic activity on the playground, the heart wrenching beauty of the tree outside the classroom window, the tag in their new shirt…. These distractions can border on truly painful at times. It is often that as they are dealing with this overload to their senses, people expect them to perform highly in school and to act with greater maturity than their classmates. When they break down, and they do breakdown, people around them may not understand why and accuse them of being overly dramatic. The fact that the child themselves is unable to explain why things bother them so much only solidifies the accusation. Given that they only have the experience of living in their own body, the child does not know that others feel the world differently, and so they accept the accusation. It is important to always use the “lens of giftedness” when viewing the behaviors of gifted children.

found here

Gifted children are sometimes described as “neuroatypical.”  This does not mean that the child has a disorder, but rather that his brain just functions differently from the average person.  It may be unfair to expect a gifted child to behave and perform in the ways that an average child might.  It is important to get to know your gifted child and know him well.


To understand highly gifted children it is essential to realize that, although they are children with the same basic needs as other children, they are very different. Adults cannot ignore or gloss over their differences without doing serious damage to these children, for the differences will not go away or be outgrown. They affect almost every aspect of these children’s intellectual and emotional lives.

from Gifted Education Digests