Parents' Guide Calendar and Overview

OLD TESTAMENT

PARENTS’ GUIDE

MASTER SCHEDULE -- sample, fill in your own dates

Schedule of Classes:

 

     Date

Lesson/Activity

Special Notes

Opening Exercises

September 13

                  20

                  27

Creation

Adam & Eve/The Fall

Noah

 

 

Intro. to OT

Lucifer

Enoch

October      3

                   4

                  11

                  17

                  18

                  25

Movie Night: Noah

Tower of Babel

Abraham

Movie Night: Abraham

Isaac

Jacob

Outdoors if possible

 

 

Social Hall after Vespers

 

 

 

Mesopotamia

Ishmael

 

Lot

Esau

November    1

                   8

                  15

                  21

                  22

                  29

Joseph #1

Joseph #2

Moses #1

Movie Night: Moses

Moses #2

Balaam

All Saint’s Party

 

 

Social Hall after Vespers

Memory: 10 Commandments

12 Tribes

Ancient Egypt

Seder

 

10 Comm.

Bronze serpent

December   5

                     6                                                          

                  13

                  20

                  27

St. Nicholas Party

Joshua

Judges/Gideon

Nativity Pageant

Job

Parish Wide

 

 

Social Hall and Nsg. Home

 

 

Rahab

Deborah

 

Samson

January       3

                  10

                  17

                  24

                  30

                  31

Ruth

Samuel/Hannah

Saul             

David/Goliath/Psalms

Movie Night: David

David

 

3 Kings Party following

 

Memory work: Psalm 22

Social Hall after Vespers

 

Naomi

Eli

Jonathon

Psalm 22

 

Psalm 150

February     7

                  14

                  21

                  27

                  28

Solomon

Proverbs/Song of Songs

Elijah

Movie Night: Elijah

Elisha

 

Pack School Kits

 

Social Hall after Vespers

Queen of Sheba

Ecclesiastes

Assyria

 

Jehoshaphat

March         7

                  14

                  21

                  28

Jonah

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Ezekiel

 

Uzziah

Hezekiah

Judith

Josiah

April           4

                    5

                  11

                  18

                  25

PASCHA

Bright Monday Egg Hunt

3 Young Men in Fire

Tobit

Daniel

No Class

After Liturgy

 

Pack Health Kits

 

 

 

Babylon

Susannah

Persia

May            1

                    2

                   9

                  16

                  23

                  30

Movie Night: Esther

Esther

Minor Prophets

No lesson: Camping Trip

Minor Prophets

Ezra/Nehemiah

Social Hall after Vespers

 

Memory Work: Books of O.T.

 

Book Collection

 

Xerxes

Hosea

 

Habukkuk

Memory Work

June            6

                  12

                  13

Maccabees

Dress Rehearsal

Closing exercises/play

Book Collection

Social Hall after Vespers

Social Hall and Nursing Home

Hanukkah songs

 

 

            Each year we send home a parents’ guide to help you continue your children’s Christian education at home and to reinforce what is being taught in Church School.  This gives each family with children some ideas for exciting activities for you and your children to enjoy together; it is not meant to be comprehensive or exclusive. Use your creativity! If you know the topic of the week, you can also think up some wonderful ways to “bring it home” from Church. This can start as simply as reviewing the lesson of the week (Can the children tell you the story?) in the car on the way home from Church and continue through the week in your daily devotions and prayers. This year we focus on the Old Testament and each child, from the smallest to the teens, will have a Bible storybook or Bible itself to read in Church School and at home. If you take it home, be sure to bring it every week!

 

             It is very important even for the very young child to have daily prayers (Do you have a family icon corner? What about setting up one in his room?) and Bible (or Bible story) reading, maybe right after dinner or at bedtime. Do you say grace after each meal? Each day they can practice crossing themselves, lighting candles, burning incense, etc. And on Saturday night, in preparation for Liturgy the next day, what about a time of private confession to the Lord? You could even “pray the hours” on days when you are home: 7 AM (First Hour) thanking God for His light, 9 AM (3rd Hour) thanking Him for His Holy Spirit, 12 Noon (6th Hour) thanking Him for His crucifixion, and 3 PM (9th Hour) praying with the wise thief, “Remember me, O Lord, in thy Kingdom.” Very little time spent, but a habit begun. Don’t forget a Jesse Tree (the 10-12 class is making one this year) and Advent wreath to bring Nativity closer to home.

 

            There will be some memory work for the year. While studying Moses, we will learn the Ten Commandments. While studying David, the 22nd  Psalm. And, in the last few weeks of the year, the children in the 3-5 and 6-7 year old classes should learn the books of the Torah (the first 5 books) and the older students all the names of the books of the Old Testament.  These will be recited when ready during opening exercises and prizes given.  This would be great memory work to do in the car on the way to Liturgy!

 

            Just because we don’t have classes on Nativity and Pascha does not mean you will not be busy! Put up your Jesse tree at the beginning of Advent and add one of the many ancestors of Jesus we’ve studied to it each day, reviewing the story as you do so. What’s a Jesse tree? See the next page for instructions. An Advent wreath with candles to light for each Sunday of Advent (How many are there in an Orthodox home?) will add a bit of beauty to your icon corner. Finally the big day arrives! The Nativity of Christ!  There is so much to do!  Decorate the tree with ornaments and paper chains.  Have a birthday cake for Jesus. Review the Christmas greeting, “Christ is born!” and the response, “Glorify Him!” Sing the Troparion: “Thy Nativity”.  You can make crèche scenes out of the strangest things at home – pine cone people, toilet paper tube people, spoon people, etc. Be sure to have a crèche at home to review the story; before Christmas, Mary and Joseph can slowly move around the room toward the stable. Prayer: Lord, may you come in our hearts as you came on earth as a little child.

            As we enter Lent, review fasting with your children; some may be too young to fast fully but still can understand the concept. Come to Presanctified Liturgies and as many Lenten services as you can. Make an egg tree: blow out eggs for several weeks before Lent and let them drain and dry. Then decorate them as prayer requests – as members of your family, friends, travelers by land, sea, and air, your government, etc. – one for each day of Lent. As you add the egg to the tree, pray for the person or intention; your intercessory prayers will lengthen as the 40 days continue.

And, finally Pascha! Each night at storytime, review what Jesus was doing that very day. Put the icon of Pascha in your icon corner. Practice the Paschal greeting in as many languages as you can muster so your child will be an active participant in the service. Sing together the hymn, “Christ is risen from the dead…” And don’t forget the wonderful traditions: dye eggs (use crayons to make Pysanky), prepare your Pascha basket and cover, bake Easter bread, make Pascha cheese. You’ll be busy this week!

 

            Now, on to suggestions for particular weeks. Note that in the back of the booklet are a coloring or activity page or 2 or 3 for almost every lesson. Crosswords and puzzles for older students are included with the materials, and, of course, the youngest students can color on anything in sight!

 

            Don’t forget our parties and movie nights. These also form part of the learning experience. They are included in the calendar. Movie nights will begin right after vespers on Saturday with dinner for the whole family, followed by a short animated video for the smaller children. The feature film for the older children (You can decide how to define “older”, depending on maturity) with popcorn will include an overnight lock-in; bring sleeping bags. I will need at least one parent to spend the night with us. Details on the parties will be in the newsletter.