Like most homeschooling families, we love books and there are never enough shelves for all of them. So when a friend at Ancient Faith Publishing asked if we wanted to review a copy of the new book H is for Holy, we were all so excited and we of course said yes. We’ve been checking our mailbox every day waiting for it to arrive and yesterday it got here, yay!
We sat down on the couch together after ballet and I started to read with all three big kids crowding in to listen and see the pictures.
Would you believe that a couple years ago when we started looking into Orthodoxy that it was a children’s book we found to be one of the most helpful? It had a way of explaining things so simply rather than the sometimes heady comparing and contrasting of Orthodoxy with other confessions or the rich theology of the Church. H is for Holy is like that with little nuggets of simply put information about the Church, theology and icons woven throughout.
We especially loved all the beautiful artwork in H is for Holy. One of the things that was a bit of a disappointment about that primer book a couple years ago was the lack of beautiful artwork especially coming from a faith with a heritage of such beautiful artwork. H is for Holy does not disappoint in that regard. Bright colors and beautiful depictions of the church and icons fill the book from cover to cover.
I was caught off guard by the way my children responded to the interactive questions sprinkled throughout. Normally, getting my kids to respond to a question in a book or even in our schoolwork brings forth “I don’t know” or they just want to skip over them. As we were reading through H is for Holy, however, my kids were quick to point out crosses on our icon corner, recount Bible stories and all of the other directives we came across.
In the last six months or so I’ve been collecting some Orthodox children’s books both for use by our little mission parish and for our own homeschooling use. Quite a few have recently gone out of print (I found a great little stash at our favorite monastery this weekend), so I am really glad that publishers like Ancient Faith are still making great books like H is for Holy for our kids. This one is a keeper for sure. I even found J looking over it again all by herself this morning.
This month has been marked by trips to the beach and St. Barbara’s Monastery with my Godmama, Peter being three months old, Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, crafting, glorious rain, opening presents, and church feast days.
I am definitely starting to feel the winter burn out, but am managing to press forward with school most days. Here is some of the stuff we’ve been up to on those days…
Edible DNA models:
A field trip to the San Diego Museum of Man:
We are about five weeks in to our school year and it really is my favorite year so far. I mean ask me after the December burnout sets in, but that is how I feel right now. Some pictures and highlights…
Second day of school pictures:
The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History:
Nurturing my boy’s love of collecting things and connecting our lesson about archeology finding over 100 bottle caps by the Kern River:
And this hilarious exchange which followed during the car ride home…
“Remember how archeologists like trash?”
“Yeah, but they call it midden.”
“So what would archeologists think about what people did by our river if they dug by it and studied the trash?”
“People drink a lot of beer by the river!”
Cave paintings like nomads made only ours were on grocery bags:
My favorite Garden of the Theotokos art because it is so high sensory depicting Kolliva for Saturday, the day of the departed:
Hieroglyphics and cuneiform:
Henry loves to paint! Tagging along for “On the first day God created the light.”
Sugar cube pyramids:
Henry surprising me by being incredibly well behaved and the sweetest big brother at the symphony:
Having fun with ‘dem bones, ‘dem bones:
Celebrating the end of five weeks of awesome with ice cream and time at our favorite park:
Today we celebrate The Exaltation of the Cross.
We harvested our basil plant this morning. Ethan was thrilled to discover and capture two grasshoppers. All the holes in the leaves were not so thrilling, but we managed to get enough nice ones to fill the basket.
During Lent, Jilly’s godfather came down to deliver some of his beautifully crafted liturgical furniture to another priest. The kids all loved the simple wall crosses he brought down too.
He told them he would send some “kits” so they could make their own. I saved our share of them because I knew they’d be the perfect activity to go with our Garden of the Theotokos curriculum for this day. Jillian and Ethan had fun gluing their crosses and painting them gold while Henry napped.
It was nice to have some festal things to do as a family even though I was still confined mostly to bed to continue recovering from Peter’s birth.