Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Calendar

I thought I would share what we do to learn more about the saints of the Orthodox church. I got this pocket calendar from a teacher supply store. Then each month I go to this calendar site and choose which saints I want to focus on for that month. I find an icon online and print it off on cardstock. I also have a packet of pocket icons I use. I type labels with the saints name and date of commemoration, label the back and laminate the icon. Then I insert the icons into the pockets on the date that saint is commemorated. Each morning part of our school routine is to go over the calendar information, so we always talk about which saints we are commemorating. I review with them the date of commemoration as part of our calendar review, and they spend a month looking at those icons, so they quickly come to recognize a multitude of saints. There are no number cards in the pockets yet because we do that each morning - talk about what day it is, the date, and then one of the kids puts the number card in for that day. By the end of the month all the dates are filled in. To make it still a learning experience for the Crocodile Hunter (who thinks telling the date is a bit beneath his level :) we also learn the months, days, date and weather in Spanish. Finding the icon images took some time in the beginning, but you can start small, just selecting 2 or 3 per month. Then the next year add two or three more, and in a few years you will have 10-15 saints on your calendar. I also mark all the church feast days with icons so we always have the reminder of the feast we are approaching. To keep it organized, I have a manila folder labeled with each month on the outside, and the icons stored in the appropriate envelope. Then all the envelopes are stored in a filing cabinet. This has been such a great visual way to teach the saints, and has become the focus of our morning "getting school started" routine.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Cool! We actually have a set of Menaion icons which has one icon for every single day of the year in small form. It's one large icon print per half month, so about 15 saints per icon (those some days have multiple saints). There are plenty of these in existence in the world because they are put out on the tetrapod at many monasteries. Finding a print version is tricky, but some companies make them. I got mine from Mother Nektaria back in 2002. Some day (been trying to get to this for about 3 years) we're going to cut them all up, modge podge on pieces of balsa wood and put velcro and them put them up daily on a canvas wall hanging with velcro. It will have the names of the months in English, Russian and Greek so we can learn those as well. (Capitalizing on what mom and dad know, there.) That's the plan. It's about 1/4 executed. Someday . . . In the meantime we read from the Prologue during breakfast each morning. I really like your calendar. It's funny because finding the icons on the web is a great idea ( is the best source, I think). But, I started this project years ago before those images were easy to find online. It just gets easier every year! Thanks for sharing.