Church School Curriculum
"The Wonder of It All"
A complete program that offers the preschooler twenty four sessions of carefully planned activities on every day life themes - growth, food, playing, pants. The program aims to build awareness of the wonders of the natural world as a basis for a liturgical sense of wonder and awe and a foundation for prayer.
"Together With God"
Series of lessons designed to introduce children to the liturgical like of the Church, basic concepts of the Holy Trinity and the Church as God's Family.
"God Loves Us"
The lessons lead the children to experience God as our living, caring, and forgiving Father, Who is ever-present, and Whose love is life-giving.
"New Life in Jesus"
The second grade program is made up of two parts: The First Part presents the Mysteries of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Chrismation, and Eucharist. The Second Part of the second grade is "Making Things Right" which introduces students to he Mystery of Holy Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation.
"New Life in the Church"
Develops the child's awareness that the New Life received from Christ, through the Sacraments (Baptism, Confession and the Eucharist), is shared with other within the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Jesus, The Promise of God"
Teaches the study of the Bible and in addition the lessons in the rest of the text are based on the events and teachings in the life of Christ.
"Our Life in the Church"
The description, meaning, and practices of the Sacraments. Focuses primarily on the child's participation in the Sacraments and relates them to life themes and church responsibilities. Attention is given to biblical and doctrinal concepts.
"The Scribe - Searching for Jesus Christ in the Old Testament"
If you lived when Jesus was on earth, would you have become his disciple? What about after his death and resurrection? A story from the Gospel of St. Luke helps us to understand why some people became disciples, and it has to do with the Old Testament.
The goal of The Scribe is to present, the most important aspects of the Old Testament as they relate to the New Testament. The program begins with 2 lessons of Bible skills, and continues with 22 lessons using the headline story, and Scribe’s commentary, from “The Biblical Times” of Jerusalem. Lessons plans are designed for a 40-minute class.
"The Way, The Truth, and The Life"
Entirely new in scope and presentation, the first text of the revised OCEC series, The Way, The Truth, and The Life, provides a basic understanding of our faith in lessons that both inform and inspire. In so doing, the program endeavors to plant the students firmly in the Orthodox spiritual understanding and to guide them on the path to spiritual maturity. An optional award is offered for successful completion of four exams for which the students are adequately prepared. The award is a silver pendant and an award plaque that lists the names of the award winners, for the church school area. The program is NOT competitive. The student book is organized in two parts. Part I offers 28 standard lessons. Part II offers the resource sections: "Feasts days and Icons," "Briefs," "Saints," and "Glossary."
The teacher book offers scripted lesson plans, handouts for prayers, visual aids, workshops, and excerpts from classic Orthodox authors as background reading for each lesson. The lesson plans are flexible and may be used with classes of 40-60 minute duration. (330 pages).
The goal of the 9th grade church school class is to prepare our children to put their faith in action as they face challenges of their faith as they gain more independence and experience more of the temptation our modern world provides. At this age our children spend more time away from their parents and church activities. Since they will not always have you or their “church family” with them to help them make good choices, they need to learn how development of a strong spiritual life can help them stand strong in their faith. We take what they have learned in the lower grades and help them refine strategies to put their faith in action. Our theme is “Preparing for spiritual warfare, a journey of hope” as we are commanded in Ephesians 6:11 to “put on the whole armor of God, so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.”
This is accomplished in several ways through infusing several of the grade level curriculum from the Department Of Christian Ed, guided reading of the Bible, and examining the influences of “the outside world” such as the media, music, Hollywood and the internet. They learn about how what we expose ourselves to can have an influence on us even if it is not readily evident to us. A careful examination of their life and what they value helps them prepare to face these challenges. They also learn how to “prepare to pray” through shutting out the “noise” of the world which can keep us from hearing when God is talking to us. Since prayer is a conversation with God we need to learn how to be good listeners and when “the distractions of the world” interfere, we are not giving God our full attention. In an age where God is constantly being diminished, it takes a strong foundation of faith to keep them on the path to salvation.
Eleventh and Twelfth-Grade
There is a rotating curriculum over a two year period so that the class does not repeat itself. This year we study Church history. We start with a look at the first 800 years of Church history as presented in the “Heroes for Truth” series. We look at the lives of the Apostles after Pentecost, the periods of persecutions and Ecumenical Councils and how this formed the basis of the Orthodox Church. We then skip to the last hundred years and the spread of Orthodoxy to North America. The basis of discussion comes from “Coming to America” as provided by our Archdiocese Department of Christian Education.
In opposite years we study the Divine Liturgy. We look at its origins and discuss the meanings of various parts of the Liturgy. We also discuss the differences between Church Tradition and Church customs and how customs may vary between parishes.
Finally, all senior students are required to participate in a two week teaching assignment each spring. The students are divided into teams to first observe grades 1 through 6. They then are required to develop lesson plans and teach the classes the following week.