Monday, October 15, 2018

Shepherding Sam and The Barn and the Book by Melinda Johnson

We received our copies of the two book series Shepherding Sam and The Barn and the Book by Melinda Johnson. The goal is that our Upper Elementary students will read these books and learn to write a book review which will then be published on this blog, on our Instagram account, and on our Facebook page (I have started a Twitter account but have not used it at all).

One of our 5th grade students has already read Shepherding Sam, so I handed him the copy of The Barn and the Book as his first read. I asked the students who would like to read this book and write a review and the hands shot up in the air! I handed the book to one of our 4th graders. She will read it and then we will work on how to write a book review. Then she will read the next book and pass on Shepherding Sam to another student.

On a personal note... my youngest has Shepherding Sam on his bookshelf in his bedroom but has read about half of it (I suggested last week that he read it but he is in the middle of reading The Indian in the Cupboard series- I believe he just finished book three and is waiting for book four from the library).

If you would like to purchase your own copies of these two books, please check out Ancient Faith Publishing website here. This link will take you directly to a special promotion to buy both books together for $20 plus shipping. And, I am certain that at some point, The Logos Bookstore at the our church will be carrying these two books.

Return soon to read the book reviews by our wonderful students! Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Mrs. Blankenstein

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Virtue of the Month- Honesty

“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, a door of enclosure about my lips”  -Psalm 140:3

This is one of our Bible verse quotations for the month of October. This month our Virtue is Honesty- telling the truth and being genuine. It is far easier to begin by telling a simple lie but then that snowballs into a complicated mess of lies. If the first time we tell the truth, even though in that moment we may be afraid of the consequences of telling the truth, the end result is far greater than lying. I pray that God grants all of us- especially our children- the strength to always be honest.

May it be blessed!
Mrs. Christina Blankenstein

PS. The photo is of two new books that we have purchased for Upper and Lower Elementary classrooms as part of our Faith curriculum. Neither of these are about Honesty, but I wanted to share that we now have these books and, hopefully, I will have some students who will read and write a review for this blog! 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

"With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.” 
- St. John Chrysostom

A friend of Agia Sophia Academy emailed the above quotation to me, knowing how much I would appreciate it. It is Friday afternoon- we are at the end of a long week. So the quotation is timely for me- a reminder of why we, the staff of ASA, come here every day. May we all have a blessed weekend!
In Christ, 
Mrs. Blankenstein

ps. These are a sample of photographs from the blessing of our school. We begin each day, as a community, gathered in the church for morning prayers. We end each day, in our classrooms, gathered around our icon corners for afternoon prayers. And in between, we pray before we eat, we make our cross when we hear a siren from an emergency vehicle, and we venerate the icons as we pass through the narthex.

Monday, September 24, 2018

September- Obedience

Each month, as part of our children’s education at Agia Sophia Academy, we focus on a different Virtue. Our weekly Bible quotations for memorization, our faith lessons, and our discussion and articles are based on that particular virtue. For our first month of school our virtue is obedience.
For some, obedience has a negative connotation- you must do exactly what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it, whether or not the request is reasonable or unreasonable. For others, as long as I give my child a lengthy explanation of the why’s and how’s of what I would like them to do, then they should do it. Neither of these examples are obedience but different forms of coercion. And while within a family, school, and community there is a certain level of expectation to do certain “jobs” or “chores” even when we do not want to, our attitude towards those jobs  and our love for one another can lead us to St. Porphyrios’ definition of obedience:
“I can’t give you an example of what real obedience is. It’s not that we have a discussion about the virtue of obedience and then I say “go and do a somersault,” and you obey. That’s not obedience. You need to be entirely carefree and not thinking at all about the matter of obedience, and then suddenly you are asked to do something and you are ready to do it joyfully.” 
~ St. Porphyrios

May we have a blessed school year as we learn to acquire obedience to the point that when asked, we “do it joyfully”!

In Christ,
Mrs. Blankenstein