Resources for parents and children during Lent

During this unusual time when we cannot attend services at church or go to Sunday school, there are some resources available online to help your children and teens continue to be reminded of this season of Lent and our journey to Pascha.
For those who have children in the atrium, they have all been given a presentation on the Annunciation to the Theotokos which we will be celebrating tomorrow.  You could read Luke 1:26-38 and ask a few questions, like:
What did the angel say?
What names were given for this baby?
Imagine how Mary felt. What did Mary say to the angel?

There are no right or wrong answers at this age.  There may be no answers verbally.  It’s just a good way to help them remember what they have heard before and ponder it some more.

Here are some resources sent out from the Antiochian Archdiocese that may be of help to your family. I’ve just copied and pasted from some emails I’ve gotten.

Released yesterday from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education, a “Religious Education at Home” website was created that you might find helpful. Lessons and reflections for all ages will be posted, based on the Lenten theme for the week. This week’s resources focus on the Sunday of the Holy Cross: https://www.goarch.org/-/religious-ed-at-home-week-1?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Fdepartments%2Freligioused

Many Orthodox Christian organizations and groups are offering exceptional at-home ministry opportunities for families, and hopefully you are receiving notifications through social media, email, and word of mouth. An organized daily schedule of some of these opportunities is available at:
https://www.y2am.org/AtHome?fbclid=IwAR3jxzhU54_vrCCV5CrTu7BJI27vVth4Ih3cxK1Gflch2pDHM9ibOSrx4z4

Also, virtual Sunday School begins THIS Sunday! Tending the Garden of Our Hearts has announced the following:
Welcome to Tending the Garden of our Hearts: Weekly Meditations for Orthodox Families!

During this time of social distancing and quarantine, Tending the Garden of Our Hearts will expand on our podcast offering with our Virtual Sunday School! In addition to the weekly podcast, you’ll find videos, activities and printables to get your family talking and learning together. Classes begin on Sunday, March 22, 2020! Make sure that your Sundays still feel like Sunday.  Attend a liturgy online, and then drop in here for Sunday School: https://tending-the-garden.com/virtualsundayschool/

http://ww1.antiochian.org/christianeducation/letusattend

A “special edition” post went up on the Orthodox Christian Parenting blog today with a treasure trove of resources, all aimed at making the most of this “bonus time” with our families.    The post includes links to Orthodox Christian audio books, podcasts, daily devotionals, video series for youth, free to download focus units, arts and crafts ideas, and more:
https://orthodoxchristianparenting.wordpress.com/2020/03/16/while-at-home-choosing-to-make-the-most-of-bonus-family-time/

Here are additional options:
The Children’s Word from Orthodox Christian Network
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities.
http://myocn.net/orthodox-christian-childrens-newsletter/

Videos from Orthodox Pebbles, appropriate for preschool through early elementary: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7SaKFFdY-O88dXr6a5Zl6n-ukD2uOy__
Corresponding free printables at: https://orthodoxpebbles.com/

For middle school students and older – short, hand-drawn videos on the lives of saints: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU2phFsLe3HP2Jqh-4NIfapX71MzTjvLm

The Lord’s Prayer copy work:
https://www.drawneardesigns.com/blog/2018/10/17/lords-prayer-printables-how-to-teach-prayer

Free printable Pascha cards:
https://www.drawneardesigns.com/blog/2018/3/14/free-printable-pascha-cards

Library of free printables from Many Mercies Orthodox Christian blog, including a Lenten Memory Verse Garden, a Lenten calendar, and Pascha cards:
http://manymercies.blogspot.com/search/label/printables

Lesson plans on a variety of topics, with corresponding worksheets (best for 2nd grade and older):
https://orthodoxabc.com/

Also, this is one of my favorite websites for coloring pages and lessons.
http://dce.oca.org/page/focus/

Don’t feel pressured to do all these activities, just pick one or two that meet the needs of your family.
I continue to pray for all the children of St. Anna.

In Christ,
Sh. Belinda

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