What a surprise

by Andrea Elizabeth

I did not know the hidden treasure, from me anyway, of Katherine Johnson nor her beautifully written blog Evlogia when I began going to St. Maximus parish in Denton this past May. Turns out she has just released the first installment of an Orthodox homeschool curriculum, collectively called, Ages of Grace, which I see is now on the OCA website! The proceeds benefit the building of a new temple for St. Maximus. I’ve ordered the first study, “Age of Triumph”, which includes age-appropriate material for everyone in the family. Here’s what oca.org has to say about it:

Ages of Grace: OCA parishioner offers Orthodox homeschool curriculum

Katherine Johnson, an OCA parishioner and homeschool mother of six children from infant to high school, has pioneered a new Orthodox curriculum designed for the entire family called Ages of Grace.

Katherine Johnson, an OCA parishioner and homeschool mother of six children from infant to high school, has pioneered a new Orthodox curriculum designed for the entire family called Ages of Grace. The plan of study is designed around the history of the world as a story revealing our communion with God. Throughout the lesson plans, Katherine takes the history of the Orthodox Church and weaves it through each subject area: History, Geography, Literature, Art, Music, and more.

She writes on her website, “Throughout the course of study, the golden thread of Orthodoxy runs through the fabric of the entire curriculum, focusing the heart on the story of our salvation, history being His-story.”

Ages of Grace is the fruit of over 11 years of Katherine’s experience educating her own children and her hope to offer them an authentically Orthodox education. She explains, “Orthodoxy can’t be boxed into one subject, one that somehow never seems to cross over into the others. Learning must be layered and the focus of an Orthodox curriculum must be to educate the whole person, the mind and the heart. To accomplish this, I designed Ages of Grace so that each of its parts relates to the whole. Each subject pours into the next as our Faith flows through them all. And so we begin with history, the ages of grace, the continuous narrative of our communion with God. By chronologically cycling through the history of the world, we study one time period each year while weaving in each core subject through the fabric of the curriculum. It’s a beautifully organic way to learn.”

Ages of Grace is a missionary effort and all sales benefit the building of Orthodox missions. Katherine explains, “The goal of an Orthodox curriculum is to build a worthy temple for the Lord in our hearts and the hearts of our children. When families purchase Ages of Grace they also have the opportunity to help in building a physical temple for the spiritual benefit of others.” All curriculum sales now benefit St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Mission in Denton, Texas, a mission of the Diocese of the South (OCA), founded in 2001 by Archbishop DMITRI. Since its founding, Fr. Justin Frederick has led the mission, the spiritual home of 45 families. This upcoming July, St. Maximus will celebrate 10 years of bearing witness to the fullness of the Christian Faith in North Texas. You can learn more about the mission by visiting their website.

To learn more about the curriculum, visit the Ages of Grace website. The first cycle of lesson plans, Age of Triumph, is now available for purchase. Explore this study of the Middle Ages and Byzantium here and purchase the curriculum here. You can also listen to an interview with Katherine on Ancient Faith Radio.

Curriculum Overview: http://agesofgrace.com/2011/04/curriculum-overview/
St. Maximus website: http://www.stmaximus.org/
Ages of Grace website: http://agesofgrace.com/
Explore Age of Triumph: http://agesofgrace.com/category/explore-age-of-triumph/
Purchase Age of Triumph: http://agesofgrace.com/category/purchase-age-of-triumph/
Ancient Faith Radio interview: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/features/ages_of_grace