Catechism Level 4: Basic Spirituality
Term: Yearlong 2021–22, September 7–May 27
Target Grade Levels: 5+
Schedule: 1x / week, 90 min.
Section 1: F 10:30 a.m. ET with Fr. Nikolai Meyers (Full: Join Waiting List)
Section 2: F 12:30 p.m. ET with Fr. Nikolai Meyers
Section 3: M 2:30 p.m. ET with Sarah Roumas
Section 4: Th 2:30 p.m. ET with Sarah Roumas
While our courses are no longer available for purchase on the website, St. Raphael School is open to inquiries about enrolling in courses at any time during the year. If you wish to enroll in a Yearlong course for the 2020-2021 school year after the official add/drop deadline (September 21), you will need to contact us directly. We will consider each request on a case-by-case basis after considering several factors, including size of the class, the preparedness of the student, the willingness of the instructor to accommodate a late addition to the class, and the content of the course. If you would like to submit a request for enrollment in an ongoing course, please visit our Contact Us page.
Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details
We offer four levels of catechism classes, each on a two-year rotation. This allows students to take up to 8 years of catechism classes without repeating any material. Students who have only taken one year of a given level are welcome and encouraged to take the second year before moving on.
In Basic Spirituality, we take 2 years to introduce our students to various biblical, theological, liturgical, and ecclesiastical concepts and terms that they will encounter in their life in Christ. Everything is taught from an Orthodox Christian perspective, so students will be encountering theological words such as theosis, a term that describes the results of living a holy life, alongside liturgical terms such as Lent and liturgy.
The structure of an average class is broken up between timeline and word of the day. Over the 2 years of this course, students will attempt to memorize 100 dates from creation to the present. This gives students a basic framework for history to build upon. We emphasize an Orthodox and also a North American perspective on the dates chosen for the timeline. Several dates will be covered in each class, preceded or followed by the word of the day, a topic that is covered in-depth.
This is an introductory course for grades 5 and up, so we do not expect students to master the material but rather to be introduced to it. Some concepts will take years of life experience to grasp more fully, and some topics, as we explain to the students, will never be fully grasped.
There is no required text for this course. Students do the bulk of the reading in class, so there is no assigned reading outside of class. During class, students will participate in discussions, create definitions of words, and take handwritten notes on definitions and timeline dates. Students will need a 3 ring binder or notebook to keep their notes in. Students may choose to use note-taking pages for “word of the day” and “timeline” that they can download and print off from the class Schoology page.
For homework, students are to give a narration to family members of what they learned in class. The midterm consists of students writing a three-paragraph essay on a timeline date or word of the day. At the end of each semester, an oral exam is given on the last day of class, during which students will be asked several questions from the timeline and from the “word of the day” covered that semester.
There is no required text for this course.
Sarah Roumas is delighted to join St. Raphael School. She received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University, a master of theological studies and a master of theology degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D in liturgical theology from the University of Notre Dame. She studies the development of the Byzantine liturgical books and biblical interpretation in Byzantine hymns. Her dissertation was on the hymns of Lazarus Saturday in Greek manuscripts of the Triodion. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where she chants at St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church and lives with her husband Nicholas and baby son, Anthony.
ou will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be a much better solution, as such devices enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.
This registration will be finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.