Liberal Arts Level 2: Early Chapter Books
Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: 2–3
Schedule: 4x / week, 55 min.
Section 1: M/T/W/Th 3:15 p.m. ET with Celeste Gregor (Trinity Time with Pres. Maria Koulianos)
Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details
Our Liberal Arts Curriculum is designed to offer the heart of a classic literature–based education integrated into a single course. Taught in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity through a restful (scholé) pedagogy, the courses span 6 levels on a 2-year rotation, plus level 7, for a total of 13 years of unique material. Class sizes are limited so that interactions within the classroom are personal and cultivate depth of learning.
Book lists for both Rotation A and Rotation B are listed under the Course Materials tab. For the 2020–2021 school year, you only need to purchase the books for Rotation A.
Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.
The Liberal Arts Level 2: Early Chapter Books course is built around a wonderful and engaging selection of early chapter books that will capture the interest and imagination of students. Mrs. Gregor will lead the class in discussions on many subjects and topics related to the stories while helping young learners build the skills they need to become attentive students, supportive and respectful classmates, curious learners, and independent critical thinkers. Throughout the year, students enrolled in the Level 2: Early Chapter Books course will have the opportunity to develop a variety of skills that they can continue to hone to better approach the variety of courses, lectures, readings, and teachers they will encounter in future academics. Students are encouraged to participate in class by answering and posing questions, sharing ideas, and practicing critical thinking. There will be less emphasis on right and wrong answers, since the course is intended to create a strong foundation of curiosity and confidence for future learning. Mrs. Gregor’s goal for each week is to help get young learners comfortable with both thinking and sharing their thoughts. The course will contain the following components:
- Reading a selection of high-quality early chapter books
- Expanding vocabulary
- Practicing pronunciation and phonics
- Establishing a strong connection with books and an enthusiasm for reading
- Learning about the world through a wide variety of literature
- Developing listening skills
- Practicing retelling narratives
- Answering questions leading to definition, example, and comparison
- Completing creative projects on literary themes
- Making in-class presentations using show-and-tell format
- Practicing writing vocabulary words assigned from literature selections
- Writing short paragraphs based on the class readings
Students who enroll in this class should be able to do the following:
- Read at a beginner level (books that are too challenging for the student may be read with or aloud by the parent)
- Show an understanding of the lesson in a story by asking and answering questions about it (who, what, when, where, why, and how)
- Converse with and listen to others, including asking questions and waiting their turn to respond (such as in class discussions)
- Be responsible for completing and turning in assignments on time
Trinity Time is the catechism component for Level II and Level III St. Raphael School students. The once-a-week catechism lessons are intended to help each student grow in their love for God and the church, cultivating a deeper understanding of how to live as Orthodox Christians in the world. Students and families will be invited to spend time during the week praying, reading Scripture, learning about the saints, reading stories, learning the hymns of the church, and reinforcing the foundational teachings of the faith.
You can view the syllabus here.
Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Features
- Classical Arts: Grammar, Dialectic & Rhetoric
- Complete Subjects: History & Literature
- Bonus Science Supplement
- Orthodox teachers
- 24/7 access to Schoology LMS
- Semesters scheduled according to the Orthodox Church year (New Calendar)
Scope and Sequence: Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.
introduction Video from the Teacher
2020–2021: Rotation A
- Poetry Collection
- The Children’s Classic Poetry Collection compiled by Nicola Baxter
- Fall 2020
- Spring 2021
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course. We have supplied links to Amazon for convenience, but any edition of the book is acceptable.
NOTE: The books listed above are for the upcoming 2020–2021 school year and are required texts. The books listed below are for the next rotation of this class, which will run in the 2021–2022 school year. The Rotation B texts below are listed for reference only and will not be used in the upcoming 2020–2021 school year.
2021–2022: Rotation B
- Book List
- The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by T.W. Burgess
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
- A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
- The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla
- The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
- James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
- The Tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond
- A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
- The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
- Poetry Collection
- Classic Poems for Children compiled by Nicola Baxter
Celeste Gregor is the product of classical and literature-based home education, from kindergarten through high school. During high school she found a passion for textiles, which eventually led to a year of study abroad at an arts folk school in Sweden. There she fell in love with making the practical and mundane things in life beautiful, bringing nature into the home and daily life, and using the beauty that can be found around us to bring joy, depth, and learning into family life.
Celeste now lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband, David, their 2-year-old daughter, Dulcy Lucia, and her two stepdaughters, Meredith and Samantha. The family attends Saint John the Baptist church in Rochester. In addition to supplementing the older girls’ public school experience with home-based learning, Celeste is enjoying planting the seeds of a lifelong love of learning, and building a foundation for future homeschooling with Dulcy. email@example.com
Presbytera Maria Koulianos has been an educator for over 20 years, loving every minute, with vast experience in both public and private schools as a classroom teacher, in developing and implementing learning programs for students, and as an area administrator. She earned her bachelor of science in education from Indiana University with certifications in elementary education, 7/8 nondepartmental, language arts 1–9, and computer education K–12. She holds a master of divinity and a master of theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where she wrote her thesis, “The Annunciation of the Theotokos from a Liturgical Perspective.” Presbytera Maria and her husband, Father Dionysios, live in the greater Boston area, where he is the priest of Saint Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, MA. She hopes to inspire her students to love literature and become lifelong learners. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You 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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This registration will be finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.