3/31/18

Supergirl and Lazarus Saturday

Today the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Lazarus Saturday.  For Western Christians today is Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday and the day before the great feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior.

I've written about Lazarus Saturday before.  My last post that was just about Lazarus Saturday I shared the hymn Rejoice O Bethany because I had been mediating how how Lazarus's resurrection is a foreshadowing of Our Lord's rising from the dead but also meditating on how we are made alive in Christ.

Today though I experience Lazarus Saturday through the perspective of Supergirl.



It started on Friday:

From the backseat:  "When will we put Jesus on the cross?  Is that this weekend?"

Me:  "No dear.  This weekend is Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  But this week will be Holy Week.  The 12 Gospels service will be on Thursday"

** Note the service that is served on Holy Thursday evening in the 12 Gospels Matins.  We have 12 gospel readings that that us through the Passion of Christ and at the appropriate point  cross is brought out an an icon of Christ is  hung upon the cross.



Then this morning at church: "Mama!  Where is the purple?  I don't see the purple."

The cloths that line the altar and the stands are purple during Lent.  For Lazarus Saturday they are gold.  The priests and altar servers were purple during Great Lent and they switch back to gold for Lazarus Saturday.

I explain:  "Oh well Lazarus Saturday falls out outside of Lent.  Lent ended yesterday so today we have gold.  Do you know what color tomorrow will be?"

Mantha:  "Green!  Palm Sunday is green!"

She grins from ear to ear because green is her favorite color.

A little while later we are singing:

"As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."  She has two questions this time:

"Mama, will we see sing this on Pascha?  When do we put Jesus on the Cross again?"

She is really hung up on putting Jesus on the cross but I think I understand why.  You see if he doesn't go up on the cross, he can't come down.  He can't go into the tomb and he can't rise again.   She very patiently explains that he will live again.  He is living now and he will live again.

She also commented on the fact that we did not sing Rejoice O Bethany.  I told her that we didn't have enough choir members and we would listen to it on You Tube when we got home.  She then remarked, "but we'll sing it tomorrow."  Yes peanut we will.

From the second to the last verse of Rejoice O Bethany:

To Thee O Lord of Creation
We kneel down in rev'rence profound reve'rence profound
For all we who are dead in sin
in Thee, O Jesus are made alive
We are made alive!  We are made alive!
For all we who are dead in sin
in Thee, O Jesus are made alive!

For my readers who celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior tomorrow Blessed Feast Day!  For my readers who celebrate Palm Sunday tomorrow Blessed Feast Day!

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3/28/18

Captain No Beard ~ another treasure from Carole P. Roman {Crew Review}

A couple of days ago I shared about how Supergirl and I are using Carole P. Roman's Cultural Series as the spine for our geography studies.  Today I want to introduce you to another Carole P. Roman series:  Captain No Beard.

Carole P. Roman books and collections include the Cultural If You Were Me and Lived in . . . series, the Historical If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . series, Chapter books, Bedtime Stories, and of course Captain No Beard.  There are currently 10 volumes in this delightful series about a boy and his imagination. We do not own them all and we did not read them in order except that we did start with volume 1. I am going to introduce you to four of these treasures today.



Captain No Beard


The first volume is simply titled Captain No Beard but has a subtitle of An Imaginary Tale of a Pirates Life. In this book we are introduced to Captain No Beard, his cousin First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the lion and Fribbet the Frog.  We learn that Captain No Beard lives on an island and with his crew they sail the mighty frigate the Flying Dragon. A name he chose because it sounded scary.  We learn a bit of pirate talk and sailing terms such as "shiver me timbers" and "swab the decks."  The pirates are looking for treasure, run into a storm and encounter a mermaid.

Supergirl said her favorite part was when mom called out "You'll have to clean all this up before dinner," and then joined the fun by presenting them with a treasure of cookies.
"Did I hear you say you were looking for treasure?" She lowered a plate filled with golden cookies. "I come bearing doubloons. Just don't leave any crumbs, me hearties."

Strangers on the High Seas


I think Strangers on the High Seas is Supergirl's favorite.  I let her choose which 4 books to include in the review and she said "you have to do the one with the baby."   This book introduces a new crew member: Cabin Girl Cayla who just happens to be Alexander er um Captain No Beard's baby sister.  You can tell Cayla is new. She makes the mistake of calling Captain No Beard Alexander.  In this conversation we learn that Captain No Beard is in charge of Cayla today and he doesn't like it. But he and the rest of the crew learn that she is just as valuable a crew member as any of them when she says them from the strangers on the Shark Bait.  The book teaches in a gentle but fun way about stranger danger.  It's a great way to talk with young children about what to do if a stranger tries to talk to you and you feel uneasy.

Four of the books from the Captain No Beard series by Carole P. Roman


The Treasure of Snake Island


As a literature loving family I think The Treasure of Snake Island could easily be my favorite. A beautiful and colorful sunrise prompts Polly the Parrot to make an observation and from there the crew begins to ask Polly about books.  Captain No Beard pulls a treasure map out of his pocket and they are off to find the x that marks the spot.  They work together to find the x and dig until they find something. When they open the treasure chest they find the greatest of treasure: books!  "That there be the greatest treasure of them all, Captain!"

A Flag for the Flying Dragon


This one caught Supergirl's eye because of the baby on the cover. She noticed right away that this baby looked different from Cabin Girl Cayla.  I noticed that this book which is volume 9 in the series is thicker than the others.

This time the Captain is pondering A Flag for the Flying Dragon. He wants it to be perfect.  A new member has joined the crew and he doesn't have a job.  Each member of the crew has job.  First Mate Hallie swabs the deck.  Cabin Girl Cayla fills holes on the deck. Linus the lion polished a huge lamp and so on except for Zachary.  First he tries helping Mongo the Monkey and one by one tries to help each crew member but with disastrous results.  Finally Captain No Beard finds an important job for Zachary and he has a flag for the Flying Dragon.  Peace is restored to the crew.  "It was probably the most beautiful flag in the world. It united his crew."

Supergirl's Thoughts:


My favorite is the Strangers on the High Seas.  Captain No Beard was worried about his sister falling off. She said she would be careful but called him Alexander and Captain No Beard had told her to call him Captain No Beard. It's my favorite because I like the baby sister.  I like that Captain No Beard became Alexander again and the ship became his room and he called his mom the Admiral and asked her to report to the poop deck for a diaper change for the baby.
My next favorite is A Flag for the Flying Dragon because Cayla is in it and she is a big girl now and she has two cousins now on the crew.  Zachary joins the crew. He is a baby and his big sister is First Mate Hallie. They need to find something to do with Zachary.
I love the books and I love cuddling with my mom when she reads them.
Supergirl holding her two favorite Captain No Beard books


My Thoughts


I love these books. They are fun to read aloud and they remind me how important imaginative play is to children's development.  Play is work.  Even in these stories we see that children test out and explore real concepts in the safe place of their imagination.

I love that at the end of each book the Flying Dragon transforms back into Alexander's bedroom.   I love how mom is the mermaid in one book and the Admiral in another.

The concept makes me feel warm inside as I remember my own children and their imaginative play.  I've enjoyed snuggling with Supergirl and hearing her giggle as I say "arrrgh" or "shiver me timbers" and she fills in the rest of the sentence when I say "being a captain is . . . " she immediately responds "hard work." She loves that we have been taking time to snuggle on the couch to read and enjoy fun, not school related, books.  They've become part of our bedtime routine.

Carole P. Roman Award Winning Author


I recommend these books. If you don't have children in the 3-8 years old range you'll want these books available to read when babysitting or for grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Quality children's books are timeless.  Carole P. Roman writes quality children's books be sure to check out some of her titles from other series such as Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump from the Chapter book series or Rocket-Bye from the Bedtime Stories.

Check out my reviews of these books from the Cultural Series: From the Old Schoolhouse Product Reviews:  If you Were Me and Lived in . . . {India, Kenya, Turkey From my blog: If You Were Me and Lived in . .  .{France, Mexico, South Korea, Norway}, and from earlier this week: If You Were me and Lived in . .  .{Germany, China, Russia}.

The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed different combinations of books from the different collections.  Be sure to visit them to read about more Carole P. Roman books!


Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}


Check out Award Winning Author Carole P. Roman on Social Media:



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3/26/18

Introducing Children to Culture Around The World ~ Carole P. Roman {Review}

I was first introduced to Carole P. Roman in 2013 when we reviewed first 4 books available in the If You Were Me and Lived in . . . A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World.  We fell in love with them.  I had the opportunity to review 3 more titles for The Old Schoolhouse Product Reviews and as a Crew Leader I've been adding to my collection.

We love the Carole P. Roman books and collections so I want to share a few more titles from her culture series with you.

These books are perfect when studying geography.  Geography is more than just learning where a country is on a map but also learning more about the people, customs, and culture of that country or region.  Our geography lessons go in fits and spurts but these If You Were Me and Lived in . . . books are my go to spines.

Carol P. Roman books are fantastic for introduction to geography!


We study geography in spurts alternating with spurts of history and science.  We do have a geography course that we are using and I chose If You Were Me and Lived in .. . China as that was one of the countries covered in our Year 1 course.  I choose If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Russia because we have several Russian families at church and our church has a rich Slavonic history.  I let Supergirl choose a third one and she choose If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Germany.  She chose it because "I was born in Germany!"

Each of these books follow a similar pattern. The first page is a map showing the country and the capital city. The next two page spread introduces the country and it's location in the world. Next you're introduced to the capital city.  After learning a bit about the capital city you then learn about children's name and from this point you learn about the culture and people from the perspective of "if you were . .  ."   These books cover children's names, and what they call your parents.  You'll learn about some of the places to visit and what kinds of toys and games children play.  You'll learn about the currency and the book introduces you to the kinds of food you would eat.  Each of the three we read for this review had information about an important cultural festival.

The books also introduce children to the language of the country and thankfully includes pronunciation guides.  I very much appreciate that these books have the pronunciation in right in the text as well as a pronunciation guide in the back.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Germany


We started our geography spurt with Germany because it was the one that most excited Supergirl.   With this book our tour guide is a little boy. The book is then told from perspective of if you were that little boy.  "When your Tante and Onkel come to visit, your sister always wants to take them to see Neuschwanstein Castle."  Later you read "you remind Papa you have to rush home to watch Fussball."

When I read about how Tante was born in America Supergirl immediately piped up with "She was born in America but I was born in Germany!"  She thought it amusing that the aunt was living in Germany but was born in America and she lives in America but was born in Germany.

We colored a German Flag for our Geography Notebook


When we read about Fussball she declared that she preferred basketball over soccer and wanted to know if they have basketball in Germany.

Germany is a little different from the other titles I've read in that it has a list of 5 facts about Germany. It presented as a report that the boy asks his father to help him with.

In addition to discussing the information presented in the books we colored a map of Germany and labeled a few cities and we colored a German Flag.  One of my geography resources has a great summary page with a map so we filled that out as much as we could from just the book and added all those things to our Geography Notebook.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . China


Supergirl chose China to be next on mini-tour.  She said she would not want to live in China.  I couldn't get a clear reason why but I think it was because China has so many people.  She said "because I am shy."    I thought she would get super excited about the different types of food but she was more excited about the mentioning of basketball though she did tell me that she would be willing to try fried ice cream.

We did a coloring page related to China to go along with our book!


One of things I noticed right away when reading this book is that it has lot more text per page then the German and Russian books. China is very large with different climates and the food is different depending on the region. I love that Ms Roman addressed that by talking about a dish or two from each major region. I recognized the dishes and the style from Mandarin to Cantonese as well as Szechuan and Shanghai.  I love how she wove those all in using family.
When you visit your cousins in the south, you would enjoy a Cantonese dinner with stir fried rice with sweet and sour pork. Grandma, who might live in the southwest, would cook in the Szexhuan style, which would be very spicy and include a lot of chili peppers.
Yes reading that page made me very hungry and started a craving for some Chinese take-out.  Supergirl was immediately asking "what's for dinner?" 

If You Were Me and Lived in  . . . Russia


Russia did not give as much information about climate as China did but it did acknowledge the vastness of the country and pointed out that there are nine different time zones.

We looked at photos on the internet of St. Basil's Cathedral and talked about how maybe Fr John visited it when we traveled to Moscow.  She didn't recognize any of the Russian names though I know we have a Maxim.



When we  read about piroshky in the book I thought of the deep friend bread dough stuffed with ground beef, onions, and cheese.  We get these at the State Fair.  In my mind they are different from pierogies which are more like little dumplings.  Piroshky is pronounced the same as pierogie.  When we talked about how we always eat pierogies on Christmas Eve Samantha wanted to know if we could have them for Pascha.  I didn't tell her that she could try caviar next week.  It is a Slavic tradition to eat caviar on Lazarus Saturday which is the day before Palm Sunday.  In case you ever want to know: the orange caviar is not so good.  The black caviar? Much better.  Different fish; different taste.  Just sayin'.  I think I'll be skipping the caviar this year.

Using These for School

Depending on how much you want to add or how deeply you want to explore you could do one book a week.  Here's my ideal layout:

Day 1:  Read the book.  Take time with it.  Pause and look at the pictures and discuss the book.  Ms. Roman includes questions like "can you guess what do you think a wawa is?" or "Do you have a game like that too?"

Day 2:  Do some map work.  Find the country on the map or explore a globe.  Color the country on a map.  Depending on age and interest of student you can mark mountains, bodies of water, and major cities in the country.   You could also color a picture of the flag or save that to do the next day

Day 3:  Using the internet or other resources explore a topic from the book such as learn more about the Great Wall of China or try a food from the country.

Day 4:  Do a craft or coloring project or if you didn't do the flag do it here.

Day 5:  Read and enjoy the book again.

These are fabulous, fun, and educational books.  They can be simply enjoyed on their own and Supergirl loves to just look through them.

Another fun and educational series are the If You Were Me and Lived in . . .  historical series.  We'll be adding If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . Colonial America to our American History Studies.  We also enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . Renaissance Italy.

Carole P. Roman has written many other books such as the Captain No Beard series, Bedtime Stories, and even a couple of beginning chapter books.  Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog and scroll down to read more reviews!


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