Meet a Contributor III: Alia Heise

In previous posts, we’ve introduced two of the people who contributed activities and projects to Telling God’s Story, Year One Activity Book (available now) and to the Year Two Activity Book (coming in January). Today we’ll meet a third contributor: Alia Heise. You may have seen Alia’s creativity on display already, in the Story of the World lapbook she and her children made (it was featured in a Peace Hill Press YouTube video), or on the many classical-education resources she’s posted at her blog, Chronicle of the Earth.

 Tell us a bit about your children, please. How many do you have, what ages are they, and what is something unique about each one?

Felicia (nickname Yaya) is 9 and is my “mini-me” in personality. She is a real take-charge girl, always planning something, works quickly, sets goals, a real mover. Noah (nickname Bee) is 6 and is a dawdler, a goof, a math whiz and highly emotional. Elliotte (nickname Bit-Bit) is 3 and is keeping her true personality a secret or perhaps she just hasn’t decided yet. Generally she is an easy-going kid who throws us a few curveballs every once in awhile.

What sorts of challenges have you and your husband faced in teaching your children about God, answering tough questions about God/Jesus/matters of life and death, etc?  

I feel that our move from a Protestant church to Eastern Orthodoxy has made our job of teaching our children about God easier. This is because our faith allows for much more mystery and “unknowns” in God and in faith than our previous experience allowed for. It helps take the pressure of “we have to have it all figured out” off of us as parents. Though my 5 year old son did once declare “We’re not Christian, we’re Orthodox!” which made for a difficult explanation! The Story of the World, Volume Two has actually really helped my children understand the branches of Christianity better, and where we fit among them.

Besides “Telling God’s Story,” what other books or projects have you contributed to?

I have had several articles published in my original field (human lactation) and I currently am a professional speaker in that field. Homeschooling: Because of my Story of the World lapbook development I have been afforded the opportunity to be a presenter on lapbooking at homeschooling conferences.

What’s your workspace? Do you work at home, or at outside locations, or at an office, or all of the above? What tools/computers do you use?

This is a “laugh out loud” question for me. We are currently pursuing a home on my parent’s land for a shared homesteading venture and that has been a three year process that is not yet complete, which means we have moved 4 times in those 3 years. Currently we are in an unwinterized large one-room cabin as a family of 5. I work at home when my husband gets the kids out of the house. I have been known to borrow friend’s houses when they are not at home. I sometimes go to my husband’s office “after hours” and work there. Starbucks knows me well, as does the downtown cafe and library. I have been forced to be rather nomadic in my work spaces.

With regards to tools and computer: I work from a hard copy for brainstorming and then get it all down in Word on my laptop. I have learned to keep my camera and USB cable with me at all times in order to demonstrate ideas more clearly.

Can you give us a preview of a project you’re working on for Year Two? Something that you’re especially excited about?

I am excited about the Ten Lepers rhyme I came up with (Luke 17:11-19), which my very talented mother selflessly edited for me because I can rhyme, but I seriously lack talent in meter!

Thanks to Alia, for sharing her expertise with us.

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