We're a Pagan family, currently members of ADF with a Norse hearth culture. Since this coming year is going to be crazy busy I've been looking into "structured" homeschool programs and one that seems promising is Sonlight. As you might guess from the name, Sonlight is an evangelical Christian curriculum, but there are groups that have converted it to a secular program and in that form it suits our familly. Except for one thing...
Part of the Sonlight program is Bible verse memorization. It's a fairly big chunk actually in some years (being part of their learning to read program too). Now, the secular option is to leave out the Bible portion entirely or replace it with poetry. But I was thinking, why not replace it with memorization of texts that are important in our own religion? And that's where I hit another problem... as far as I can tell there simply aren't things like "Baby's First Edda" or "A Child's Troth" or "What Would Freya Do? A young woman's guide to growing up Heathen". I've found a few things for children, but mostly along the lines of stories rather than memorizable verses.
Any ideas? I'm open to all ideas... musical verses, child friendly translations of classic texts, modern Heathen/Asatru verses, etc.
Clay- the closest I found was a Norse mythology book and honestly, my nine year old wasn't that interested. We have this one, among others. I think the stories were to heady for her. And this looks interesting, but again, probably a little much for kids.
How about a coloring book? While not a verse, the Dover coloring books usually give a little info with their coloring pages. You could replace that piece of the curriculum with a page a day. I can't really think of anything like you mentioned, I agree- there really isn't anything that I can find.
Dh, Me , DD 10 , DD 7 , DD 4
We , , , , not in that order
I'm not an expert on Asatru, but I am familiar with it. DH is Swedish, knows a lot about it and practices the religion. Your situation seems like it calls for creativity and ingenuity, as in designing your own curriculum geared more towards Asatru. What would Freya Aswynn do? Really the only thing I have seen for children per se is story books (ex. is a very old book called "Odin's Children" given as a gift by MIL) Perhaps you can be a pioneer in this area for young vikings and valkyries. I like your idea of "a young woman's guide to growing up heathen" - maybe with a focus on the Norse goddesses. The sagas might be too complex at this stage but I can ask DH if he has any ideas. Would you do runic studies or something with Yggdrasil? Are there people at gatherings you know with children who have ideas?
Knowledge is power.
But only as powerful as the mind which grasps it, the heart which believes in it, and the hands which wield it.
I like the idea of coloring pages... especially since I really (really really) need this coming school year to be as "low stress" as possible and coloring books take no prep. :)
I have tons of plans for creating a pagan homeschool program that isn't Wiccan/duotheistic (most pagan currics assume a Wiccan, or at least Lord&Lady world view) but that'll have to wait this year out. Since our religious practice is very much part of our day to day routine I know the kiddos will pick it up as we go, but seeing the "active" religious component in the pre-packed curric and some of the other discussions here in Spirituality about early religious education got me thinking...
I did find this books list (it's a note on a FaceBook page) and I'll check out some of the titles. I've been thinking about getting a copy of the KinderTales books, but again... the whole verse/memorization thing made me realize that while there are lots of myth/tale style resources, there aren't the sorts of resources I remember reading/memorizing/reciting from my own childhood.
The nearest ADF group has an Irish Hearth focus and a Druid Scout program but, sadly, they're several hours drive away... so it's tough to give the kiddos regular social/religious outings. Members of my extended family are Asatru but again, they're not nearby. However, we hope to move in a few years and an active and child welcoming religious community is going to be a big part of choosing the "where" in that move.
We are more UU in our day to day life, I include the girls in rituals and some of the wheel of the year but since it is more my religion than ours as a family, (dh isn't pagan) I am slowly introducing the pagan perspective. The link you listed is much more helpful than what I found.
One thing I did this year, well at the beginning of the year, was to take key words that reflected our beliefs and typed them up to hang on the wall. Is this something you could do? The kids then made pictures based on the words, we discussed why they were important to us and then hung them as daily reminders. (Almost like hanging bible verses) We also read stories that related to our words. It integrated nicely into our day and was very low key. Sometimes we would start the morning by reading the words that struck our mood that morning, much like pulling a card.
Dh, Me , DD 10 , DD 7 , DD 4
We , , , , not in that order
Ohhh! I've been planning a banner or wallhanging quilt using the nine noble truths... but haven't gotten beyond plans and it's been more than a year (I've actually started thinking of it as a baby blanket project lol). The girls had so much fun this year making treasure maps they've been asking to make more... I bet we could make treasure map style collages for each of the truths and then hang them on the wall. What a great idea, thanks!
There's a nice "nine noble virtues for kids" page here (Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industry, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance), but I think a family code craft would be applicable to just about any religion or spirituality. When we were attending the local UU the religious ed program office had a wall hanging with the seven principles that gave me the idea for a quilt. And for those not familiar with UU, the core principles are:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.