Pagan Homeschoolers: Curriculum Thread - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 151 Old 03-20-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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My kidlets are only 3 and 4 so we aren't schooling yet. We probably will be in the realm of "waldorf unschoolers" in the end though. Waldorf really sings to my heart. The good thing is that Waldorf is very tailorable to your own needs if you make your own curriculum.
This sounds exactly like where I am at with my 13 month old daughter. I generally love the Waldorf framework and I'm thrilled with Seasons of Joy for her. I just got the spring booklet to focus on learning rhymes and verses as well as helping me add beauty to the rhythm I've developed from reading the Seasons of Joy blog as well as the Parenting Passageway blog. Both of those occasionally have some Christian comments but mostly are very serious about only exploring Steiner.

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#62 of 151 Old 03-20-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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An addition to this thread - I read a wonderful article last week in the zine, The Pagan and the Pen. It was about how to incorporate pagan values into children's lives when you are not overtly teaching them a path. I thought it was really well written with ideas applicable to many homeschoolers.

What do we teach them?

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#63 of 151 Old 03-21-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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I use Moving Beyond the Page, and I don't find religious references or bias, although we're still at a young age with it. I did choose topics from there based on what DD wanted to know, big questions I wanted to investigate with her this year, and I do try to tie some of the units to the time of year. I can come back later to explain.

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#64 of 151 Old 03-21-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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ooh, I am starting Moving Beyond the Page for my DD for 3rd grade, I am TOO excited about it.

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#65 of 151 Old 03-21-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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An addition to this thread - I read a wonderful article last week in the zine, The Pagan and the Pen. It was about how to incorporate pagan values into children's lives when you are not overtly teaching them a path. I thought it was really well written with ideas applicable to many homeschoolers.

What do we teach them?
Great article. Interesting site, too. Thanks!
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#66 of 151 Old 03-21-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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more stuff:

http://www.rainehill.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Witchs-Primer-..._bxgy_b_text_b

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#67 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Hi, how is everyone doing?

I've been reading The Adventures of Thor, The Thunder God with my 3 and 6 year olds -- a perfect book for them -- I think we'll really be celebrating Thorsday this week!

I think it was discussed upthread, and I'm sure I'm stating the obvious, but it is on my mind right now how the names of the days of the week/months of the year as a non-Christian cycle that is embedded in our lives just work so *well* as a way to a study of Pagan mythology/history, Norse and Roman, anyway.

It would make a nice diy curriculum, I was thinking, researching the history of the words Sun and Moon for Sunday and Monday (and how the astronomical sun and moon inevitably shape our measurement of time and how worship of the sun and moon are the heart of so many religions). Looking at the appropriate Norse dieties that Tuesday through Friday were named for, then transitioning to Roman mythology/history for Saturday and the months of the year....

So many of the holidays our culture celebrates are Christian, but the way we measure time itself is just inescapably earth-centred, Pagan....

Can anyone recommend a good book for younger elementary age children that references the Sumerians as inventors of the 60 minutes hour/24 hour day etc. ? Or on comparative calenders of the ancient world?
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#68 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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we got this from the library a few months ago. i loved it!

The Time Book: A Brief History from Lunar Calendars to Atomic Clocks

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#69 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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OK, thinking aloud here...

A lot of people in the thread find it hard to use (or at least, annoying to use) books that have a seasonal aspect since the seasons in the book often don't reflect the seasons outside the door! But I'm wondering what options exist to address this?

I guess I'm thinking that a curric is generally designed to lead from a starting point A to an ending point B. So skills and info lead into more advanced skills/info. Without putting the seasonal component all off on it's own, I can't think of a good way to have both a "progression" and an "adaptive" seasonal program. I'm not sure that sentence makes sense anywhere outside of my head though.

For example, we planted seeds on Ostara. But in rural upstate NY we are sure to have a few more snow storms, in fact we had snow just this past weekend. So the idea of gardening (outside) on Ostara is a bit silly. So we planted seeds in a window "greenhouse" and we'll bring the seedlings outside in late May. Now, I can totally design a curric where the "seasonal" aspect is on it's own. But what I've been trying to do is tie everything together.... so the "math" portion involves counting seeds and adding up germination times and measuring precipitation while the "science" looks inside the seed (and eggs) and discusses how they grow, as well as how clouds are formed and how nature starts "waking up" in the spring (syrup collection, bird migration, etc).

But the thing is... the math problems need to build upon the previous math problems and prepare students for future math problems (like using shadow length to determine the height of a sunflower for example). And if the math is worked into the seasonal element, well, then you can't adjust the seasons without throwing off the academic side.

Any ideas on a fix? Is there something obvious staring me in the face? Thanks!

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#70 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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uh, your daughter is 5?

maybe you are overthinking and overplanning? how about just focusing on the joy and see what evolves? i would stick to "natural" learning... as in, when i plan a garden i never do that kind of math. i do however do math regarding square feet and rows, and how many plants i need, and how long till harvest etc. i also do math in regards to how tall plants grow and which belong where.

it makes much more sense to me to do the kind of math that comes naturally with doing something rather than taking a situation and inserting math (or any "subject")

HTH!

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#71 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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this was sent to me by a friend. i don't know how good it it, but i seems worth a look.

http://www.proudtobepagan.com/kidshome.htm

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#72 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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Hi, how is everyone doing?


It would make a nice diy curriculum, I was thinking, researching the history of the words Sun and Moon for Sunday and Monday (and how the astronomical sun and moon inevitably shape our measurement of time and how worship of the sun and moon are the heart of so many religions). Looking at the appropriate Norse dieties that Tuesday through Friday were named for, then transitioning to Roman mythology/history for Saturday and the months of the year....
I have (accidentally) approached this without any true purpose. But, her interest has evolved naturally. I just follow her lead so that might not be what you want. But, I'll share this example.

DD's name is "Mari" and we often just call her "Mar". When we studied space earlier this year, she thought it was great that she had her own planet--Mar's Mars.

As February turned into March, she had a favorite month as well. As we studied more Spanish, she realized that Tuesday -- martes -- was her favorite day. She started making a connection here that these were all related. I then explained all the days of the week, connection to the planets, and also that they were related to gods' names, etc.

I have not stepped in and announced--today we are going to learn about the ancient gods. But, it's slowly evolving and it's all based on the discoveries she is making and her interests.

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#73 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clay- as a stand alone curriculum, I agree, incorporating all areas of study into the seasons can be tricky.

For the infant/toddler curriculum, I am looking at using the elements as a way of organizing it. This would allow for adding in seasons, as well, as area of study. (using areas of study, very, very loosely)

Aubergine- great idea!

For me, there is just so much great stuff out there to use, it is overwhelming at times but at the same time, pulling it all together, the good pagan resources seem to be lacking in some areas.

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#74 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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umami mommy- Since I've been rambling aloud about this for a while over on the pagan monthly thread, I forgot to preface my musings... I've been working on a k-5 stand alone curriculum that meets state standards from a pagan (rather than christian) perspective for a few years now. So I'm trying to make sure everything makes sense and progresses from one stage to another while hitting the expected academic "check points" to allow for standardized testing and all that stuff.

Right now it's sort of a pagan "well trained mind" or "charlotte mason" (lists of books and subjects by year) but I'd like to have it more like, oh, maybe sonlight or oak meadow.... kind of a pagan "school in a box" curriculum (so everything put together, tied together, and progressing at standard). That way people could either purchase the "reading list" version or the "full curriculum" version to suit their needs. While the "reading list" version might be helpful to an unschooling family, that's not really the niche I'm looking to fill.

Hmmm... maybe if there was a seperate "seasonal craft" option where it was more of a stand alone? There is still a certain amount of "building on" in terms of crafty skills but not as much as in academic subjects, so there would be a lot more freedom in terms of which crafts were done when.

For my own dd... well, she may be turning 5 next week, but she already reads on her own, is obsessed with steam engines (actually, she is very "steampunk" at the moment, made herself a bustle skirt to wear over her jeans at preschool, and has been working with DH to design a stream locomotive that would work in vacuum so she could have a train to mars), and loves math (which boggles my mind because I'm totally not a math person... but she is, so I make sure we have numbers in just about everything). She has basic addition and subtraction down cold and has been poking away at multiplication (using rabbits ) She has attended a waldorf/enki preschool for two years now and while I love the gentle rhythms she has been begging for a more "academic" approach... so come fall she'll be diving into Calvert. Our religion shapes a lot of our daily activity (I'm a kitchen witch, everything does double duty in terms of mundane/spiritual) so I'm actually not really thinking about my own kiddos in terms of pagan education. I'm more wondering about shaping a stand alone, standards matched, k-5 program for pagan (and especially non-wiccan) families.

On a related topic... if you identify more as wiccan, there are a number of "workbooks" for wiccan children available. They wouldn't work for our family (we're not wiccan), but check them out if you are! Witch's Primer and First Workbook, for example. Other books, like Aidan's First Full Moon or Ordinary Girl-Magical Child are great resources too. I have those and they're a lot of fun.

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#75 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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clay, we are unschoolers, so i have to say i don't know much of anything about the different curricula out there.

i have been a teacher at wild ginger witchcamp, and an organizer and pixie path leader at vermont witchcamp. so i know more about working with kids (and adults) in the context of learning about witchcraft.. (though much of my master's work was on feminist pedagogy) the "academic" stuff just happens naturally in our house, so i don't focus much on it. DS also loves numbers and math, but prefers to work stuff out on his own and ask for help when he needs it.

i am interested in your take on what it means to you to be a "non-wiccan pagan."

good luck on your project! mine is taking forever.

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#76 of 151 Old 03-29-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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Well, "Pagan" is such a big umbrella... Wicca is certainly one path that falls under the pagan umbrella, but there are plenty of paths that have relatively little in common with wicca. So (for example) a workbook that discussed a duotheistic complimentary Godess/God understanding of the divine might appeal to a Wiccan family, but wouldn't be as applicable to a family in the Church of All Worlds, or an Asatru family, or an Irish Recon family, or a classical Polytheistic family, or (lords and ladies of light save us) an Erisian family.

There's a nice article about wicca vs witch vs pagan on the Reclaiming homepage here. (disclaimer, I was a member of a Reclaiming group for many years and am still very fond of that path. So I tend to agree more than disagree with their view of the world.)

What I'd like to offer is a more "generally" pagan curriculum... so using terms like vernal equinox or winter solstice instead of ostara or yule (since one is a universal/natural/planetary event while the other is a socio-culturally constructed event that doesn't apply to all pagans). Or starting a study of "american history" with, say, the planet itself and the break up of pangaea/laurasia and then following the progress through the "eyes" of a tree or a squirrel instead of the "eyes" of humanoids crossing the land bridge, or landing in viking long boats, or eventually showing up with columbus or the folks at plymouth. So not really "teaching pagan theology/technique" but instead teaching the various academic subjects from a pagan worldview.

I guess I look at curriculum like Rod & Staff, or A Beka, or Sonlight, or the Noah Plan, or even the Well Trained Mind or Charlotte Mason reading lists, and they have such a strong christian focus.... an assumption of what is important, or what is normal, or a way of looking at the world that comes through in every subject, even those that don't seem "religious" at first glance. So I'd like to offer a full curriculum, that meets state standards and provides a strong academic progression, but where the assumptions and norms and literature selections and examples and projects and crafts are more earth centered/pagan friendly/nature affirmative.

Similar in some ways to the Global Village peace/ecology/justice curriculum where the various subjects are taught from a multicultural perspective.

(oh... different curriculum styles... the Homeschool Diner has a fabulous overview of different philosophies, styles, and curriculums here. It's a fun site, and worth a browse.)

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#77 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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clay, i am a reclaiming trad witch and was also an HPS in a very traditional wiccan coven about 14 years ago. so i know intellectually what the differences are. but i was hoping to hear what your take on the whole thing is.

(since star still refers to herself as wiccan even though the reclaiming and feri trads say they are not wiccan.)

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#78 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, yes- last year I helped a new friend bless her house. She had invited a very wide array of people, one of whom was pagan and then there was me. I don't call the 4 corners when beginning a ritual and she gave me such a look. *shrug* It felt forced to me- I like to do what is natural when I can.

Anyway, a bit off topic.

I am hoping to have the infant/toddler curriculum up and running by next spring, but as I develop it, I may put it on a website.

At one time, our UU church was asking members to go through the children's book library, looking at the story and seeing how it applied to the founding principles. I really liked this idea- it was kind of centering-keeping a focus on specific ideas/values, while also being broad. I would love to see a similar idea developed for books that aren't specifically pagan, but are nature/earth centered. Of course, creating one set of principles to fall under the very large pagan umbrella could be challenging. Thoughts? As a parent, would you find this helpful? Ideas and activites go be developed to go along with it.

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#79 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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karen, i'm not sure what "calling the corners" are, but i am guessing you mean invoking the elemental energies?

i have heard some people refer to this as "calling the directions." since what you are actually doing is inviting in the elemental energies to assist your magical work in the circle. i find this common to both wiccan and non-wiccan pagan rituals, however, it's not really required for circles with kids. though i do have a really fun way to create sacred space with kids. including the elemental version of the hokey pokey!

i have found many pagans distainful of wiccans in general, but what i can say is i got an amazingly comprehensive education in energy work. something i find is missing is other trads. despite whatever other criticisms i have about my old trad, i did receive some wonderful gifts from them and i am very grateful for the time i spent training and practicing with them.

it's been invaluable in my reclaiming work and my work with children and my family.

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#80 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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want 10 different opinions about paganism? ask 10 pagans....
Heck, ask just 5!

It's part of the challenge I guess... coming up with something that is meaningful, or at least helpful, without forcing people to flip past projects or re-write them to fit. Early on my mental image was a curric that was more along the lines of "Celebrating the Great Mother" and less "Circle Round" in that Celebrate was more generic and Circle more specific. Both are great books, but Celebrate leaves more room for interpretation while Circle kind of says "here is the story, here is the song, here is the meaning". Which is nice, but only if you agree that the choosen story/song/meaning is appropriate.

Maybe, like earlier in the thread, it would be easier to think of it in terms of a nature based or earth based program... but I don't want it to be "just" (just! ) an ecological view. Good thing I think this is fun!

Aeress- Have you explored the Global Village site? I'll be ordering their 1st grade curric list (not the full curric, just their title list) and can share more detail when it arrives, but they tried to come up with a living literature approach that is
Quote:
centered on the four core principles of the Earth Charter:

(1) Respect and Care for the Community of Life
(2) Ecological Integrity
(3) Social and Economic Justice
(4) Democracy, Nonviolence, Peace and Diversity
What about using the seasons as the 4 guidelines, then grouping books and activities that relate to the season/attributes of the season? Families could start with whatever "season" is appropriate?

So, something like Spring:
The Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth

eta- Tor just hit the submit button so I'm thinking he feels there is no need for a list

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#81 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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i have found many pagans distainful of wiccans in general,
Interesting! It's certainly not what I'd expect from the sorts of books available at most mainstream bookstores. Maybe it's a sort of....hmmmm... secondary rebellion? Because wicca is easy to find, it's the point of entry for many, but as a person explores they discover they relate better with a different path and feel like they have to explicitly declare against wicca?

Or maybe it's due to those loaded bookshelves... although some have great info, it can be hard to take some of the cover art seriously. So perhaps someone compares their own beliefs with the cover art image and keeps walking?

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#82 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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hmmm, interesting. clay, do you feel "circle round" is wiccan in focus? (i love celebrating the great mother, BTW)

BTW, when i joined my old coven, there were very few books on wicca or witchcraft. drawing down the moon, spiral dance, dreaming the dark, a few cunningham books, etc.

besides, i don't feel you can grasp the essence of any religion or spiritual path in a book. it can start you off on your path, but it can't take you very far... IMO.

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#83 of 151 Old 03-30-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Given the authors, Circle Round is very "Reclaiming" IMO. So not "wiccan" but still more "specific to a tradition" than other books? It's a great book, but I find myself turning to Celebrate more often for ideas and to Circle for specifics.

Celebrate is to wombatClay's future pagan curric as Circle is to existing pagan curric maybe?

Or at least, I wish my future curric would be as good as either Celebrate or Circle!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My local B&N has 6 or 7 full SHELVES of wicca 101 books. The cover art ranges from the "scantily clad, well endowed fantasy female" style to the "gothic font" style to the "standing stone or mossy tree" style. Almost all refer to wicca 101 or wicca for beginners or the only wiccan spellbook you'll ever need! and so on. Out of curiosity I just plugged wicca into amazon and got 3,348 titles!

If you search pagan children in amazon almost every book (75 hits but many of those are not for pagan children but rather about these topics) is specifically wiccan and the comments often complain that even books that may not have wicca in the title are still intended for a duotheistic audience. Interestingly, the Asatru collection (for children of the folk) is from lulu, meaning it is "self published".

Of course, here I am trying to add to that pile of pagan related "stuff"! But at least if I produce it myself I'll be able to control the cover art. Right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That actually raises a good point in terms of curriculum planning... some of the comments talk about how pagan books for children should have lots of pictures. How important is it to you to have school materials that have nice pictures? Thinking about what is on our shelves right now, I do have lots of "image heavy" books (like Eyewitness or Ask Me Why) but I'm not sure if that will continue as the kiddos get older. As a child I loved many books that had few (or no) illustrations. And being able to envision something is an important pagan skill ime.

How do you plan on teaching those "vision skills"? Or are you going to leave more specifically "magical" skills until later and just encourage the amazing abilities innate in children?

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#84 of 151 Old 04-09-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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I've been thinking a lot about homeschooling lately and wanted to share some resources. I decided to concentrate on Joy. My search of "teaching" joy has come up with a whole slew of wonderful things.

Peggy Jenkins has a book called The Joyful Child which half of it can be found at the link on Google Books. She also wrote a book called Nurturing Spirituality in Children which is of interest as well. Her website is here and has some lovely ezines in there. One more Peggy Jenkins resource is an article on Soul Based Parenting which is not homeschooling but definitely related.

Soul Based Education is a great article which reviews many resources. Not all the links at the end of the article work but with some googling you can drum up the info.

One more resource for everyone is Suggested Books for pagan homeschoolers.

I got mad at Waldorf (LOL) due to some people's thoughts on Grimm is the master of all fairy tale books. There is so much beautiful tales in life that why focus and limit yourself to Grimm? This lead me down the joy path. I'm not following anyone's lead. I'm on the path myself and intend to take my children with me. My kids are young and this is not the age to teach but to live.

In the mean time: I actually did choose a Grim Fairy Tale for the fairy tale of the month. 3 Billy Goats Gruff. DD strongly dislikes it though and completely changed it. The troll is a nice troll and invites everyone over the bridge and they all end up great friends who play together.

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#85 of 151 Old 04-09-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Awwww.... that's sweet!

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#86 of 151 Old 04-09-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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I'm very excited to see this thread!
I've been checking out the Enki resources and have been happy with the huge amounts of nature based songs and stories.
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#87 of 151 Old 04-10-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AKfamily View Post
I'm very excited to see this thread!
I've been checking out the Enki resources and have been happy with the huge amounts of nature based songs and stories.
Enki intrigues me. I'd love to magically get a hold of a free copy. I'm a little off put by not only the cost but also the fact that you aren't supposed to resell. I know mamas do resell all the time though. As much as I "want" Enki it is a want. We don't have a lot of money and even if I did have $500 I probably could come up with a whole bunch of other things to buy instead - like an apple cider and wine press. (Which should be coming any day now )

I am thinking of paying the money for the K story book. I do like that it's natured based. One of the songs they have a sample of is quite beautiful and stirring and makes me want the Community and Festival song book as well.

Am I the only person who has a long list of homeschooling "wants?"

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#88 of 151 Old 04-11-2010, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do people think about books that are nature based but not written by a pagan? For instance, I find so many magical aspects in books that are very mainstream. Even a simple book, like Animal Homes by Eric Carle was magical to me, as I read it to dd. I didn't say it was magic, but we did talk about respecting animal habitats, and how animals have great gifts that we should respect. (Like how a bird builds a nest)

I know calling it "Pagan" might be problematic but what about Earth Based?
Personally, for me, this works but I am very eclectic.

Thoughts?

Beezer- I am off to church in a bit, we attend a UU, but I will look at the resources you listed later today.

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#89 of 151 Old 04-11-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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There are some nice projects here.

I think "earth based" or "nature based" is fine. I just wish there was a word or term that was even more inclusive! I mean, nature/earth/gaia is one aspect of paganism but not the whole shebang. Though a respect for nature may be the closest thing to a "common thread".

Oh! I think I've come up with a symbolic framework that will allow the seasonal aspect to shift as needed! I had a dream 2-3 weeks ago and the next morning an opportunity I'd passed by last year suddenly popped up again... the dream and the opportunity were both related to spinning/weaving. and then it dawned on me that I could use spinning and weaving as the overall organizational framework and have the seasonal activities be more independent. It means providing 4 "sets" of seasonal crafts for each curric point so that the underlying skills can still build on each other, but it would allow families to customize for their climate without any extra work.

It makes more sense in my head but I think it'll be a good framework.

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#90 of 151 Old 04-11-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Aeress - To me there is so much beauty in life I would hate to shun something just because a label has been attached to it. I also would hate to embrace something that doesn't work for me just because a label has been attached. For instance - Eric Carle is not pagan but is beautiful. Grimm's doesn't work for us (right now) but is Waldorf. I really think taking what works for you and your family and running with it is what is best.

Wombatclay - I like the spinning/weaving of the seasons idea. Feb/early March was amazingly warm, dry, and beautifully sunny that I couldn't help but call it spring. Now we have near freezing temps, hail, and crazy weather and it's April. Go figure.

FYI - Nurturing Spirituality in Childrencan be perused on Google Books as well. There are some great activities in there imo on teaching children about Spirit (Creator, Great Spirit, or whatever name a person chooses). I think they are a bit old for my children now but am putting the book on my very long wish list of resources. If I'm not careful Google Books could be very dangerous to my pocketbook.

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