Little Oaks: A Religious Education Program for Young Pagans

This year has been rough in a lot of ways, but through those difficulties some opportunities have opened up. One of the really hard decisions folks have been making right now is what to do about school for their children. The likelihood is high in my part of the world that we’ll have some or all eLearning this year, and many are considering pulling their kids out to homeschool entirely. With schooling at home, whether it’s full-on homeschool, school provided virtual school, or supplemental activities, there has been a lot of momentum about how to provide the best learning opportunities for our children. I’ve looked at homeschool curriculums, and plan on at least supplementing my daughter’s experience with one, and my son (who would have started preschool this year) will be doing homeschool completely.

All of this has given me the opportunity, and the motivation, to finally pick up a project I’ve lightly toyed with over the years: developing a religious education program for our kids. Learning about all these different homeschool curriculums has given me some ideas about how to organize it in a way that is adaptable for families. My Grove has been doing children’s programming on and off to accompany our rituals, and we’ve called it Little Oaks, so that is the name I’m taking for this project, at least for now.

I’ve got it lightly sketched out right now, and will be fleshing it out as I go. It’s a 52 week program meant to stretch out over the Wheel of the Year to cover topics important to our practice of paganism and druidry. While I’m mostly focusing on Early Grades at the moment, I do have the beginnings of a Middle Grades layout, which I’ll include as well, though it will probably have a little less information at this point. I was trying to decide whether or not to share it as I went, and I think Patreon gives me the perfect platform to do this. Similar to the Winter Solstice Spiral I did a couple of years ago, I’ll share the work along the way on Patreon, and when it’s all done, I’ll publish it as a book.

For Little Oaks, my plan is to share the monthly overview at the $3 tier, and the week by week lesson plans, including what the regular weekly activities look like in addition to the Key Topic, at the $5 tier (which would work out to ~4 posts a month). I’d love to have your support, and get your feedback on this project, so I hope you’ll join me. To give you a some idea of what things look like before you dive in, here’s the monthly overview of August (which starts halfway through the month) and the first week for the Early Grades.

August Monthly Overview ($3 Tier)

  • Week 1 – Our Virtues: Hospitality & Ghosti
  • Week 2 – Consent & the Self: Healthy Relationships

Week 1 Key Topic – Our Virtues: Hospitality & Ghosti ($5 Tier)

Direct Instruction:

What are virtues?
Virtues are important values and beliefs that help us act as good people in the world.

What are Hospitality & Ghosti?
Hospitality and ghosti are similar ways of saying that we should be kind to each other. It’s much like the golden rule: “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated”. When one person does something nice, sometimes the other person will do something nice for them in return. But, the important thing to remember is that we do nice things for others without expecting them to do something for us. It’s important to be a kind person even when no one is watching. We have these kinds of relationships with our family, friends, and neighbors, but we can also have them with the Gods and Spirits.

Activities:

  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Play a game where you take turns
  • Have your stuffed animals or dolls play a game where they take turns doing nice things for each other
  • Do a ritual and make offerings (like special pictures you drew, oil, or grain), and receive blessings (like water) in return.

Reading Extensions:

  • “Do Unto Otters” by Laurie Keller
  • “Hakeem is a Good Neighbor” by Cathy Vargo

* * * * * *

This post was originally made over on my Patreon. If you’d like to get more content like this, including the weekly Little Oaks updates, please join me over there.

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