Today’s lessons had very little to do with Christmas. Instead, we focused on the church year. It seemed like a good place to start since the first day of Advent was yesterday.
Turkey and Bunny are familiar with how the church year is set up, but I wanted to get a little more in-depth with it, as well as look ahead to the specific dates we will be celebrating later on in this church year. To do that, we started with our church year calendar. This is the third year we’ve had this hanging in our school room, and it’s a great resource. It shows all the major dates of the specific year, and also marks the lesser commemorations we might otherwise miss. It’s a part of our opening every morning to check the calendar, see what season of the church year we’re in, and note any special days.
As we were noting the festivals of this church year, we marked them on a church year spinner. It was actually Turkey’s idea to turn it into a spinner, where he and Bunny could mark the seasons as they change; it was my plan to just make a wheel and fill in the appropriate dates. I think it’s much better the way he suggested! This spinner is actually not so different from our big calendar, but it gives only the highlights of major feast days–much easier for at-a-glance checking, so both have a place in our schoolroom!
We then read the first installment of the “Mouse Prints” series that was put out by CPH a while back. As its title suggests, the focus of this book is The Time of Christmas. There are also books detailing The Time of Easter and The Time of the Church. They’re out of print now, but if you can get your hands on a copy of this set, I highly recommend it. This is a great way to introduce children to the times of the church, and what each of the seasons mean. We’ve read through the whole three book series several times now, but Turkey and Bunny still love it, because the stories (and illustrations) are just so cute!
On a more serious note, we also went through Ordering Our Days in His Peace. We read through the entire Advent/Christmas/Epiphany section, and then skimmed through the rest of the church year. This book compares the church year to a story, and shows that like a story, it needs a beginning, middle, and end for it to make sense to us. I think it’s a great analogy, and Turkey and Bunny were really captivated by it–they had never heard the church year described that way before.