I've written before about how rhythm is important to our daily lives, but ritual is also important for helping us fit it all together. As unschoolers, it provides a framework of sorts. The little things we do and how we do them as a family help to shape our year. Rituals appear each night, week and season, but most importantly at birthdays and celebrations. As most of our craft and activities are spontaneous, its nice sometimes to know that things are coming. Its really important for our owlets too, so they get an understanding of time... how many sleeps and all that. It provides a certain comfort too as we mark points in the year. We live pretty fortunate lives. We have loads to celebrate. So we do. We celebrate cultures and customs, not necessarily from our own backgrounds. It helps all of us gain a better understanding of our place in the world and the community around us. We talk about the history and the symbolism of various celebrations and explore it through craft, dancing, food, storytelling and music.
This Easter we built on some of the little rituals we have begun in recent years. We decorate an easter tree (old lichen covered branch from the walnut tree) and collect autumnal things to place underneath it. We read the story of Eostre and talk about the Christian meaning of Easter too. We learn about Easter in other contries, other hemispheres. We talk about Easter celebrations when we were growing up. The owlets make a nest each using long, dried grass from the garden and feathers and fleece, while I sit close by nibbling hot cross buns and warm milk.
This year we made felt eggs...
and used them in our annual egg hunt.
Little eggs filled with trinkets and toys, symbols of autumn and the hope of spring.
Later we make chocolates, plant bulbs and harvest pumpkins in the garden. Its a mish-mash of rituals really, but its our mish-mash and we love it. Not really different to any other family, but important for providing opportunities to pause, appreciate, focus and learn a little along the way.