Please forgive the second week of non-practical Works for Me Wednesdays. I’m finding it difficult to find the time to get to the store for anything not involving Easter, which does actually relate to what does work for me this Wednesday: living our lived based on the liturgical calendar.
Being homeschooled myself, I took advantage of some peculiar benefits that it had to offer, such as getting up at 6 AM every day. I did this so that I could go to daily Mass with my father. When I didn’t get up for that Mass, I would go to the 11:15 with my mom and we would stick around to say the Rosary with the Rosary Society. I always just assumed that when I started to homeschool my own kids, I’d have them at Mass every day (or at least most days) and possibly throw in some time at Eucharistic Adoration just for fun. Well, one thing led to another and here we are, in our second year of homeschooling, and we’ve only just started going to Mass everyday, and it’s only for Holy Week. We started saying the Rosary, but mainly as a means of avoiding a hellish night time routine. Suffice it to say, we didn’t start off on the best foot where these two are concerned.
Now that I’m “in the trenches” so to speak of homeschooling, I am realizing that it was a lot easier for me, as one person, who was already nine when we started homeschooling, to get up and go with a father who was already in the habit of getting up and going is a far cry easier than getting up and going with five little ones in tow and a mom and dad who are not in the habit. What we have been able to do though is something that I never even gave a thought to growing up, or even until I had children who were old enough to understand. Because we are at home, we manage to live our lives around the liturgical calendar. Think about what this means for a moment, especially to a family with small children. It means no bunnies and egg crafts during Lent, no Christmas crafts during Advent. It means we celebrate Name Days and birthdays. It means that we make an actual feast on feast days. And it means that our kids are growing up learning the importance of all of these things. Think about it. When I was in school (for those three fateful years) very little was done to teach us about the importance of Lent or Advent, let alone the day to day feast days of the saints or Holy days. Easter was something we started celebrating about a month beforehand with crafts that were mainly centered around the bunny, not the Lamb. It was the same thing with Christmas. Advent, because it is only four weeks long, was basically overshadowed with Christmas. We stopped celebrating both holidays by the time we returned to school, you know, right as the true season of each was just starting. I didn’t want that for my children, so my husband and I have made a conscious choice to live our lives around the liturgical year, and not the secular one.
So, we have spent the last several weeks doing crafts that involve a lot of purple and crosses. We’ll spend the next several weeks doing crafts that involve eggs, lilies, empty caves, and yes, even bunnies. It’s not that we don’t want our kids to know the secular world. It’s just that we want them to place the proper amount of importance on the religious one. And that, works for me.