This morning, we lit the fourth candle on our Advent wreath.
The fourth Sunday in Advent.
Advent draws to a close and Christmas draws near.
COLLECT ~ O Lord, we beseech Thee, stir up Thy power, and come, and with great might succor us: that by the help of Thy grace that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by Thy merciful forgiveness. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost .
So, what do we do in unschooling households, when it comes to Advent traditions and celebrating the liturgical year..where there are few have tos...but we work on building memories, on learning through life, on relationship?
Do we make family members participate?
Part of the celebration of the liturgical year is just part of family life..so we share and live life together, including praying or making St Lucy Bread or...And we laugh and have fun ( Oh, Mum, you're burning the bread again! Who set fire to the Advent wreath..me, this morning!..lolly snakes in wine glasses for the feast of St John..)
Part of the celebration of the liturgical year is making family memories and thus it helps if the extra activity is pegged to an existing activity ...the extra prayer to dinner time grace..the making and eating of the cake or bread for dinner or to French class with other homeschoolers..the praying of the O Antiphon to breakfast ( for those who eat breakfast!).
I also find that applying an unschooly mindset to the Advent/liturgical year activities helps.
In other words, we do the activity, we pray together, but no one is forced to participate. I usually peg it to a meal or another activity – currently we are praying the O Antiphon and pasting the symbol on the poster in the morning. If a teen is not up yet or not present, that is okay. I just pray and do the activity with anyone who may be around.
And with unschooling, I have seen that doing things that give memories, and spending time together, is what builds understanding and relationship over the years. So, I don’t worry if someone isn‘t enthusiastically into something like the O Antiphons this year – they will probably be more receptive next year. And I don’t worry if a young one doesn’t quite get it or understand it – this , too, will come over the years, with repetition and exposure and maturity.
A bit like learning to read and learning the times tables!