At Zera Hall, we use a year-round educational calendar based on the traditional church year. This calendar was created by a homeschooling family at our church and is being used and developed by a group of us educator-moms. The year begins with Advent and ends with what I call Confession Term. The first four terms follow the life of Christ as the church year does with Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Resurrection & Ascension terms. After Ascension day we enter what is known as "ordinary time" in the church year.
In using this calendar, I try to match our memorization, history and class projects to the term we are in. This was easy to do for the first four terms, but harder once we got to ordinary time. So, to continue following the work of Christ with our classwork, I gave the ordinary-time terms themes that continued to follow the history of Christ's church: Apostolic Age, Church Age and Confession Terms. We are currently finishing up Apostlic Age Term and will be entering Church Age Term in a couple of weeks.
During Apostolic Age term we follow the work of the early church from Pentecost through the lives of the Apostles. This looks a little different every year. This year we worked on memorizing the names of the Apostles in song and learned the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 in keeping with Pentecost.
I love using the church calendar for our school year as it focuses our minds on following Christ in everything we do. Since we do not follow a secular educational model, we are not limited to a secular school calendar. I appreciate many aspects of this calendar - working year-round, regular rest and work routines, etc. - but especially that it gives me a focus for each term. Each year as I use this calendar, I develop a bit further ways in which to tie each of our subjects into the period of the church year we are in. I enjoy having a tool that trains both the girls and myself to think of all we do in light of Christ's work in our lives.
I am excited to take up Church Age term this year and begin the girls' study of Christ work in history - Veritas Press History Cards here we come!