September Storytime with Gothi Svan- Freyfaxi
***This is a small sample of our basic program. When you are accepted into the Academy you'll receive full access to all materials and our online learning platform.***
This week we will learn about our god Odin. Here is a brief description of Odin, and there is an attached coloring sheet. Odin is the god of wisdom, what better way to begin!
Allfather Odin is our god who really loves learning! Odin is always looking to learn something new. Odin travels all around the world to learn new things! Odin also really likes the spirits of warriors, so much that he invites them to his house in Asgard to feast with him! Every time we learn something new and love to learn, we honor Odin. Our church’s very first temple that we made is named for Odin! Odinshof in California.
When your child learns something new and is excited about that, reference how the allfather loves to learn, and when we also learn something new, this is honoring Odin.
Project: Leaf Mobile and Odin Coloring page
This is an easy and fun project that lets your creative side out. A simple internet search for leaf mobile will give you lots of ideas of leaves hanging from a string. This also gets your child outside and exploring nature. Try to identify species of trees by their leaves if you know them, or look them up. This is also a great time to work on counting and color skills.
This week we will learn about our god Thor. Thor is our mighty God who is very strong! Thor Protects us and keeps us safe on Midgard and the gods in Asgard from the bad giants. Thor uses his hammer, Mjolnir, to fight the bad giants. Thor makes thunder with his hammer strikes! And the rain that falls from the sky and helps the plants grow. Thor has a big red beard and red hair. Our Church’s second temple that we made is named for Thor! Thorshof in North Carolina
Project: Paper machete Mjolnir! Show your child how the Mjolnir blesses alter space, food, etc, and Thor coloring page.
This week we learn about Baldur. Baldur is very handsome! Baldur was so fair and smart; he is asked to settle disagreements. Baldur is so beautiful; he is full of shining light. Baldur's mom, Frigga, loves him very much, and his dad is Odin. Our Church’s Third temple that we made is named for Baldur! Baldur's Hof in Minnesota.
Project: Make a sun or sun wheel with construction paper and paste.
This week we learn about Njord. Njord is our God who loves the ocean, and all the fish! Njord is also our God who is good at saving money and helps us learn how to make money. Njord also really likes fishing, and if we go fishing and have a good catch, we should thank Njord. Our church’s fourth temple is named for Njord! Njordshof in Florida.
Project: Start a piggy bank saving, this teaches kids to save, but also about values.
October Story Time with Gothi Svan-Winternights
This week we learn about our god Freyr. Freyr is our god who helps us with our garden and plants. Freyr wants us to have a big harvest full of good foods for our folk to eat! Freyr makes sure the plants we plant grow big and strong. Freyr has his very own magical boar that he rides.
Project: This time of year, you should be able to get either corn husks, or hay. Use the hay or cork stalk to make a horse or boar with string. Talk about the harvest that produced the material and how this relates to Freyr. As an alternative, you could bake bread and talk about the harvest used in the materials.
This week we learn about our god Tyr, the father in the sky! Tyr is our God who loves the gods and people so much, he gave up his hand to keep all of us safe from a bad wolf. Many of our great heroes ask Tyr for help in their adventures. Tyr loves the sky and lives there. Promises or oaths are very important to Tyr, that’s why when we make a promise, it’s important for us to keep it.
Project: Have your child trace out their hand. You may cut it out or leave it as a drawing. Make an easily kept promise or oath, and draw a representation of that onto the hand, or you may write it out. Keep it simple and easily kept, something like “I promise to brush my teeth when my parents tell me to” and you can refer to the drawing to remember the lesson of oaths and how important they are to Tyr.
This week we learn about our god Bragi. Bragi is our God who loves music! Bragi loves music and poetry. Music makes the folk happy and is beautiful in sound. When we learn to play music on an instrument or sing a pretty song, we honor Bragi.
Project: Learn a folk song from your ethnic ancestors, or listen to some folk music. Talk about how music means a lot to our people and how that relates to your specific ancestry.
This week we learn about Heimdall. Heimdall is very important! Heimdall watches for any trouble, he sees and hears really well. Heimdall has a magic horn that he will sound at the sight of trouble. Heimdall is also our oldest ancestor. Ancestors are our family that came before us. Heimdall helped make all of us today! When we love our folk and honor our ancestors, we honor Heimdall.
Project: Show your child pictures of his or her ancestors, a grandparent, a great grandparent. If you know any stories about that ancestor, share them with your child! Relate that our oldest ancestors are the gods themselves. Light a candle at the ancestor's altar, or in front of a photo of a loved ancestor, and say a small prayer together to send to that ancestor.
November: Storytime with Gothi Svan- Feast of the Einherjar
This week we learn about our god Vidar. Remember the bad wolf that bit off Tyr’s Hand? Vidar makes sure that the bad wolf will never hurt anyone again. Vidar protects our whole universe by making the bad wolf go away. When the other gods have gone away to rest, Vidar will watch over us.
Project: Vidar is a god that is not easily understood by young children, and activities are hard to formulate around Vidar. This week, perhaps we should make a craft pumpkin out of construction paper, emphasizing the harvest and how important the harvest time was to our ancestors.
This week we learn about our god Vali. Vali also will watch over us after the other gods have gone away to rest. Vali loves his brother Baldur very much. When someone hurt Baldur, Vali made sure that that person was punished. We honor Vali when we love our brothers or sisters and watch over them.
Project: If your child has siblings, have them make a friendship bracelet together, or do another activity together. Vali is another God that is not easily transferable to young children and understanding, but we can emphasize Vali’s love for Baldur through fostering the love our children have for their siblings.
This week we learn about our god Ullr. Ullr is our God who loves to go out hunting! And shooting. When our Daddy goes out hunting and brings home delicious food he hunted in the forest, he was blessed by Ullr. When we are thankful for the food our parents have hunted from the forest, we honor Ullr.
Project: If you and your family are hunters, include your child in the dressing and packaging of the meat for the freezer, something simple, like placing the bag into the freezer. You can also make drawings or cutouts of deer, using your child's hand as the outline for the antlers.
This week we learn about our god Forsetti. Forsetti is our god who helps us when we have a disagreement. When you argue with your brother or sister, Forsetti makes sure that you can fix your fight, and be friends again. Forsetti loves fairness and justice. When we have a fight with our friends or siblings, we make up and be friends again, we honor Forsetti.
Project: This is a great opportunity to work on social skills, sharing, and conflict resolution. With friends or siblings. Draw a picture of friends playing, and sharing, emphasizing fairness.
December Storytime with Gothi Svan- Yule traditions
December will primarily focus on Yule. There will be a separate document for yule activities and learning about the holiday.
January Storytime with Gothi Svan
This week we learn about Frigga. Frigga is our great mother goddess. Frigga is a loving mother to man of the Gods, and she loves her children. Frigga is very important to mothers, and also the goddess of marriage. Frigga loves children, and when a man and a woman love each other and get married, that is very important to her.
Project: Show your child pictures of your own wedding. And of them when they were a newborn, tell them how much motherhood means to you. Draw a family picture.
This week we learn about our goddess Freyja. Freyja is very beautiful! Freyja loves it when we love. Freyja is also very brave; half of our brave warriors get to go to Freyja's home!
Project: Freyja coloring sheet.
This week we learn about our Goddess Sif. Sif is married to Thor. Sif is a good wife, and very beautiful. She has long golden hair.
Project: make a construction paper Sif, using strands of golden wheat for hair. For girls you may make a simple doll, using yellow yarn for long hair.
Week 4: This week we learn about our Goddess Idunn. Idunn keeps the magic apples that when eaten, keep our gods and goddesses young and strong! Idunn is married to the god of music, Bragi.
Project: Have your child finger paint, or use a brush, to make magic apples.
February: Story Time with Gothi Svan- Charming of the Plow
This week we learn about our goddess Nanna. Nanna loves Baldur very much. Baldur and Nanna are husband and wife. Nanna loves Baldur so much, that she would go anywhere just to be with him. Nanna teaches us about devotion to the ones we love.
Project: Young children may not understand that Nanna died of grief over Baldur, and followed him to Hel. Rather emphasize the love and loyalty factor. Make a craft involving a heart, or fill out valentine's day cards to friends or siblings.
This week we learn about our goddess Nerthus. Nerthus likes to ride around in a special cart, pulled by cows. Wherever she goes, the folk celebrate! They don’t do any fighting, and just have fun together and celebrate the goddess. Nerthus is our great mother earth.
Project: This is a good time to plant some flowers, or if you are able where you live, to sow vegetables. Emphasize the great care and love we have for the earth, and the earth in turn takes care of us.
This week we learn about Gerda. Gerda was a giantess, but not a mean one. Gerda married Freyr and came to live among the Gods. Gerda also takes care of the earth.
Project: Continuing with our earth and planting theme, if it is still frosty where you are, begin to germinate seeds inside, or in a greenhouse.
This week we learn about our goddess Rindr. Rindr is the mother of Vali, the brave god who watches over us after the other gods have gone to rest. Rindr also really likes the last frosts and ice of the winter season.
Project: Rindr is another goddess that is not conducive to young children's understanding. There is a loose association with rind ice or frost. This project, make a snowflake cutout.
March Storytime with Gothi Stamm- Ostara
This week we learn about our Goddess Sunna, Sunna is the goddess of the sun. She rides her chariot across the sky bringing warmth and light to the folk. She is chased by an angry wolf across the sky.
Project. Sunna coloring sheet.
This week we learn about our god Mani. Mani is the moon. Mani is the brother of Sunna. Mani also drives his chariot across the sky, chased by another angry wolf.
Project. If you have a telescope, take it out and observe the moon. You can also make a clay moon, or bake sugar cookies; the cracks and craters will resemble the moon’s surface.
This week we learn about our goddess Ostara. Ostara is the beautiful lady of spring! She is the bright sunrise. She makes the earth wake up from its long winter nap.
Project: Get up early, and watch the sunrise together. Bask in the glow of the dawn, and say a prayer to Ostara.
This week we learn about our goddess Saga. Saga loves to tell stories and write down the great adventures of our folk and Gods so that they will be remembered forever!
Project: Have your child tell a story. It can be made up, or a real story of their adventures. Your child can draw pictures to go along with the story.
April Storytime with Gothi Svan
This week we learn about our goddess Eir. Eir cares so much about the folk and gods, that when they get sick, she wants to heal them. She likes to help people feel better.
Project. Put together a small first aid kit. It doesn’t have to be extravagant.
This week we learn about our Goddess Fulla. Fulla is a great friend to Frigga. Fulla also helped heal Baldur’s horse when he hurt his leg while they were riding in Germany with Odin.
Project. Much of what we know of Fulla comes from the Merseburg charm. Fulla uses magic to heal Baldur’s lame horse. Much like pin the tail on the donkey, you can make and play pin the leg on Baldur's foal (horse).
This week we learn about our goddess Gefjon. Gefjon is another great friend to Frigga. Gefjon also likes to plow the fields for planting and blesses our farm equipment.
Project. If this is the time for plowing where you live, have your child help. Or if you have a piece of equipment that isn't child friendly, have them help sow the seeds.
This week we learn about our great folk hero, Jarl Haakon. Jarl Haakon was a brave ruler of Norway. Jarl Haakon loved our folk and gods so much, that even after a bad man tried to make him give up his gods, he did not.
Project. Have your child assist in worship at your home alter. If you do not have one, set one up!
May Storytime with Gothi Svan
This week we learn about Our goddess Hulda or Frau Holle. Frau Holle loves spinning and weaving. Frau Holle also loves little babies and cares for them, if no one else can.
Project: Weave a flower crown for May Day. If you knit or crochet, you can have your child help you with the yarn. You can make a simple braid bracelet out of yarn to symbolize weaving.
This week we learn about a great lady and hero of our folk. We often call her the folk mother”. Else Christensen was a lady who spread our faith to the folk who had forgotten it. She greatly loved our folk, even those who had lost their way.
Project. This is a great season to go on a nature walk. Try to identify as many plants as you can. Collect specimens.
This week we learn about our church founder, Gothi, and elder Stephen McNallen. Elder McNallen came to know our Gods as a young man and wanted to bring the joy of our folk faith to the people. Elder McNallen worked hard to teach about the gods, and to make our church strong!