Lessons in Heritage and Cultural Skills - Eva Varga

August 13, 20134

As members of the Sons of Norway lodge, we have access to a variety of cultural skills programs that are easily integrated into our homeschool curriculum. I’ve written about the benefits of the lodge in the past both here and at Curriculum Choice. In July, I shared with you our progress in Norwegian Folk Dance. As we begin a new school year, I share with you two additional heritage and cultural skills programs available to members.

cultural skillsNorwegian Cooking

Over the past few years, I have been working on developing my repertoire of Norwegian cooking skills. I achieved level 1 (favorite recipes) a couple years ago. In June, I submitted my application for levels 2 (baking) and 3 (meat dishes). At each level, applicants are required to prepare 4-5 Norwegian recipes. An elective project is also required and a variety of suggestions are provided.

  • I wrote several Hub pages: LefseBløtekake, & Smørrebrød
  • I prepared dishes for our lodge business meeting (Bløtekake and Vaflerer).
  • I taught my Barnesklubb kids how to make lefse.
  • I planned a traditional Norwegian Easter dinner.

Now that I am familiar with numerous dishes, my kids have expressed interest in earning these pins themselves. In the photographs above, they are making Almond Bars with an old family recipe.

Norwegian Literature

We have also recently began working towards our cultural skills pin in Norwegian Literature together.  Like cooking, it is divided into three levels and a pin is awarded for each. Level 1 is Favorites, level 2 is Fiction, and level 3 is Non-fiction.  Within each level we are required to read a specific number of books by a Norwegian author, and a specific number by a Norwegian-American author, write a report, and select an elective (book club, an article for the lodge newsletter, start a lodge library, etc.).

Presently, we are working on level one and thus far, we have read:

  • Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen
  • Dr. Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbø
  • The Klipfish Code by Mary Cassanova
  • Viking Tales by Jennie Hall (available for free!)

As an elective activity, we have started a book club within our Sons of Norway lodge whereby we meet regularly to discuss the books we are reading.  Through book club, I have come to discover other books by Nesbø, though not appropriate for young readers, provide a fascinating look into Norwegian culture.

Cultural heritage activities enrich our understanding of our ancestry and foster friendships.  Do you integrate lessons in heritage and cultural skills in your homeschool? What activities do you and your children enjoy most?


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  • Deanne Washburn

    November 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Eve, I have many things from my families trip to Norway that I keep meaning to send to you. One of these days, I will actually remember when I am at home and get them sent to you. My sister, Sally Russell, asked me about the things when you were going to make your trip but I was extremely busy at that time so will now try to get to it!

    • Eva Varga

      November 18, 2014 at 7:36 am

      I would love to see your pictures and hear your stories. We’ll have to make plans to meet up next time we are up your way. I’m sure Carol would love to visit, too. 🙂

  • Deanne Washburn

    November 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I have gathered up newspapers, pictures, brochures and such. I hope we will be able to either meet, or I can send them to you for your perusal. Also a cookbook which has much information in it as well as the recipies. Sally and Harold went another year and took a trip on the Hurdi Gurten. They loved it.

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