Back To School For Pagan Children

New clothes, backpack, and notebooks. Some things are the same for all children at the end of the summer.

Your pagan child may feel anxious about starting a new school year with a new teacher and more advanced coursework.

Pagan children sometimes face challenges brought on by their lifestyle and/or religious life. They may face discrimination from other students or sadly even the teacher.

I have been a teacher and a pagan parent for the past twenty-five years. This article is full of advice and tips and some fun things you can do as pagans to help your child in school.

Getting Ready

There are fun ways to connect your child’s religious experiences with school.

  • Start by cleansing and consecrating your child’s school supplies just as you would ritual tools. After all, these are their tools for doing well.

  • Shop for a new crystal for them. Let them choose one that speaks to them. Either a tumbled one they can put in their pocket or ones made into a piece of jewelry.

  • Buying clothes? Your child may want to get an item of clothing for a certain day. For example, a red shirt for a test, purple for a presentation, or yellow for a creative project.

  • Set an intention as a parent, as a family, for a successful school year. Light a candle and reiterate your intention. Or modify the intention to reflect any struggles your child is having.

Honor A God or Goddess of Learning and Education

You can set up a place on your family altar to honor a god or goddess of education. Leave an offering for them and ask for their blessing on the child’s school year.

  • Apollo - Greek God of education, music, and youth

  • Fabulinus - Roman god who taught children to speak

  • Odin - Norse god of wisdom and poetry

  • Ogma - Irish/Scottish God who invented the Ogham alphabet

  • Minerva - Roman goddess of wisdom and learning.

  • Qui Xing - Chinese god of examinations

  • Seshat - Egyptian goddess of writing. Invented the alphabet.

Rights of Pagan Students

First things first. Pagan students have the same right to an education as Christian students or any other religion. Sadly if you live somewhere like Texas you may have to assert these rights.

All students in a public school in America have equal access to education. The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 gave all children access to an education regardless of sex, color, or national origin.

The US Constitution requires that all kids be given equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen. Even if you are in this country illegally, you have the right to go to public school.

14th Amendment The Equal Access law requires public schools to provide all students a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This was geared toward students with disabilities but also includes students from minority cultures and religions.

If you do feel your child is experiencing discrimination then you need to document. Documentation helps you recall and explain the incident with more professionalism and quite frankly legal clarification.

When documenting the incident write down the date, location, who was involved, a detailed description of the incident, who you communicated with, and what was the response. While you will naturally feel emotional it’s best to write the documentation from an objective point of view.

If you have a conflict communicate by email. That way you have a paper trail of your communication. If you speak to the school via the phone document the conversation.

Communicating With Schools

If you have an elementary-aged student it’s always best to communicate with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year. Just a quick summary of what pagan practices you follow and your beliefs.

Young children often express the religious views of their family without filters and don’t realize other students may have different beliefs. One of the benefits of a free public education system is that children have the opportunity to learn about others in different cultures.

If you have a conflict with the school…

Communicate with the principal and the teacher under the premise that they care for your child’s well-being and educational success.

View your child’s teachers as partners and allies. I can tell you that I much prefer it when a parent states they are upset with me and explains why. (Yes, I listen)

If the teacher has said something hurtful or derogatory try to explore the reason. It may be they are naive and don’t understand your perspective.

On the flip side, I have had parents say unkind things to me because their child reiterated something I said or the clothing I wore.

Have a plan to articulate your beliefs.

Talk to your teens about ways they can articulate their beliefs. In addition, make sure your teens know they do not have to share their religious beliefs with others if they don’t want to.

Educate the school. Offer to celebrate a pagan holiday with your child’s class if they are in elementary. For middle school children, you might address the fact that the curriculum studies and honors many famous pagans.

Yule and Imbolc are good holidays to explain since they have a common “heritage” with Christmas and Easter. Feel free to send them a link to our article Do Pagans Celebrate Christmas?!

While your family is part of a minority religion, you are not alone. Paganism is on the rise.

Pagan’s Homeschooling

Homeschooling has seen a tremendous increase over the past twenty years. Not only is it no longer in the closet but libraries, zoos, sports organizations, and more make specific events geared towards homeschoolers. It can be a great avenue for pagan families.

Homeschooling can give families the ability to literally make nature their classroom as well as their spiritual path. You can choose your own curriculum and social events.

However, homeschooling is not for everyone. Homeschooling means one family member needs to be at home with the kids which may be economically unfeasible. You may also feel you don’t have the skills or patience to be their teacher.

It can also be hard to find a local like-minded homeschooling group. Homeschooling is still dominated by Christians, many of whom are fundamentalists. On a positive note, many more open and secular groups of homeschoolers have formed around the country.


Lady Liberty League

I’m proud to say this organization is run out of my state, Wisconsin by Circle Sanctuary. This volunteer organization supports religious freedom for Pagans, Wiccans, and other Nature religion practitioners worldwide.

American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU is a national non-profit organization that works to protect the rights of ALL people. They work to educate about the rights of all persons regardless of race, sexual orientation, or religion … They also take on and fund litigation for some discrimination cases. They are funded by donations and grants.

Celebrate Pagan Holidays

Our work is more geared towards education. While we are primarily a resource by pagans, for pagans, we also want to provide quality information to the general public.

Author, Ame Vanorio is the founder of CPH, a lifelong pagan, and a licensed teacher in biology, environmental science, and special education.