Thursday, November 05, 2009

Holiday Homeschool

Lately, most of my thoughts have been consumed with holiday preparation and planning for our small family. Not because I want to be consumed with the "consumer" side of the season (although there are little lists and ideas being tucked away for stockings and such). I want my girls to understand what being thankful means and as they grasp that, celebrate advent and the birth of Jesus with a thankful heart for this unfathomable gift. The planner in me loves to get out my notepad and figure out how we can implement this and I admit that some times I bite off more than I can chew (or more than my little munchkins can handle). :)

Thankfully, each year doing some Thanksgiving/Christmas/Advent things get a little bit easier. I started attempt some sort of Advent reading with N1 when she was just 4 (and I had an almost 2 year old and infant) and it was frustrating. Last year (ages 5, almost 3 and 1 1/2) went a little better. This year, especially now that we are homeschooling, I'm going to be a little bit more adventurous in my planning and we shall see what happens. The key that I had to realize was that whether or not it worked out like I have it planned in my head, I have to plan something. :) Not planning anything and just trying to wing it doesn't work so well around here!

All that preface to say, you might see quite a bit of holiday craftiness and such over the next several weeks. I'm blogging this to hold me accountable, too. It's easy to say I'm going to do these things and then fade out as the weeks get busy and I get tired. I don't want to miss out on these sweet seasons with my girls while they are little.

Thankful Leaves

Do you have any plans/traditions that you do with your kids for Thanksgiving (specifically)? This afternoon (a few days late) we are going to put up our November thankful tree and start chronicling our blessings up until Thanksgiving. I've started cutting out rough leaves for us to write on and tape on our tree - I'm going to need a lot more before the month is out, I hope!

We're also reading one Thanksgiving story a day. Our personal Thanksgiving book selection isn't too large so some of our books will be repeated and I hope to add a few more over the month. Yesterday, we read aloud The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern. This books gives a good overview of the first year of life of the pilgrims here in the New World. N1 and I read it yesterday and she and I were fascinated by how hard they had to work just to survive that first year.

Anyway, just a peek and what we are up to around here. We've also been up to our necks (figuratively, not literally) in shark week! :) N1 asked a few weeks ago if we could study some Australian animals and wanted to kick things off with sharks. We've been learning about their eating habits, the great varieties of sizes and types of sharks, and so much more. It's really been fascinating, even though I would have suggested that we start with something cute and cuddly like a kangaroo or koala bear!

This post is also linked up with Hope is the Word's Read-Aloud Thursday!


  1. I highlighted our so-far Thanksgiving read-alouds for Read Aloud Thursday this week.

    I'm a slacker, Stephanie. We haven't MADE anything for Thanksgiving yet. And today I MUST start prepping for Louise's upcoming birthday party, so school will be light today.


  2. Love your tree idea!

  3. We have a few other things going on that have distracted me from Thanksgiving preparations. I have brought home a HUGE stack of T. books from the library. AND I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to take my gang to the Plymouth Plantation which is less than 2 hours from our home. Hopefully I can make that work soon. :)

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! You are a great source of inspiration. :)

  4. I like the freedom in just doing something whether or not it works out as planned. I think so many times we get bogged down in making in perfect that we never start in the first place.

  5. You have some of the coolest craft ideas and I'm looking forward to seeing what you all get going.

  6. I am taking Shimelles class too.

    I homeschool too - our Thanksgiving was in October, so this month we are focusing on Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) and we will then move on to Christmas.

    I love your blog :)


Thanks for commenting!