November 26, 2007

Our Thanksgiving Fun

We enjoyed learning about the first Thanksgiving this year. Right before we started, Jacob said, "What really is Thanksgiving anyway, Mom?" So it was a perfect time to do it!

We studied a bit about several aspects of Thanksgiving... history and tradition. We learned about pumpkins, turkeys, pilgrims, the Mayflower, and real Pilgrim life and how it differs from ours. We talked a lot about being thankful for many things and the many people around us who have so much less than we do.

We went to a food pantry and helped there. It was a perfect day for the kids! They sorted through a large box (50 cubic feet or so!) of canned goods and found all the pumpkin and cranberry sauce so the food pantry could hand it out before Thanksgiving.

Then we reorganized/relocated/stacked the peanut butter and jelly for them.

The neat thing is that the director chose jobs that were perfect for our kids, and actually met a need. Most of the food pantry workers are older people who can't bend over easily, so the kids provided about 6 man hours of bending over!! This is definitely something I want to do again. Hopefully regularly.

We also went with some other families to a nursing home and handed out goody bags. I was so proud of the kids! Even with all the tubes, wheelchairs, bruises, smells, and other things they don't normally encounter, the kids were willing to get up close and give a, "Happy Thanksgiving!" as they handed out their bags, even if they were a bit reserved. Many of the kids doled out hugs happily as well!

Back to our studies, Jacob and a friend made a house like the pilgrims. We wanted to do a "boy" craft because we were talking about what the Pilgrim boys did for their chores. So we collected sticks and grass from the yard and "built" a house!

I'm thankful our house is a bit more sturdy than this...

With our cranberry study, we made cranberry sauce from scratch after tasting naked cranberries! Jacob said, "that is the most tart thing I've ever had!!!" while making a very puckered up face. :) I tasted one as well and he was right! We also made cranberry muffins which were very tasty. They were supposed to be for Thanksgiving day, but we ate 2/3 of the batch the day we made them!

We also learned that a sign of a good cranberry is that it bounces. The kids had fun testing to see if some cranberries were good or bad. We learned all about cranberry bogs as well...and all of this was new to me too! (One reason I love homeschooling!!!)

And we made our Thankful tree again.

This was the first time we learned specific songs for the season. We learned the Doxology (which I love, strangely enough!) and Give Thanks which the kids sang for Grandmama and Grandpa on Thanksgiving Day! We attempted to memorize Psalm 100, but realized we'd bitten off more then we could chew for our first attempt at memorization (2 songs and 5 verses) while potty training the little girl.

We had a great Thanksgiving several weeks! I'm thrilled that we're moving on to Christmas, just because I love it so much. Robert and Jacob put up the tree while I was "Proverbs 31-ing it" on Friday (as my aunt calls it!). This was a great surprise as Robert is, um, not always thrilled about doing it. A thoughtful gift for me from my men! Then we decorated it the next day as a family.

And now on to our Christmas units!!!

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