Jump to content


How do you observe Thanksgiving in your homeschool?

Recommended Posts

I'm going to try to be the fun mom who actually takes a break from the grind this year to do fun stuff around holidays. I need some ideas for Thanksgiving! (I know it's early, but if I don't plan in advance, it won't happen). Something more exciting than just getting books out of the library (my usual MO), but not as elaborate as doing a whole big meal. Something along the lines of a simple cute craft, a good movie, or a fun snack or treat. Or anything else I haven't thought of that is simple, won't take too much time or money, but still fun and meaningful to the kids. Thanks for your input!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take the whole week off. Sometimes we travel. Last year we stayed home, and we spent the week cooking all the things we like, and we read books and stuff.


I'm on my phone so I can't see how old your kids are, but several years ago, Oriental Trading had a huge cheap bag of various fall and TG craft stuff, probably leftovers from previous years. Stuff to weave, stuff to glue, foam leaf beads. My kids have had so much fun just making garlands and bracelets and place cards and decorative signs and such. And pretty much no prep and cleanup for me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One year I made a construction paper turkey and pinned it on the bulletin board. The turkey's tail feathers were separate from the main part of the bird. Each day, I had each of my children tell me what they felt thankful for, and we wrote it on the feather and pinned it on the turkey. Sometimes they were serious, and sometimes they were silly. I saved those feathers, and every once in awhile I come across them. Their thoughtful responses make me smile in remembrance, and their silly ones still make me laugh. One of my kids was thankful for pickles a lot that year :p .


In addition to various versions of the historical Thanksgiving story, we liked to read Thanksgiving with the Tappletons, which is a very funny book.


We also used History Pockets a lot. There are Thanksgiving and Mayflower crafts in several of them https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=history+pockets


We no longer homeschool, but we always took a break from our regular studies during the week of or the week before Thanksgiving to do holiday activities instead. They were some of my favorite school days.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As simple as this sounds, my three girls enjoy making new paper chains to hang at the top of the windows for every season. For autumn, our colors are usually gold, burnt orange, burnt red, pine green, and brown.


We also enjoy putting out the fall decorations (usually in September), but we also have some that only come out around Thanksgiving time. We decorate the outside of the house, too, not just the inside.


For the past few years, we've made Three Sisters Stew -- beans (dried kidney or white), maize (corn), and squash (winter squash), cooked with herbs. Delicious. If you Google "three sisters stew," you will get like a bazillion recipes. We tell the story of how some Native Americans grew these crops together. It's good with cornbread, but I'm low-carb now, so I suppose this will be for the girls this year!




One year, for a church harvest party, my girls even dressed up as Tall Sister Corn (with bric-brac tassles coming out of her pony tail, LOL, and a yellow T-shirt with black "corn" lines), Climbing Sister Bean (green T-shirt, brown bandana, spirally green pipe-cleaner tendrils), and Spreading Sister Squash (orange T-shirt with black pumpkin lines, big green felt leaves on her head). They were adorable. :D


For some reason, I feel compelled to make something with cranberries around Thanksgiving time. Also, walnuts. Why is that? It's as though these are foods for November.


This year, if the weather cooperates, we'd like to build a small fire in the backyard, roast marshmallows, and have hot apple cider or cocoa. That would be a big deal, because our kids don't usually get to eat sugar! :eek:


We read Bible passages related to being thankful to God for his many blessings, and to each other for our family and kindnesses shown. We seek to cultivate thankfulness within our hearts, which is a good antidote to the "me, me, me" commercialism of the pre-Christmas shopping season. We are thankful for our family, our home, our work, pets, foods, clothing, healthy bodies, books, freedoms, and so much more.


The girls have memorized a few Thanksgiving poems. Here is one example:


Thanksgiving Time

by Anonymous


When all the leaves are off the boughs,
And nuts and apples gathered in,
And cornstalks waiting for the cows,
And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,
Then Mother says, "My children dear,
The fields are brown, and autumn flies;
Thanksgiving Day is very near,
And we must make Thanksgiving pies!"


They usually have a little 10-minute "show" for my parents on Thanksgiving Day -- a poem or two, a song, a hymn to sing together, a ridiculous skit with their stuffed animals, a piano or recorder piece. My parents are very obliging as an audience.


We always take at least one Fall Family Hike. My husband likes to drive, too, so we take a Fall  Family Drive. ;)


We set up our bird feeders, and start feeding the birds. We watch the geese fly south, stop to see the deer in the cornfields, and delight in glimpsing the fox in our backyard.


I start burning candles again. It's that time of year, I guess.


We prepare our Scripture readings, candles, and décor for Advent, which comes immediately after Thanksgiving.


And, of course, the girls start getting hyped up about Christmas. :rolleyes:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One tradition that has always been a hit at our house is to dispense with the traditional meal.  Instead each family member picks one food they like (just about anything goes) and we fix those foods for Thanksgiving dinner.  One year we had: ice cream, jello, fish sticks and tacos.  The next it was BBQ meatballs, shepherds pie, salad and fish sticks.  I wonder what we'll have this year? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each year we come up with a crafty idea to display daily notes of thanks for something or someone. Perhaps our favorite was the year we found a rather large, dead maple tree limb, arrange it (and other limbs) in a pumpkin type container. Bought foam leaf shapes at the dollar store and each day we all wrote a special note on a leaf and hung it on the "tree".  Our arrangement greeted guests throughout October and November.  This brings back such special memories....we may do it again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We go to Florida to see grandma. Last year we went to the Keys. This year grandma had damage to her house and we are saving so we decided to just stay at her house (the damage should be fixed provided this storm doesn't make things worse). However this has turned into our tradition. Next year I may change it. I would like to go down in February but that would mean that my sons (as both will be in school) will miss a german school class. Not sure I want that. Thanksgiving may be where we are stuck. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We read Pioneer Thanksgiving. It is so so good, & has great stories and crafts. My daughter makes the cranberry sauce recipe from it. We also get some nuts in shell to crack.


We sing hymns from the thanksgiving/harvest section of the hymn book in November. Count Your Blessings is a favorite.


Like some other people, we do a thankful tree. It's a branch in a jar of acorns, with little mini clothes pins on it. Through the month of November we write things we are thankful for on leaves, & attach to tree. I have a leaf paper punch and some fall scrapbook paper to make it easy.


We've not done much history, and I feel bad about not doing all the schooly crafts like handprint turkeys, but not enough to do them. I would rather make things we can eat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...