Last week we enjoyed doing a lot of fun Thanksgiving activities as part of our school days. We did fun crafts, continued to talk about things we were thankful for, and even had a Thanksgiving Day feast with friends.
We have continued to do our thankful tree, and it’s been such a joy to capture their little hearts as they share what they are thankful for.
Our tree has really filled out, and Reagan loves to stare at it and rearrange the Give Thanks blocks under it.
You already saw one of our crafts we did this week, when I showed you our Thanksgiving banner, with the kids’ cute little turkeys. I am obsessed with hand prints and wanting to capture all the cute “little-ness” of this time in paint.
We updated our Thanksgiving table runner with new turkeys.
We also did another cute turkey paint activity. This one involved only their finger prints.
It was so fun to have my niece, Charleigh, in town to do this craft with us. I used the kids’ fingerprints to stamp out the turkey’s feathers. The kids were so excited to run off and play together, that I got to finish the turkeys on my own. 🙂 I glued some little wiggly eyes and painted on a beak and legs. I then cut out the turkeys and added some fun stickers with them to a piece of paper. I love to have framed “seasonal” art in my kitchen during each holiday. It is almost time to make our Santa Clauses!
I think the highlight of our thanksgiving school activities was having a feast with our sweet friends that we do a co-op with.
We read a thanksgiving book, talked about things we were thankful for, learned what a “cornucopia” is, played bingo on thanksgiving images with candy corn, and made sweet little indian headdresses.
We talked about symbols and how Indians used pictures to tell stories. Each child drew symbols on their headdress to represent themselves. Both my boys might have drawn the transformer symbol on their headdress.
No one wanted to be a pilgrim, so we had a table full of little Indians at our feast. It was not the perfect example of the first thanksgiving feast, as two groups of friends came together, but we had a blast!
We came up with a meal that seemed like traditional food. A rotisserie chicken was our turkey. They ate a lot of fish at the first thanksgiving, so we had some gold-fish. We threw in the pumpkins as a fall food, and the carrots as a crop they would have grown. The grapes were just an added touch because let’s face it…they are a good kid food.
I love that in the midst of having six young kids together, this feast was loud and fun (probably how MOST Thanksgiving meals are) and even entertained some “superheros” at our table. We are so thankful for these sweet friends to do life with!
I’m pretty sure Caleb was already running around as a superhero, when I went to take the individual shots. Life with boys on the move! 🙂
We have enjoyed fall break this week and have done NO school. I hope you are having a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving!!
I linked this project up at: DIY Showoff
Yesterday, I whipped up a quick Happy Thanksgiving banner. I wanted to share it with you all, so you too could make one! I started by printing two letters per a piece of paper. I simply picked a font I liked and picked a size that allowed two letters to print per a page.
I cut each letter out by cutting a triangle shape around it. I didn’t measure or worry about each triangle being the same. I think the difference and variety adds character!
I have been holding onto our old bed skirt from when we upgraded our bed to a king and got new bedding. It is a dark corduroy skirt, so the use of it on my Thanksgiving banner was perfect! It adds a fun fall touch. I simply cut out enough triangles (also not measured or exact), so that each letter had a corduroy triangle to go behind it.
I had some fun trim that I used to sew the letters to the corduroy triangles. I love the gold contrasting on the creme paper and dark fabric. After I sewed them all together, this banner was done! It was so quick and cheap, and it will add a fun festive decor element to our thanksgiving celebration this next week!
I love how it came out, but I decided to add some turkeys we created this week in our homeschool. The kids stamped their hands, cut out their hands, and painted eyes and legs to make their hands turkeys. They then went back and glued feathers onto their hands to create a more artsy/realistic turkey. They had a blast making them, and I thought they added a special touch to our banner. I used clothes pins to attach the turkeys to our banner, so the banner can be recycled next year, and we can replace the turkeys with “new” turkeys. These turkeys can retire to my kids’ scrapbooks.
I loved how it looked outside hanging in the trees, but we opted to hang our banner in our kitchen where we can enjoy it all week long. Have you made a thanksgiving banner? We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year. Would you rather host or go to someone’s house for the holidays? I hope you are having a good weekend!
Last Friday, we were having a rough homeschool day. Caleb was not being focused, and I was getting frustrated with him not “trying.” We both were getting edgy and not at all acting out “a gentle answer turns away rath,” but rather had hearts of “harsh words stir(ing) up anger.” We needed a time out. We needed to go camping.
We had said for weeks that we were going to go camping that weekend, but now that the day was here we had cold feet. I think the cold feet was the defense of NOT WANTING cold feet. As Caleb and I got more and more exhausted by each other and ultimately frustrated, Matt pulled me out of it. I don’t know what I would do with out him. He calmed me down and helped me to see the big picture perspective that I needed in that moment. I have a smart boy in Caleb, and he knows his stuff. He just needed a “break.”
The further and further we get into our school year, the more and more I am learning about my son. He loves school, and that was one of the many reasons why I wanted to keep him home to homeschool. I wanted to be a part of that and see his excitement. Although he does love to learn and do school, he also loves surprises and adventures. He needs a certain amount of routine with knowing what to expect, but he also loves for days to be switched up and “out of the norm.”
Matt and I knew we needed to go through with our plans to go camping, so right there in the middle of kid break downs all around us (and a mama on verge of losing it), we packed up our whole herd and headed north.
As we slowly decompressed on the drive and processed more about what matters in life and the important things to learn, I knew we made the right decision. Caleb was on cloud nine. He talked endlessly all 45 minutes to our camp site at Red Top Mountain. His attitude was a 180 degrees different, and he was my sweet boy once again.
We had plans to do math by counting sticks and throwing rocks, etc. I was going to draw words in the dirt for him to “read.” They were good ideas and intentions, but once we were there, we just played.
My kids can play, imagine, create, and dream. Those are equally important things to instill. Instead of talking about the ABC and 123 of school, we talked about the trees, nature, team work (that is so needed to set up/break down camp), God’s creation in the beauty around us, how to build a fire, the patience needed to fish, and the presence of love and humbleness needed in a family.
Caleb quickly learned how to fan the fire as it started to die down. I know there were countless other things we talked/demonstrated on this adventure, and it was so worth the change of routine.
My struggle with homeschooling is the temptation to compare what we do to what happens in normal school (the ways/routines and things that are taught). Every once in a while, I start to question and beat myself up that I am not doing enough. Those are lies I know Satan wants me to believe and leave me discouraged.
Unplugging and getting away does so much to set my heart at peace. The reason we are not doing traditional school is to be able to do different things and have different ways to learn and experience life. Why do I beat myself up for the very things I believe are right for my kids?
Life is so confusing and yet so beautiful. There are so many lessons to learn beyond sitting in a seat at a desk. It’s ok to be different at times and to do what is needed for your heart.
Experiencing nature by walking through the woods, skipping rocks in the lake, and freezing our tails off in a tent was so good for my family’s souls. We had a lot of fun laughing and being together. We were also so physically reminded how thankful we are to have a warm house to go home to!
Matt and I have joked several times since we have been home about how so many miserable moments (like freezing in a sleeping bag with like three layers on each and trying to get a baby to settle down in a tent) also have so many incredible moments intertwined. We decided that is the definition of camping.
So, although we had a blast and are so thankful we got away and camped, we will probably enjoy the rest of the fall and coming winter from home. Next year, we’ll probably find ourselves needing another moment of escape and pump ourselves up to do it again. I’ll re-read this post and remember how good it was to pull away for a night.
I am thankful for routines and also for spontaneity and the beauty of life when the two are paired together. This week we have been back doing our “traditional” school methods with reading, writing, mathematics, and everything in between. Caleb is nailing it. Everything that I knew he could do and so much more. It’s as if the weekend helped him to reset.
He has caused me to giggle to myself because he has been doing “harder” things than I was asking him to do on Friday, and in some situations showing me things on his own. He is so smart, and he is teaching me so much about myself through trying to teach him. Humility is at the top of that list.
What sort of ways does your family unplug and regroup? Do you have any secret tips on how to not find yourself “comparing”? I’d love the insight!!