Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year. I don’t love the holiday quite as much as I love Christmas, but I do enjoy the time with family and the joy that comes with truly starting the holiday season. This year was special for us because we were able to spend the holiday with lots of family, from parents, grandparents, step siblings, cousins…and even special visits with friends (aka, the amazing Jessica and adorable Taegan were able to come hang out with us at the Polar Express train ride in Salisbury, NC). The girls really enjoyed having their cousin, Will, in town to play with them and to do school activities together. What a treat!
One of the best things we have for the week is most assuredly the Native American teepee that my stepgrandparents bought for the girls last year. They love getting to pretend they are Native Americans, and it becomes a special hiding place for the girls while we leave it up. Last year, I invested $12 in a Little People Thanksgiving meal set that I found at a local consignment store. I’m really glad I did, because this year I looked the kit up and it is quite expensive. Between the Little People Playskool set and the Jamestown settlers/Powhatan Indians toobs, the girls had a blast playing with characters as we talked about the first Thanksgiving. They also loved watching Schoolhouse Rock America and singing the Mayflower song.
We weren’t able to do as many activities as I had planned because we went on adventures around Charlotte almost every day and had so many distractions around the house, but we fit them in when we could. Early in the week, we made Native American headbands and vests with the great grandparents. We colored thankfulness pages every day and did some Pilgrim literacy games and coloring activities. When Will was here, we painted with Indian corn, built a turkey out of gingerbread, , and Aria even dressed up like a Native American for the Thanksgiving meal.
On Thanksgiving Day, we went to the downtown Charlotte Thanksgiving day parade. It was cold but so much fun to dance along with the bands and see the colorful floats. The highlight of the day was of course seeing Santa at the end of the parade and waving hello! The girls loved playing with all of the family on Thanksgiving while we cooked, though Aria helped make green bean casserole in a small gap in her playing. The whole family was able to join the fun with the “Gratitude Game” played with all of the adults and led by Aria. I highly recommend playing this game with your family. We had silly fun but were also able to be an example to our kids of gratefulness and gratitude on a day filled with gluttony.
This year, I am so grateful that Aria has been so open to homeschooling and has such a joy in life and willingness to learn. I wouldn’t have the love of homeschooling that I have if she wasn’t such a fun girl to teach. I am also so grateful to have the support and partnership of Jessica, who has pushed and encouraged me to become better and better in my homeschooling. I am so much prouder of my teaching this year than last due to following her amazing example. And finally, I am so grateful to my amazing husband, who supports my schooling endeavors, never complaining and helping as much as he can. I am so grateful to have him by my side and I couldn’t do it without my awesome partner in crime. When the going gets tough in teaching, or simply in parenting, it is so good to have these moments to take a little bit of time to remember how blessed (Thank you, God!) I am to get to be home with my girls all day every day and doing something I am so passionate about!
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Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.