Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thankful

Even with all of my good intentions, this school year has not been an easy one. Come to think of it, I don’t know that any of them could be classified as “easy.” But as we celebrate the holidays, I am reminded of how thankful I am that we are able to homeschool and educate our children in the way we believe benefits them the most. So even on our “off” days, when things aren’t going as I would like them to, I am so thankful that:

  • I know my children’s academic strengths and weaknesses; while I applaud their strengths, we can focus together on the areas that need improvement.
  • I know their character strengths and weaknesses, and I’m around to help guide them through various situations.
  • I know their friends, their friends’ parents, and their friends’ siblings, and I know what they do when they’re just “hanging out”.
  • They’re learning (albeit slowly some days!) how to accept and get along with one another, as well as how to encourage and support one another.
  • They’re learning practical skills as they help out around the home.
  • We have time to deal with “life” as a family, helping each other when the need arises.
  • We have time to reach out to others in need — to friends, family, and people in the community.
  • We are learning and growing together.
Though many of our friends’ children now attend school, homeschooling has definitely proven to still be the best option for our family. So this season, instead of becoming discouraged by the inevitable “bad” days, I’m going to continue reflecting on all the positives we’ve experienced. And I am so very thankful.
How has homeschooling benefited your family? What are you most thankful for?
Photo by ensignmedia

Fun in the Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year, and it always goes by way too fast. If you’re like me, and the new school year of lessons, projects, and activities have kept you busy, here are a few ways you can take a moment (or a day) to step back and enjoy the season with your children:

Crafts:

My kids love crafts – and I do, too! While you may have thought of doing leaf rubbings, here are a few sites with even more ideas:

Family Fun – On this site, you’ll find thanksgiving cards, a leaf mobile, and more great ideas for fall.

Busy Bee Kids Crafts –  Crafts on this site include an autumn tree collage, pumpkin lollipops, a paper bag scarecrow, and apple stamping.

The Crafty Crow –  with links to other craft sites, at The Crafty Crwo you’ll find directions for creating a leaf picture alphabet, melted crayon autumn leaves, a plastic bottle owl, and marbled shaving cream autumn leaves.

At Danielle’s Place, you’ll find plenty of turkeys for Thanksgiving, including  several paper plate turkey and a turkey potholder.

 

Picture Books:

When the weather becomes a little cooler, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up together with a good picture book. Here are a few of our fall favorites:

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

In November by Cynthia Rylant

Countdown to Fall by Fran Hawk

 

Our family also has a few favorite activities we love to do year after year. They include: pumpkin picking, apple picking, attending fall festivals, having backyard picnics, and flying kites. This fall, we’re also going to explore a corn maze and cook up some yummy desserts. What does  your family  do to celebrate fall?

An Attitude of Thankfulness

When my oldest was small, the Veggie Tales movies were just starting to be produced. One of my favorites is Madame Blueberry. In the video, Junior Asparagus sings this chorus:

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I’m glad for what I have,
That’s an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,
‘Cause He listens to my prayers,
That’s why I say thanks every day!

I remember thinking how great the lyrics were — so simple, yet so true. I would sing them with my kids, hoping that they would always remember to have a thankful heart.

And then they grew older. While they still enjoy watching Veggie Tales on occasion, now they watch other movies too. We don’t sing the song anymore, and sadly, somewhere among the ever-improving technology and the peer pressure, they forgot how to have a thankful heart. These days, they tell me about all of the things they don’t have — all the gadgets, the clothing, the furniture, the toys — that if I would just buy it for them, life would be much better. But I know that’s not true, and I’ve told them so; over and over and over, I’ve told them so.

And then I wondered — have I had a thankful heart lately? “Be thankful!” I say, while I go through the day exasperated and irritated. Have they seen contentment in me?

I am so thankful for my children — for their personalities, their strengths, their quirks, their thoughts, their talents, their character, their callings — but how often do I tell them? I have to admit, it’s been a while since I mentioned how proud I am of them, or how much I appreciate them. So this Thanksgiving season, I’m going to do more than just tell them to have a thankful heart — I’m going to show them mine.

A Heart Of Gratitude

img-0285This Thanksgiving, we’re spending time with family, enjoying each other’s company. My children will be playing with their cousins, enjoying lots of good meals, and taking a break from school. But it’s hard work getting ready for a trip: making the lists, running errands, washing the clothes and sorting through them, cleaning up the house, and getting the pets settled for someone to care for them. It often seems as if the kids don’t appreciate all the effort it takes to provide them with a nice holiday time. Rarely does anyone ever say, “Thanks, Mom, for getting us ready to go.”

Sometimes I wonder how my children will learn to be grateful. They need this, they want that, and they want it right now! But there must be a better way then giving them lecture…after lecture…after lecture.

Then I wondered, how often do I thank them? Did I thank Cassie for spending extra time cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing the craft paint off the cabinet door of the sink? Did I thank Lillie for helping Luke choose which toys he wanted to bring along? Did I thank John for running to his Grandma’s house to borrow some eggs for breakfast? I thank my friends for favors they do for me, but I don’t often thank my husband or children. Perhaps the things we do around the house are expected or required, but it’s still nice when someone appreciates it.

Instead of just telling them to be thankful, I need to show them by example. They need to see me with a thankful attitude. I need to appreciate them not only for what they do, but for who they are. And they need to hear me thanking every day God for all He has given us, not fussing about the things we lack.

They need to see me with a heart of gratitude.