Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Education

Back in the summer I thought we would take most of Thanksgiving week off of school. Just relax, cook, bum around. But I have learned (over and over) that we don't do well with no plan. Bumming around doesn't work for us. Relaxing isn't relaxing!

Then I got an email from the homeschool group I joined with links to Thanksgiving lapbook ideas. That got my wheels spinning and ideas forming and lots of internet searching. I prepped a lot of work and did a lot of cutting out and getting ready. It was really fun!

I think the kids liked doing something a little different. Plus I have been not feeling well so an easy schedule was really what I needed.

Pumpkin Stamping :

Based on a photo I saw in my internet searches I made a potato stamp of a pumpkin. I forgot to leave a stem on it so we drew those in later. I only made one stamp so the kids came to the table one at a time to have their turn.

Lapbooks :

I followed a lot of links and found some games, some mini-books, some coloring pages, handwriting tracers and whatever and made our first-ever lapbooks.  The kids thought they were fun...most because they thought they were different, I think. Everyday we spent some time coloring, reading, playing and doing something in the lapbook.

The completed lapbooks were great. Each reflected the kid that made them. #1's was tidy and everything was as complete as she could make it. #4's was very colorful and a little messy! #2 and #3 did what they wanted and only more if I was real stern about it.

Our pumpkin stamps were cut out as decoration for the cover of our books

#1's. The left inside flap: what she is thankful for and a notebooking exercise on the pilgrims.

#4's. The middle of the inside had a maze (I found Thanksgiving mazes with three levels of difficulty) and a mini-book  about the first Thanksgiving. On the right inside flap as a turkey tic-tac-toe with pieces in a little mini envelope.


#3's. The back cover had our memory verse for the week, Psalm 121:1-2 for the kids to write or trace. #1 wrote from memory, #2 did his as copywork, #3 traced a simpler version and #4 ignored his.

History :

Of course we had to throw in a couple history discussions. About the pilgrims and why they left England (though really they'd just left Norway) and the Mayflower and the Mayflower Compact (why it was necessary and what it meant) and getting to Plymouth. How the women stayed on the ship while the men built shelter and found food. How the sick were brought back to the ship for the women to care for which could be part of the reason there were only 5 women left by the time the Thanksgiving feast came around. We talked about the Indians that helped teach the pilgrims. Why they were thankful, what they did to celebrate. And how it became a tradition for us today.

Life Skills :

Well I had to sneak a little getting ready into the week. So we made a menu together, and a shopping list. We discussed budgets. We got the house ready for company. I had much bigger plans for this part of our week but with not feeling well, I wasn't up to a grocery shopping trip the week of Thanksgiving with 5 kids to do a lesson on budgets and cooking and such.

Wrap-up :

I'm glad I did something different Thanksgiving week. It made getting back into the regular routine feel good. Not feeling well, I know I would have skimped on the regular stuff anyway so now I don't feel behind or that we didn't cover something like we should have.


Thanksgiving notebook pages
Turkey-shaped book
First Thanksgiving mini-book
I am Thankful mini-book
Colors of Thanksgiving Dinner mini-book
Coloring page & Verse Tracer

No comments: