Thanksgiving

I love this time of year.  There are so many things to be thankful for, one of which is the opportunity to home-school my kids.  And I really do enjoy pulling together resources that will make their lessons stick.  So, here I am, just as promised, with a cornucopia of websites.  God Bless!

Crafts: I really looked for crafts that stood out.  These sites had the best ones.

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS — From the magazine company comes this web page with some great crafts.  Some are edible and some are just for decor.  I am sure that you will find something you like.  But watch out for noisy advertisements on the page.

Wild Turkey — I wanted to offer some advice on this specific craft from Better Homes & Gardens.  We did a craft like this a couple years ago, spelling out “Give Thanks” with different media we found in the yard and in the house (leaves, popcorn, feathers, cloves, noodles, etc.)  This can get very messy.  And, to display, you need to be sure that it is completely dry.  Use a thumb tack, not tape or poster putty, because it becomes very heavy on the front.

ENCHANTED LEARNING: Leaf Garland — Enchanted Learning is a great site for resources and ideas, but some things are only accessible to members.  This leaf garland, however, is open for all to use and has the potential to be saved for future use.

DLTK — DLTK is always one of my favorite sites for printables and crafts, and I especially like these Thanksgiving lace-ups.  They provide a great opportunity for your kids to learn hand-eye coordination.

FAMILY FUN — This magazine is so much fun and I am glad that they keep all of their projects online.  Be sure to check out the section on appetizers.  My favorite is the Fruit Gobbler.  He is an excellent craft and a healthy snack for your kiddos who get tired of waiting for the big dinner to get done.  And he is an extra cute centerpiece to boot!

123HOLIDAY — This page has some very basic crafts, but the one I most want to point out is the “Spice Turkey.”  It is a great chance to incorporate another one of the senses into your crafting.  Your sense of smell!  Check it out.

THEHOLIDAYSPOT — The holiday spot is an excellent source for all holidays and Thanksgiving is no different.  This page offers some great ideas for a tablecloth and placemats.  Letting your child help make these more permanent crafts will let him/her feel like they have helped to make the meal special and, each year when you bring it back out, memories of the time you spent making it.

FREE KIDS CRAFTS — I had to include your basic Thanksgiving chain after I heard how my pastor’s wife does theirs every year.  Each year they keep a prayer notebook and are careful to markdown how God answers each one.  Then, when it is time to decorate for Thanksgiving, they write each answer to prayer from the entire year on a link.  As the chain gets longer, it is a reminder of God’s faithfulness.  The chain stays up through December and becomes part of their Christmas decorations.  This website has cute fall printables that you can add to your chain.

Printables: Sometimes you just need something to fill in the gaps, or to give your child something to do on their own while you fix dinner.  These printables will do just that.

MAKING FRIENDS — This website has some very cute printables.  The include paper dolls, word searches, and coloring pages of funny looking pilgrims.  They are sure to get your kids attention.

PEPPERMINT LANE —  This site offers coloring pages that are both educational and just fun.  They are easy enough for your little ones to enjoy while still being intricate enough not to bore the older kids.

MINISTRY-TO-CHILDREN — Ministry-To-Children offers this great printable coloring page of a tree with leaves to add for things for which you are grateful.

History:  Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to bring history to life.  There is a real, concrete reason for the holiday and most of us know it.  Make sure your kids do too.

PILGRIM HALL — Take a virtual tour of Pilgrim Hall.  Built in 1824, it is the nation’s oldest continuously operated museum and features a large collection of Pilgrim possessions, including William Bradford’s Bible.

SHERWOOD TIMES — This site offers well-written history that is easy to understand and features quotes from Puritans and some lesser known facts.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC FOR KIDS — Good read-able history with some great living history pictures.

PLIMOTH PLANTATION — The website for the living history village of the Pilgrims.  There is history, games, and videos.  If you visit soon, you can sign up for the live webcast on November 16, 2010, sponsored by Scholastic.

SCHOLASTIC — Full of history and lesson plans, visit Scholastic to sign up for the November 16th Virtual Field Trip.

THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA — The Mayflower Compact!

THE WILLIAM BRADFORD WEBSITE — Learn all about Pilgrim, William Bradford, from one of his descendants.

JOHN CARVER — Learn about the first governor of Plymouth Colony.

MILES STANDISH — Learn all about this military advisor to the Puritans.

PILGRIM OR PURITAN — What IS the difference between a Pilgrim and a Puritan?  Find out at this website.

MAYFLOWER HISTORY — At this website you can read letters written to and by the Pilgrims, as well as beginning your search to find out if one of your ancestors was a Plymouth Colonists.

Miscellaneous: These websites may fit more than one category or none at all.  Regardless, they are still sites you should check out.

THE HOLIDAY ZONE — This is a great all-around site.  You can find history, arts, crafts, printables, and lesson guides.

THE KIDDY HOUSE — Another great all-around site where you can find just about anything about Thanksgiving, including links to other harvest celebrations around the world.

NYCTOURIST — One of our family traditions includes watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Learn all about it here!

HISTORY — I have made it a point to check this website for the History Channel on all of my unit studies.  They have great videos and the kids enjoy being able to watch a movie on Mom’s computer.

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION — A lesson on turkeys just to make your Thanksgiving study complete.

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Hi

I am a homeschooling mom of three beautiful children.  I am also single!  The mind reels at how that could possibly work.  The answer is prayer!  I also don’t spend a ton of money on curriculum.  The internet and library are full of countless free sources for ideas and information and I thought I would share my compilations as we move through various units.  I hope that it is helpful to someone out there!

Stay tuned…I am working on a Thanksgiving unit now.  Already this year, we have completed units on China and Egypt and I will be posting about them as well.

For now:  Here are a few quick resources for a small unit study on the Reformation.  (FYI:  October 31 is the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the church.)

Grace Fellowship Church — Good information in a blog format.  http://www.gfcto.com/2006/04/martin_luther_and_reformation.php

The Holiday Zone — More good information in an upper elementary format.  I especially like some of the ideas on art projects.http://www.theholidayzone.com/reformation/index.html

Word of His Grace — Another very well written blog.  This post is called:  The Halloween That Changed the World — Reformation Day.http://www.wordofhisgrace.org/halloweenorreformationday.htm

Crosswalk.com — This one offers a fresh view of jack-o-lanterns…luther lanterns!     http://www.crosswalk.com/1073226/

SundaySchoolLessons.com — This is a very easy to read source of information for your early readers.  It talks about Martin Luther and the Lutheran church.  http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/refday.htm

And just for fun…this link is to a YouTube video for the acapella version of “A Mighty Fortress” (otherwise known as the The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk8U58vfOoc&NR=1

Enjoy!!!