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Homeschooling during the holidays can be tough! There is so much excitement in the air with thoughts of family and good times to be had. Take the time to plan ahead and include fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in your homeschool. You will be so thankful that you thought ahead and found ways to engage your kids as you prepare for this holiday.
As you make your plans, consider your family and homeschool. The ages and stages of your kids will affect what you include and how you present the information. Incorporate as many fun learning activities with Thanksgiving themes as you can into your homeschool day.
For writing, you can have your kids compose notes, letters, or poems of thanks. Combine writing with art to make decorative placemats with personalized poems or quotes. Art time can be used to create place settings, DIY decor, and Thanksgiving crafts. Practice math skills with practical chores like counting guests, preparing silverware, and grocery shopping.
Celebrate Thanksgiving In Your Homeschool With These 7 Fun Activities
To help your kids (and you!) learn more about Thanksgiving and have fun with memorable activities, remember to have quiet activities like reading in addition to more hands-on learning like crafts and games.
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1. Read Alouds
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, add a read aloud with similar themes to your homeschool day. A few books that my boys and I have enjoyed in our homeschool are Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols and The Thanksgiving Story.
2. Picture Books
There are numerous books to read with your kids to celebrate Thanksgiving in your homeschool. A few of our favorites include:
- In November, a lovely book with beautiful illustrations, reminding us of the beauty in nature and celebrations during this month of the year.
- Three Young Pilgrims also has gorgeous illustrations with labels and details to help you and your kids learn more about the time and experiences of a family in a storybook format.
- Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy is a story about a Pilgrim boy with pictures of a reenactment of this time period. My boys enjoy looking at these pictures and discussing what life might have been like for the Pilgrims.
A wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving in your homeschool is to find poems with related themes. Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving would be a resource to consider. DLTK lists Thanksgiving poems and songs that younger children would enjoy. About Education share a list of famous poems about this holiday.
4. Picture Study
The Homeschool Village shares the brilliant idea of using your Thanksgiving picture books for a picture study. Some of these illustrations are truly delightful! Norman Rockwell’s Freedom From Want and Brownscombe’s The First Thanksgiving At Plymouth would also be some Thanksgiving-related pictures to study.
Recreate dishes that the Pilgrims and Indians used in their first Thanksgiving. Plimouth Plantation shares some authentic recipes like Turkey Sobaheg and Curd Fritters. Food always seems like one of the best ways to help my boys genuinely appreciate another time and culture!
6. Virtual Learning
Help your kids get a better understanding of what life was like for the Pilgrims and Indians through video. Scholastic has several videos that highlight the experiences of the time around the first Thanksgiving.
7. Hands-On Learning Fun
Kids of all ages can participate in and benefit from hands-on learning fun for Thanksgiving. Younger kids can use wooden beads or colored pasta shapes to create patterned necklaces. Create colorful turkeys with feathers in a pattern, with math facts, or word families. Older kids add names and welcoming notes to placemats and place cards designed by younger siblings. Older children can compose prayers of Thanksgiving to be read aloud before family meals.
What are some fun ways that you will be celebrating Thanksgiving in your homeschool?
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