Thanksgiving 2017

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Did you have a good Thanksgiving celebration? We did. We stayed home and I prepared Quorn turkey (vegetarian, gluten free, soy free), gluten free dressing, cashew gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, sauteed broccoli, cranberry salad, bread sticks, and pumpkin pie (gluten free, dairy free).

Thanksgiving dinner with friends

Thanksgiving dinner with friends

I thought of making a salad, but I got too lazy. So I just cut up some Campari tomatoes and they got consumed. I know. I should make more of an effort with salad, but we just had so much going on, it was hard to get motivated. Continue reading »

We also had a few other dishes, but there was no room on the table, so we left them for another meal. I had made zucchini bread, corn bread, and this Romanian cabbage dish that is one of my fondest childhood memories. Anyway.

Flock of wild turkeys

On the way to piano lessons, a flock of wild turkeys crossed the street in front of us.

We ate. We had fun with friends. The four of us and three friends, a homeschooling mama and her two children. Her husband had to work that day, so we were happy to have them over and share Thanksgiving with them. Our kids play together well despite the age difference and it is always nice to have them over.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the kids and I worked on felt turkey crafts. A few years ago, I saw it on this blog, but it never worked out for us to put it together. Somehow this was the year when it finally happened for us.

It was very time-consuming, but worth it. The kids wanted to learn how to sew a basic stitch and how to sew buttons. They did some of the sewing and most of the cutting.

Felt turkey

Our son’s turkey

Even though our felt turkeys are not perfect, we like them a lot. It was a whole day of arts and crafts. It stressed me out. In a way, it was good for me, because it forced me to stay away from regular textbooks and our normal routine.

It’s good to shake things up a bit and teach the kids some handcrafts and sewing skills. That’s just as much learning as anything.

Felt turkey

Our daughter’s turkey

We also read some books this week – three from the library and two from our own shelves. They were all fun, but I always cry when we read Squanto. The kids already know and they ask me, “Will you cry again?” before we start.

Thanksgiving books

We own Squanto and Turkey Trouble. The other three titles are from the library.

On the way to our piano lessons, a flock of turkeys crossed the street in front of us. We thought they were really cute and took pictures of them. It was a fitting scene for our Thanksgiving celebration this week.

Thanksgiving Unit Study, PreK-K

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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you will leave me a comment below about the things you are most thankful for. Among other things, I am thankful for the United States of America – this greatest experiment in the history of human civilization. Without this country, we would not know what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean. In our homeschool, we took three days to study about Thanksgiving.

First, we did some crafts, coloring pages, math unit studies and other activities from this list:

Children doing Thanksgiving crafts at the table

My children doing crafts at the table

Girl cuts a turkey craft for Thanksgiving

My daughter enjoyed the crafts, which gives me energy to bring craft time back more often

Boy cuts a Thanksgiving turkey craft

My son cut lots of feathers, and even helped his sister a bit

Little girl with Thanksgiving turkey crafts

Brother did not have the patience to sit through a photo shoot with the paper roll turkeys, but he made one of these

  • Cute Turkey Buttoning and Matching Color Activity (Preschool) – This will have to wait until next week when I can get supplies. I was going to buy them the day before Thanksgiving, but we got snowed in.
Girl playing with snow

My daughter taking advantage of a snow day

Enjoying our first snow day of the year

My son enjoying our first snow day

  • Even Cuter Turkey Buttoning and Color Matching Activity (Preschool)
  • Cardboard Turkey – This website inspired me to make my own turkey craft. Homeschooling moms are allowed to make their own crafts, aren’t they?
Turkey Craft I made just because I felt inspired. But then, I realized it inspired the kids to see their mom cut and paint.

Turkey Craft I made just because I felt inspired. But then, I realized it inspired the kids to see their mom cut and paint.

Boy making Thanksgiving Craft

This particular Thanksgiving craft personalized the holiday when we wrote what they were thankful for on every feather of the turkey

Small girl cutting paper with pink scissors

More than anything, my daughter loved cutting paper in small bits

Little girl with Thanksgiving turkey craft

She is thankful for Jesus, good food, birthday cakes, her brother, snow and the Titanic

Boy with Thanksgiving turkey craft

Thankful for snow, sun, sister, parents, God’s power, and evergreens

We learned/sang some Thanksgiving songs:

Then, we read these books:

            • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
            • Turkey Trouble
            • One Tough Turkey
            • Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit (still to get)

Finally, the children watched some videos:

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – 25 minutes. It’s such a classic piece of Americana. They liked the silly parts and how Snoopy set the table. Later that day, when daddy came home, they set a Thanksgiving table with their toy kitchen set, complete with a tablecloth (daddy’s coat) and referenced how Snoopy tied the corners of the tablecloth. One of the characters uses bad language once and I had to explain to the kids we don’t talk that way. Also, that they will meet people who talk that way and we should love them as Jesus does and pray for them and respect them.
  • Plimoth Plantation and Scholastic Virtual Field Trip – 5 minutes of skipping around the video, to see different characters present their lives. It’s a longer documentary, for upper elementary grades, too boring for my kids. The Google Earth presentation of the Mayflower itinerary fascinated them and reminded them of the Titanic’s attempt at crossing the Atlantic. I would have never put the two together. It seems our Titanic visit and its wall map showing the intended itinerary over the ocean is still fresh in their minds.
  • Mayflower movie trailer – 1 minute.
Little girl sweeps the floor

She made most of the mess and was willing to clean it up.

Teaching a Thanksgiving unit study inspires me because I know from experience what it is like to move countries. While growing up in Communist Romania, I used to listen to The Voice of America – a forbidden activity. Their broadcast about Thanksgiving has stayed with me ever since. Who would have thought I would end up in the USA, homeschooling my American children and teaching them about Thanksgiving?