We only take three days off for Thanksgiving. For my nonAmerican readers, Thanksgiving always happens on a Thursday – the fourth Thursday of November. I cook a lot on Wednesday and Thursday, we have our family luncheon on Thursday, and then on Friday they decorate the Christmas tree. Thus commences the Christmas season at our house.
This year we had a cozy Thanksgiving, the four of us, and it was wonderfully relaxing. Besides, I came down with a bug the Sunday before, and spent Sunday-Wednesday in bed. No fever, no coughing, no sore throat, just a general fatigue that kept me in bed. So… the children took care of their own schooling on Monday and Tuesday. Continue reading »
Week 17 included Thanksgiving. That would be enough to make it a busy week, right? But we also experienced a mad dash to the Emergency Room, as my husband was suspected of meningitis. Also, we gave the kids three days off school. Last but not least, I decided to finally dive into the SAT/ACT/college admission universe. Let me take this in order.
Five years ago
First, I became fully aware that some people do not celebrate Thanksgiving. It amazes me, but as I delved more into this phenomenon, I realized it is based on historical revisionism and left-leaning positions when it comes to American politics. It’s a free country and people can do whatever they want. I am not stopping anybody from quitting or shaming Thanksgiving. Continue reading »
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
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 »
This year, we stayed home and played host and hostess to a small group made up of family and friends. There were ten of us around the table, including the four of us. Viewed differently, there were six adults and four children.
Thanksgiving yummy food
I made Quorn vegetarian turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, fresh salad with greens, tomatoes and petite sweet peppers, cashew gravy, five-minute cranberry relish, corn and dinner rolls (bought frozen). For dessert, I made pumpkin pie, white cake with cream cheese frosting and crustless cranberry pecan pie. We drank apple cider.
The idea of taking one day out of the year to eat well and think about what you are thankful for really, really appeals to me. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, if not THE most favorite. I like the Thanksgiving menu and the whole idea behind the holiday. I think about the Pilgrims and what they had to go through – can you tell I am an immigrant? I know the feeling of looking back on my first year in a foreign country (Sweden and then the US) and knowing God’s protection and blessing has been upon me.
Having said all that, Thanksgiving should happen every day, in my opinion. Personally, I have chosen to write down ten gifts I already have in my life – every day. It’s a great reminder to walk away from discontentment and into the attitude of gratitude.
That’s it, folks! No more school for the next seven days. I am declaring a Thanksgiving Holiday this week. I need to catch up on housework, writing deadlines and editing my new book, 101 Tips for Kindergarten at Home. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get it out, but it’s a great lesson. Our plans get interrupted by life. And we all know that life is what happens while you are busy making other plans…
I spoke with another homeschooling mom who shared the same dilemma: how do you get it all done? If you focus on housework, school work will lag behind. If you keep all the school assignments up to date, your house starts looking like a tornado just went through and the laundry piles turn into small hills.
We took two days off from homeschool to celebrate Thanksgiving, but does learning ever stop?
Ice Sculpture Pilgrims, Grove Park Inn
What if we took a trip to a hotel that has been around for 100 years – where we saw a 1914 Ford T-model and where the likes of Thomas Edison, John Ford and many politicians and celebrities have stayed? Would that qualify as a field trip?
The main lobby features two giant fire places – The Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
Thanksgiving Day found us at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. My husband’s family came there to meet us and we enjoyed a great feast.
The banquet hall featured ice sculptures such as this one.
We also got to walk around this century-old establishment to admire the 2013 National Gingerbread House Competition Top 10 winners in four different categories: Adult, Youth, Teen and Child. I wish you could smell the gingerbread. Enjoy the pictures!
Of course, we spent a few minutes gazing at the Grand Prize Winner – two adorable Panda bears chewing into their bamboo sticks.
Holding my daughter as we look at the 2013 National Gingerbread House Competition Grand Prize
Before we left, we looked for the outdoor fire place and we found it. We also found this adorable teddybear.
Our children posed in front of the outdoor fireplace, with an oversized sleigh and teddybear – The Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
I feel very tempted to put this down as a homeschool field trip, but I won’t. It will go down in our family history as a family trip and a Thanksgiving celebration.
In the United States, we just celebrated Thanksgiving – a harvest feast of giving thanks for all the bounty of the land and for the goodness of God toward us. You probably took a Thanksgiving break in your homeschool. We did.
Even though they do not celebrate Thanksgiving in France, imagine explaining to a Frenchman about this American holiday. You would need some specific terms, wouldn’t you? So let’s learn some Thanksgiving vocabulary in French. Click on the link below the picture to open a PDF with printable flash cards.
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:
My daughter enjoyed the crafts, which gives me energy to bring craft time back more often
My son cut lots of feathers, and even helped his sister a bit
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.
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.
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?