Week 8: a week of thanks

This week was in preparation for our own (Canadian) Thanksgiving.  Ours is similar to the U.S. one, yet also very different.  No pilgrims or Mayflowers or Indians.  Simply put:  The U.S. celebrates in thanks for the first feast shared between the pilgrims and Indians.  Canadians celebrate in thanks for a good harvest (a month earlier than the U.S.).

We started out our week listening to a story of Gratitude found at Character First Education.  The kids like to color while they listen to the storyteller.

Since our focus was for Canadian Thanksgiving, we did what we could with a Thanksgiving theme without pilgrims.  Any fall harvest printables I could find, or fall in general.  Emma enjoyed coloring a fall tree.  This printable comes from one of my most favorite homeschool mama "printable makers".  This Reading Mama has a wealth of resources to offer; here is where I found the fall pack.

For focus on having a thankful heart, one day I had the kids watch Madame Blueberry.  Madame Blueberry is very greedy which almost leads to her downfall.  At the start of the show there is a talk from kids about how they show love to others.  It can be as simple as coloring a picture.  Connor was immediately inspired to show his thanks for his Great Grandparents and Grandparents and started coloring and cutting out hearts to mail out.

I am not one to love doing crafts with 3 young kids.  I want to be and strive to be, but it stresses me out so much.  So this year I ignored the lure of all the fancy crafts on Pinterest and kept it super simple and sweet.  We went on a nature walk and collected leaves.  I showed the kids how to (incorrectly) do a leaf rub.  We wrote acrostic and list poems about fall and thankfulness and mailed them off with the paper hearts to our loved ones.  Not every craft has to be award winning or Martha Stewart worthy. 

Our books were carefully chosen to reflect a general thankful tone and/or harvest eliminating pilgrim talk.

Some of my favorites:

This book is wonderful and just so full of history, stories, family relations, crafts and foods.  It is so full that after two years of seasonal use, we have still only accomplished two of the many activities offered.  (one year we made bread, and this year we made cranberry sauce).  I thought it would be too much for my 4 year old to sit through even one of the stories (it isn't a picture book).  She sat and listened while coloring, and even brought the book to be the next day requesting the cranberry story.


I am a huge fan of Tomie dePaola.  Strega Nona's Harvest is a charming tale of sharing with others in thanks of our bountiful harvest.

For focus on Gratitude we read these books:
  • Bear Says Thanks - This is such an endearing book.  Bear decides to have his friends over for a big dinner.  He opens up his cupboards and finds them bare.  What happens next had me choked up.  If I had to choose just one book to read to my kids, for this holiday season, I'd choose this.  We ended up reading this every day, sometimes twice a day.
  • Let's Be Thankful - I just adore this series.  The are short, sweet and to the point.  Emma (4) especially loves these books and when I read them even Connor (7) will wander over to listen.  These books really will tug at your heartstrings.
  • Thanks for Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving is a time for thanks, from the big things down to the little things.  A simple and poetic way to get your kids thinking about what they can be thankful for.
  • Give Thanks to the Lord: Celebrating Psalm 92 - we pull this out each year.  A beautiful reminder on Who we give thanks to in all things.  This book, particularly, makes Connor nostalgic over is far away relatives.
  • The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks - You can always rely on the Bernstein's for good wholesome books.
This week we really simplified things.  We read books, we read our devotional and we scrapped the rest and went out and flew kites more days than not.

This time of year is always hard on us.  We have no family in the area close by.  The ones closest have uninvited us to gatherings over petty and false arguments and the other side is too far to travel often.  We usually spend it alone making the best of the situation, but it's lonely knowing that family and friends all around us are gathering.

It's getting harder and harder as the kids get older and they know that Thanksgiving should be sharing food with others in thanks.

This year we unexpectedly had an invitation to spend our holiday with friends who used to go to our church.  The unexpended gift is always the best.  We had such a great time and it was so wonderful to not be alone.  We had much to be grateful for.

Don't be afraid to reach out to others, you may never know how much of a difference your kindness can make in lifting another's spirit.

Additional Resources/Inspiration:
Apple ELA & math printables
Printable Pack from 3 Dinosaurs - there's several that could do well for a fall/Thanksgiving theme
Bear Says Thanks printable story props
PreK and K Fall printables at Homeschool Creations
Scarecrows, Leaves and Pumpkin printable packs at 2 Teaching Mommies
This Reading Mama - offers fall theme, pumpkin and seasons, to name a few.

Linking up with:
Hip Homeschool Moms 
Weekly Wrap-Up


    1. Oh it's nice to see Thanksgiving from the perspective of other countries. It's spurning a lesson idea for my kiddos. Thanks for sharing your week. I'm dropping in from Weekly Wrapup

    2. Although I'm in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving--our main focus on giving thanks, sharing and making room for others. (With the sorted history that is often mis-told of Pilgrims and Indians, we skip most of that.) Much like what you're doing with your family. It is hard to be away from family. Glad that you were thought of and included in another's home. It's an important reminder to continue to open yourself up and make room for others within your own spaces and celebrations. Thanks.
      Stopping by via Weekly Wrap-up. Have a great weekend.

      1. yes, we much never forget how much of an impact opening our circle of "community" can have. :) Thanks for stopping by.


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