Newsletter~Homeschooling from Gratitude

The days are growing shorter and the days are growing colder. November brings thoughts of gratitude as we plan to gather together with loved ones for Thanksgiving. As we move into this season, how can we make homeschool and family life more meaningful? We can begin by cultivating gratitude in our homeschool and in our lives.

6 Ways to Homeschool and Live from Gratitude...

1. Victory Homeschool Review

We are several months into the school year. Right now is a great time to review and be grateful for all you have accomplished this school year. We have all made progress even if it may have been pinched by health issues, interruptions, and trials. Did we go to the park? Did we take any field trips? Have we read the Bible stories together? How many books have we read aloud? One year I was so sick with the pregnancy of my fourth child, my oldest son (10 at the time) just grabbed books at the library. I felt like a failure that fall. He was rated by the schools two years below grade level at the outset of the school year. That next summer he was taking a creative writing class. The teacher pulled me aside and asked if I knew my son could read and understand at the college level? My son had grabbed the teacher's college science text, read and then explained to the teacher his new found knowledge. Children are more resilient than we might realize.

Life is full of starts and stops and we all have them. Family members can get sick, moms can get pregnant, and sometimes we are beset with the unexpected. We need to see and focus on the victories, the things we do get done, the experiences we have, and the progress we make. Really, it can change the tone of the home! So, sit down with your children and brainstorm and create a victory list of school so far this year. You know, victory begets victory, and inspires more victory!

2. Binding Traditions

What are your fall traditions? Good family traditions bind us together. Perhaps if I share with you some of the things we do, it might spark some ideas for you. In our family, we:

- We weatherize the home and prepare for the cold months ahead.

- We get about 48 bags of leaves in our yard and we mow them and rake them and toss them in the garden.

- We prepare the garden for winter.

- We make sure we have wood stacked and ready for power outages and needing to keep warm, as well as, cozy evenings in front of the fire.

- Do the "Acts of Thanksliving" Activities each day from A Classic Thanksgiving Devotional.

- We bake pumpkin bread or pumpkin cookies and send it to neighbors.

3. Enjoy the Season 

- Learn about the Pilgrims.

- Enjoy kicking leaves.

- Take nature walks on warmer days and notice the change of seasons.

- Do a campfire or fire in the fireplace and drink hot cocoa.

- Involve the children in preparing your Thanksgiving celebration and invite someone who is lonely or someone who is far from home, to join your family celebration.

4. Make and Decorate with Nature Collections

We take nature walks. Inside comes a branch of fall colored leaves and into a vase they go to preserve the beauty of the season. We collect acorns, pinecones, dried herbs, dried stalks of dried leaves or dried flowers and other things on our walks. I like to use them as decor during the season. Fill a vase. Make an autumn wreath.

5. Gratitude Activities

- Start a Thankful tree and add thankful leaves to it each night. We cut a Thankful Tree from over grown tree branches. We cut our leaves from colored paper. We write down each night what we are thankful for and hang it on the tree. 

- Create a grateful pumpkin. Paint a pumpkin white and write on it each night what you are thankful for.

- Create thank you notes, gifts, or treats to send to those who have blessed you this year, even for the blessing of friendship.

- Do A Classic Thanksgiving Devotional each day, even if it is only the "Acts of Thanksliving" activities you do. There are 30 activities!

- Post on twitter one thing you are grateful for each day.

- Post on Facebook something you are grateful for each day.

- Do a Bible study of the topic Gratitude!

- Show gratitude through service.

- Read or listen to Pollyanna and play the Glad Game. My daughter says that if her children complain during the day, she has them play the Glad Game. They each take a turn and say something they are glad for.

- Make a gratitude mail box and send thank you letters to each other.

6. Pray Gratitude!

Pray a prayer of gratitude, tell Him how grateful you are. Pray at least one prayer each day of simply gratitude.

I am grateful for all of you. I am grateful for the homeschooling journey we have had so far this year. I am grateful to be able to share my thoughts with you through this newsletter. It is my hope that some idea here will be a blessing to someone reading this.

Enjoy the Journey!

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