If you have been homeschooling for any length of time, you probably have heard of The Teaching Home. They have an excellent Christian, homeschool, website, and a fantastic newsletter filled with ideas that can not only be used for homeschooling, but for your family as well. The following ideas for making your Thanksgiving special were in their most recent newsletter. We plan on making the thankfulness box that is used between Thanksgiving and Christmas and begin a new family tradition. Enjoy the article, and start a new tradition with your family this year.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! Psalm 106:1
Thanksgiving Day Activities
After your family has enjoyed your Thanksgiving feast, here are three activities that can help to make the day a time of giving thanks.
1. "Count Your Blessings" Visuals
Make a poster and cut out objects (see below). Then write a blessing for which you are thankful on each cutout and tape or glue them on the poster. For example:
* Poster of a tree with leaf cutouts
* Draw a leafless tree on a piece of butcher paper or posterboard. (You can also open up a paper grocery bag to use as a large piece of paper.)
* Cut out leaves from colored paper and write (or have young children draw) something for which you are thankful on each leaf.
* Tape or glue them to the tree.
* Poster of a cornucopia with fruit and vegetable cutouts
* Poster of an umbrella or grass with raindrop cutouts (showers of blessings)
Basket or Box
Decorate a box or basket to hold notes (e.g., 3x5 cards) written by family members expressing thankfulness for various blessings, great or small. Younger children can draw items.
Add more notes throughout the year. Review them occasionally or read them next Thanksgiving.
One family's tradition is to start a box on Thanksgiving into which family members put notes of thanks to each other ¿ with specific things they appreciate. They add to this box until Christmas and open the notes to each other before they share their gifts.
2. "What Am I Thankful For?"
Charades and/or Pictionary
Have Ready: a chalkboard, whiteboard, or a large pad of paper with markers.
The idea is for everyone to tell what they are thankful for by using the rules of charades or pictionary.
* Everyone gets a turn as others guess. This does not have to be a points or winning game - just fun!
* The game can continue after everyone has one turn as long as there is interest.
3. Your Family Thanksgiving Service
After your Thanksgiving feast, gather your family and friends for a time of:
* Singing hymns and songs of praise. See words and hear the music to many hymns of thanksgiving at Cyberhymnal.
* Recounting to each other the blessings of the Lord.
* Thanking Him together in prayer.
* Reading or quoting Bible verses or passages on thankfulness and God's blessings (many of the Psalms, including Psalm 100).
ClickN' Read Phonics - A New Affiliate - Joshua Approved! Topic: The Kids
Many of you know our middle son, Joshua, and are familiar with his disabilities. He has been diagnosed with many things and has recently completed testing for Asperger's Syndrome which is in the autism spectrum. His problems cause many challenges, one of which is learning. Reading, writing, fine motor, it doesn't matter what, Joshua is challenged by it. We are constantly looking for new ways to teach him and to keep his interest. Recently I came across ClickN' Read Phonics. I liked what I saw, but, as you know, the proof is in the pudding. So, I called Joshua in to try out the sample lesson. Now, mind you, this was after his night meds, and right after I had sent him to bed, but the minute Joshua started with the lesson, he was enthralled. Although we had already covered many of the same things, we could never make it all "stick". With ClickN' Read Phonics' review methods and immediate verbal rewards for correct answers, Joshua was retaining what we could never get him to remember before! Then, at the end of the lesson, he was reading the sentences with hardly any stumbling at all! I was so pleased, that I signed up and was accepted for their affiliate program. If you are looking for a unique way to teach or help you kids with phonics, or if you are looking for a phonics review, click on the banner above or on one of the links to the left. Let me know what you think. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Has It Been 11 Days Since My Last Post? Topic: Favorite Links
I am so sorry! Not that a ton of people read my blog, mind you, but for the faithful few that do, I apologize for not posting something new lately. Things have been hectic of late. If you want to read some exciting things about what is going on here at Good News Mission, click on our Prayer Letter link to the left and read our latest. All of our prayer letters are written by Sarah, my wife, and I think she does a great job. If you aren't on our email list and would like to receive our Prayer Letters, leave us a comment with your email address, or contact us at email@example.com and we'll put you on the list.
Have you ever heard the expression "If it were a snake it would have bit you?" Well that expression would have fit me perfectly the other day. I receive a homeschool newsletter once a week and one of the contributors is Todd Wilson, a homeschool dad. I had read his contributions before but had not really paid any attention to anything else. Well, I was doing a search for Christian Thanksgiving stories, and what should turn up, but the Familyman Ministries site. Familyman Ministries is a great site primarily for Dads written by (you guessed it) Todd Wilson. There had been a link to his web site in the homeschool newsletter every week, but I had never clicked on it. DUH!
Anyway, Todd's site is great. He has a lot of suggestions on how Dads can spend valuable, Christian, time with their families. One of the things he does every year is have Family Advent Nights during the Christmas season. I liked the idea so much that the Tinkels are going to start the Family Advent Night tradition this year. And, this is all Dad's doing. I'm not enlisting Mom's help for anything. I'm doing all the planning myself. Todd's site lists everything that you need to do, and even sells advent craft kits to go along with it. The NOEL window hang shown above is one of the crafts. The kits aren't very expensive, but our meager budget isn't going to allow us to buy them this year. I have asked a crafty friend to help with that part of the planning. I wanted to let you all know about it in time for you to possibly start the tradition with your family as well. Write and let me know how it went, and I'll let you know how ours went in a future blog.
Please fogive me for I have sinned...I think!?! Topic: General
Ok folks. The program that I use to write my blog gives me a place to put what mood I am in when I post a new entry and then they add an icon that represents that mood. In my last post I was in a celebratory mood, and I thought the icon was a firecracker. After looking at it a couple of times, I now think it may be a lit cigar. If it is a lit cigar, please forgive me. I do not smoke and do not condone it. If it's a firecracker, then...whoopee...let's celebrate! Take a good look and let me know what you think - a firecracker or cigar - and I'll make sure that next time I'm more careful! Have a good week.
(That is just a smiley face isn't it? I'm not seeing things again am I?)
It's official! We are now Vision Forum affiliates! I have told you about Vision Forum in the past, but now, if you click on Vision Forum any where on our blog and end up purchasing from them, you will not only benefit yourselves by buying good, wholesome family products, but you will benefit us as well. Many of you have supported us financially over the years, and many more of you have pledged to pray for us regularly. Some of you have wanted to support us financially, but have not been able. Now there is a way that you can support us and do your Christmas shopping at the same time! Hopefully there will be other companies that we will be affiliating with soon, so check back regularly. I give you my pledge, that any company that we affiliate with will have family oriented products that you can feel safe in buying. Thanks for all of your help and support.