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Thanksgiving Family Traditions - Candle arrangement on table in background

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Turkey and stuffing might be the staples of Thanksgiving, but for many families the holiday means much more. Homeschoolers often seek to go beyond simply a festive meal to create a culture within the home that encapsulates a sense of belonging, security, and love. One important way families do this is through creating Thanksgiving traditions. Continue reading »

Ready to Use Thanksgiving Downloads - Pumpkin background

Fun Thanksgiving Unit Studies for November

Well, it’s already into the first week of November, and I’m realizing that I am supposed to be doing something Thanksgiving-y with my kids. I mean, I even write for TheHomeSchoolMom on creative ways to celebrate the holiday with the family, fun Thanksgiving activities, and ways to express gratitude. You’d kind of think that I would have this whole Thanksgiving-focus-during-the-month-of-November thing down. But, here I am, already into November, and realizing I’m not prepared. Have no fear, Thanksgiving homeschooling procrastinators, all is not lost. Continue reading »

November Writing Prompts for Homeschoolers

November Writing Prompt Calendar

This month’s calendar is full of autumn- and Thanksgiving-themed writing prompts, including menu planning for Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers. Each month we are offering writing prompts (you will be able to find them all on the main Homeschool Writing Prompts page), and you can download our November-themed starters here. Continue reading »

October Writing Prompt Printable Calendar

October Writing Prompt Calendar

This month’s calendar is full of autumn-themed writing prompts with some creative story-starters included. Each month we are offering writing prompts (you will be able to find them all on the main Homeschool Writing Prompts page), and you can download our October-themed starters here. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Latern Walk for Martinmas, a Waldorf-inspired tradition

Martinmas Lantern Walk: A Waldorf-Inspired Tradition

The Festival of Martinmas is observed by many Waldorf schools and Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers on November 11 each year, and you might enjoy creating a little festival to celebrate with your family or a group of homeschooling friends. Anything that involves children carrying their homemade lanterns is sure to be charming to adults and children alike. Continue reading »

Autumn Craft: Candle Making

Candle Making: An Autumn Craft

Longer hours of darkness are settling in on our part of the world with the fall season, and we could use a little extra flicker of light.

Candle making is the perfect autumn craft. The process is creative and rewarding, and the candles you and your kids make together are an autumn antidote to the days’ low angled sunlight and early arriving nights.

If I have a deficit as a homeschooling mom, it’s that I’m not very crafty, and I don’t enjoy or excel at handwork. However, making candles with my sons was one of our more successful craft endeavors, so I’m sure you can do it. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Fun Fall Activites with Leaves

Fun Fall Homeschooling Activities With Leaves

I know that for many people, it is the advent of Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks that officially signals the beginning of fall, but I tend to be a traditionalist. Yep – cool weather and sweatshirts, homemade beef stew and apple spice muffins…the harbingers of my favorite season of the year. And although farm visits, Continue reading »

Creating a Calendar with Children

A great project for the New Year is making a calendar with your little ones. I’m talking about making a calendar the old fashioned way, using fresh heavy art paper and your favorite combination of markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, or other media. I first got this idea from the Oak Meadow first grade curriculum, a Waldorf-inspired curriculum which I loosely followed from time to time and adapted for other ages as my family grew. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: I Choose to Give Thanks

I Choose to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving doesn’t come for me, this year, as a natural flow out of living in a season of abundance. Instead, this time, it must be squeezed, drop by drop, out of a desert of loss. But the desert makes each drop so much more precious and worthwhile. And this year, I am so much more keenly focused on the source of that gratitude — my God, the giver of all blessings — rather than on the objects of my thanks. And while I certainly do not give thanks for everything, I am learning how to give thanks in everything. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Giving Thanks (When you least feel like it)

A New Perspective on Thanksgiving

How does anyone give thanks in seasons seemingly defined not by what has been enjoyed, but by what has been lost? It is a lesson we are learning this year. Probably the most important one of our entire homeschool. For us, Thanksgiving this year will, ironically, be sweeter. It will be deeper, it will have more meaning. In past years, giving thanks became routine, expected. It was a nice ritual to do with the kids, and a perfunctory process that I knew helped to stave off self-sufficiency and selfishness. Thankful for home, thankful for health, thankful for family… I could rattle off the list without much thought or emotion. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: The Seasonal Table

The Seasonal Table

Sometimes we have had a designated nature table, something which is suggested by both the Waldorf-inspired approach and the Montessori-inspired approach to homeschooling, and something many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers implement as well.

Other times, we have just gathered seasonal treasures together as a kitchen table centerpiece. A walk in the brisk air, the scavenger hunt for natural objects that are lovely to see and touch and smell and shake, the artful arranging and rearranging of the bounty — these refresh the senses and clear the cobwebs out of minds. Continue reading »

Confessions of a Homeschool Mom's Thanksgiving

Confessions of a Homeschool Mom’s Thanksgiving

I wish I could say I basked in the glow of the warmth I feel from homeschooling my children every day. I wish I could write that I woke up energized and excited each morning to nurture their minds and souls, and that I creatively and enthusiastically gave the best of myself consistently toward the creation of the persons they are to become. But that would be someone else’s post. Realistically? Life happens. And when it does, it often takes my best and transforms it into “good enough”. Along this journey it is not uncommon for me to get bogged down in the details of the daily grind, to become impatient and restless, to lose sight of all the things I love about homeschooling. Stresses of responsibility begin to weigh heavily, and before I know it I have lost track of the very reasons I do this to begin with. Continue reading »

A Homeschool Thanksgiving

A Homeschool Thanksgiving, Part 2

Thanksgiving can easily become the bump in the road on the way to Christmas, but the holiday deserves special attention and effort in its own right. Part 1 of this series offered a variety of ways homeschoolers can prepare children for Thanksgiving, including teaching opportunities and fun activities. There are just so many great ways to enjoy this holiday! Continue reading »

A Homeschool Thanksgiving

A Homeschool Thanksgiving, Part 1

One of the many joys of homeschooling is being able to prepare children for an upcoming holiday, rather than simply being swept away by it. November is the perfect time to take a break from regular studies, or add in some special activities by making Thanksgiving the central focus. With its focus on the character quality of gratitude, rich history, and wonderful family traditions, Thanksgiving lends itself perfectly to being a homeschool theme. Spend some time this month and help children fully understand the history, meaning, and traditions of this holiday, and they will gain valuable information about the beginnings of our nation as well as the importance of being thankful. Continue reading »

Homeschooling Halloween

Homeschooling Halloween

It’s a sticky subject, Halloween. And not just because of all of the cobwebs involved. For some homeschoolers, especially for those with strong religious beliefs, Halloween is representative of the dark side of life, and therefore not a holiday in which they prefer their children to participate. For others, it’s a fun time for dressing up and having a good scare. And although homeschooling parents on both ends of the spectrum usually take their stand on the holiday with well-thought-out reasons, there are some ways all homeschoolers can benefit from the last day of October. Homeschoolers can make a holiday whatever they want it to be for their children, because, like everything else, Halloween is a great learning opportunity! So no matter where you fall on the “Celebrate Halloween or Not” continuum, consider these ways to make the most of this holiday… Continue reading »

Teaching History: Thanksgiving

Resources for Teaching the History of Thanksgiving

Turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, family gatherings, lists of that for which we are thankful…the warm and cozy harbingers of the Thanksgiving season are upon us. For homeschoolers, it is an excellent opportunity to teach children the history of those who first came to America, and to focus on the events and sacrifices the Pilgrims faced in coming to this new land. When making your Thanksgiving plans this season, check out these resources to make the history of the holiday meaningful.

Continue reading »

Ways to make the most of Veterans Day in your homeschool

Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, and it is a great time for homeschoolers to teach children about the sacrifice of those who have fought or currently fight for America and who serve out of the love for their country. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors American soldiers who died in their service to the nation, Veterans Day is intended to honor all veterans, with a particular focus on those who are still living.

Continue reading »