Happy Thanksgiving!
October 4, 2017
Lisa Marie Fletcher
5 Reasons I'm Thankful to be Homeschooling

1. I get to know my kids. 
I love spending so much time with my kids. I get to enjoy their personalities, their humor, their passions, their interests, their smiles, and their opinions. I get to help them through struggles and challenges. I get to see what areas they are weak in and encourage them. I get to see what areas they are strong in and keep pushing them forward. I can't imagine daily life without these kids here every day. It would make me sad to miss out on these unique experiences and times together. I'm thankful for the chance to get to really know my kids.

2. I can become a better parent.
The days aren't always sunshine and rainbows. We struggle hard some days. We fight, we yell, we cry. And that's ok. Because it's teaching me how to parent better. It teaches me patience and how to look beyond the bluster to what is really upsetting my child. It's helping me become more of the parent I want to be and less of the parent I tend to be. I'm learning how to juggle the needs of many at the same time, while still making sure everyone gets the best of me. Homeschooling has forced me to be more aware of myself as a parent – as I have to parent more. And I'm thankful for that.

3. I get to meet their learning needs. 
My children all have different needs and abilities (as all children are wont to). Homeschooling affords me the opportunity to discover what those challenges and skills are and then figure out a way to help them learn the best they can. I can let my active child move around while learning. I can repeat myself for the child who can't hear in a noisy room. I can keep lessons short and varied to keep interest and attention. I can use different methods and technology. I can personalize the topics or approach. I can repeat lessons if needed and can skip others if they already know something. I am able to tailor our homeschooling plans to my kids instead of needing to follow specific guidelines. I'm thankful that I can use our learning experiences to fit my children instead of making my children fit the learning experiences.

4. I have made amazing friends.
As a homeschooler, I've been able to connect with a community of other like-minded (and yet, sometimes completely different-minded?!) set of people who I otherwise never would have met. That includes both in person and online. I've gotten to make friends with people all over the country (and in other countries!) and also people right across the street. I'm so thankful that this homeschooling thing has given me a portal to friendship.

5. I'm learning so much.
You know, you start homeschooling thinking that you are going to be teaching your kids stuff. But in reality, you end up learning just as much (if not more) than they do. Things you learned in school are being brought back to your memory and stretching you to learn and understand again. There are so many hours of research needed as you figure out learning styles, homeschool methods, lesson plans, activities, and more. I am always learning. PLUS, it has inspired me to remember that I can keep learning for myself, too. I'm thankful that I'm able to always be learning and modeling that for my kids.

How about you? What are the reasons you are thankful for homeschooling this year?

--

Lisa Marie Fletcher is a busy homeschooling mom of 5 who somehow manages to find some time to blog at The Canadian Homeschooler where her mission is to help connect homeschoolers across Canada with each other and with resources to help them on their journey. 
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Canadian Thanksgiving is officially on the second Monday in October. There is turkey, pumpkin pie, and football. 

The first celebration on our shores was in 1578 by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew. Samuel de Champlain and the inhabitants of New France celebrated the harvest with the local native peoples in 1606. It officially became a holiday in 1957. 

Thanksgiving is much more than an official holiday. For many Canadians who immigrated from war torn or poverty-stricken countries, it is a celebration of the freedom and security they found on our shores. 

Growing up on a farm in New Brunswick with a post WWII immigrant father and a mother whose family’s immigration path was a result of the Potato Famine, our Thanksgiving was about being able to be together and to live freely in a land where we had choices and security. We celebrated the successful harvest and thanked God for the blessings of the year. It was also much more than a single day.  

For Christians and other people of faith, thanksgiving and gratitude are a part of everyday life. 

As a mother of four, I have had many things to be thankful for and looking for them in the mundane activities in my life has helped me to remain sane. There were a few days when finding things to be thankful for took a lot of prayer and soul searching, but they were always revealed.   

Gratitude allows you to appreciate and experience life to the fullest. It also allows you to be open to the opportunities that come your way. A thankful heart is ready to receive and to give to others. 
Practicing gratitude is especially important when we are experiencing frustration, stress, and discouragement. There will be days when it is hard to find things to be grateful for and if we can open our hearts and look past the sources of negativity in our day, we will find many things to be thankful for. 

I challenge you to seek out the simple things in everyday life, offer thanksgiving, record them in a book—it cements them and allows you to fully acknowledge the blessing.  

Celebrate Thanksgiving with your family and friends—it is a holiday worth celebrating! 

Practice thanksgiving everyday—it will make you stronger and better able to serve others. 
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Linda Peterson
Thanksgiving Prairie Style
Thanksgiving is a wonderful, busy time of the year in northern Saskatchewan, especially for farm families. The leaves have fallen from the trees, the fields are golden yellow with barley, wheat, canola, and flax ready to be harvested. The geese are honking overhead as they fly south for the winter. The garden produce is safely tucked away in mason jars, the freezer, and the root cellar. Pumpkin pies are cooling on the kitchen counters. The women are busy from early morning preparing meals for the men who will be heading out to the fields as soon as the dew dries on the crops, until late at night when they come in tired, dirty, and ready for a snack before bed. In between cooking for the men, there are errands to be run, grain trucks to be driven, and a swather (or combine) that needs another driver so that the crops can be gathered in before the snow comes. It is a race against time and Mother Nature to ensure all the bounty of the fields are safely in granaries before the winter snows descend. It is a hectic team effort, full of activity and stress. It is also amongst my best memories.

I don't remember how old I was when I discovered that the majority of Canadians eat their Thanksgiving dinner around a table with family gathered. My reality was that Thanksgiving dinner was eaten in whatever field my dad was harvesting in that day. My mom and I would prepare the turkey, the dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas, cranberry sauce, fresh baked buns and, of course, pumpkin pie with Dream Whip topping. It was carefully wrapped, loaded into coolers, along with a special tablecloth, and placed in the back of our pickup truck. My brother and I would crawl in and our mother would load us down. Off we would go to the field. Mom would drive across the field to get closer to the combine. Out we would hop, put down the tailgate of the truck, spread out the tablecloth and lay out our Thanksgiving feast. Dad would drive close up, hop down, and come over to eat. If the harvest had been going well, my grandparents would join us. Prayers were said giving thanks for the food, for the harvest, for no breakdowns; and we would all eat under the large prairie sky—a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving.

Linda Bradley Peterson grew up in Saskatchewan but now lives in Ontario. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work and a second Masters Degree in Education. Her current passion is Family History and Genealogy and helping others to discover their roots. She still misses Thanksgiving dinner out in the field.
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Debbie Ferguson
History Facts of Thanksgiving in Canada
  • The first Thanksgiving was celebrated on November 6, 1879, in Canada. 
  • Canadian indigenous people have celebrated in a fall harvest ceremony that has happened before the settlers arrived on the land. 
  • North American traditions of turkey, squash, and pumpkin were first introduced to Nova Scotia in the 1750’s and spread across Canada around the 1870’s.
  • In 1957, Thanksgiving became a holiday said to happen on the second Monday of October every year.
  • Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador are the only provinces that do not have Thanksgiving as a statutory holiday.
  • 
Want to learn more? Check out the site below:

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Hi! My name is Debbie Ferguson.
I am from Cobourg Ontario Canada. I'm a mum of 3 super awesome kids, a son and two daughters. I went to school at Durham College in Oshawa Ontario for Early Childhood Education and graduated with honours. After working for child care for several years, I wanted more. I went back to school in Brisbane, Australia at Griffith University. This is where I graduated with my BA in education and received my teaching diploma. I am currently an elementary school supply teacher for the board in my area, and I am a wellness advocate for dōTERRA.
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Contest Corner  
For the month of October


I am always on the hunt for good, clean, wholesome books for my kids to read. When I found the Sonrise Stable Book Series eight-book set, I was ecstatic. The entire series consists of eight titles all written by Vicki Watson. Each book costs $8.95, or the entire series can be purchased for $58.95, which is a very nice discount as an entire package. The Sonrise Stable Series includes: Rosie and Scamper, Carrie and Bandit, Clothed with Thunder, Tender Mercies, Outward Appearances, Follow the Leader, Rejoice with Me , and the Christmas book, Operation Christmas Spirit .

These books are geared toward children ages eight through thirteen. I feel like this is an accurate age range, although truthfully, older children would likely enjoy them as well. Younger children may enjoy hearing these books read aloud. I enjoyed reading them as an adult, so really the age stipulation is just a suggestion. The entire series was written because of Vicki’s love for horses at a young age. She wrote the books to share many of her life’s lessons with young readers.

The entire series is about an extended homeschooling family. Each chapter book has an overall theme based on a scriptural principle. Throughout the series the family lives, learns, and loves together. The main characters are Rosie and Carrie. Together with their families by their sides, these girls have many heartwarming adventures. There is just enough excitement from chapter to chapter to keep the reader guessing and wanting to continue reading. Each book contains some special lesson pages in the back related to the theme of the book.

While we didn’t read the series in order, the books still made complete and perfect sense to us. There were a few times that a previous event was referenced, but enough information was given that we were able to still understand the plot of each novel. What I really appreciate is the attention given to detail in the stories as well as the additional activities in the back of each book. The discussion questions alone are valuable if you wish to use this series as a reading comprehension tool for your horse-loving children. 

Since Christmas is coming up, here is a bit about Book 8: Operation Christmas Spirit .

The children all decide to work together to produce a Christmas play depicting the birth of Christ. They learn and study joyfully together, each digging into the scripture. The theme of this volume in the series is obviously about Christmas. Other events challenge the family as well: Grandma along with Rosie and Carrie hope to purchase a pony and a cart. They choose a run-down, well-worn cart that seems somewhat useless. When it is restored, they all realize the beauty that it contains. The back of this volume contains discussion questions for each chapter.

We really enjoyed reading this wholesome series. The books are easy to read and understand, making them perfect for any horse-loving child. If I had known about these books several years ago, I would have purchased them for my daughter. I highly recommend this series if you have an eight- to thirteen-year-old who just can’t get their hands on enough horse books.


YOU can WIN this full set of books for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER : Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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