A Reason for Thanksgiving
November 27, 2019
In This Issue:
A Time to Be Thankful

Hey Mama,

Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving? We want you to know that The Homeschool Minute and The Old Schoolhouse® are so thankful for each of you, our readers. Without you, well, we wouldn't have a reason to do what we do. Right? So, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

May I make a suggestion for this time of year (although it's good for all year long, too). Keep a diary, Mama, and teach your kids to do likewise. You can call it “A Journal of Thankfulness”—all about God’s provision.

His Word is very clear that He takes care of His own. He doesn’t want us to worry about what He has already thought about and handled, even before you woke up this morning. Instead, offer thanks to the One Who gives. Live your life for Christ; model Him to your children. Let them see a Mama who has great faith in the One Who saves. Their time is coming when, as adults with children of their own, they too, will have the choice of whether to worry and fret—or not. Be that model now.

And if you're feeling a little overwhelmed with all the holiday preparations, here are some tips from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine to help you have a smooth Thanksgiving.

And remember, Mama. . .

God provides. It’s a major issue with many homeschooling Mamas, and I want to make sure we have the right perspective on the Lord and His will for our lives. It’s a reality that we need things. Look around your home; we have drawers and closets full of items required to run a household. Before we were married and had children, life was simpler. Now that we have other little human beings who look to us for their provision, it feels scary. We recognize that without that provision, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.

Just as the Lord has always provided for us, He will take care of our children, too. Even in something like homeschooling, with the need for books, curriculum, notebooks, and art supplies, we find a way but only because the Lord already knew about these needs and took care of them. He still does, Mama. Not only do your children have what sustains them, they have many more goods and gadgets not needed at all. God provides far above the basics. He is so kind! In many cases, He grants us the desires of our heart, too.

Take some time to read Matthew 6:25–34 today as you prepare your heart for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, Mama! You've got this. 

- gena
Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for me. When I was a child, I loved celebrating everything from the harvest to the idea of sharing, and of course, the story of the first Thanksgiving.

As a substitute teacher, I often had to improvise a lesson on the fly. I'd be called at six in the morning to take over classes, very often without any idea of what the teacher had planned for the day.

I had the usual problems teachers face, introducing topics that very often made students' eyes glaze over. I discovered by personalizing subjects like culture or history, I was able to sustain children's interest.

I always carried a tote filled with interesting projects and one of them was asking the students to share their family's Thanksgiving menu. 

No matter where I taught, the response was equally surprising and delightful. We were able to deduce each child's ethnic, cultural, or national background from the content of the menus presented. It was a fun way to learn about their customs. 

Food is a fascinating subject to use in learning about everything from history to culture. It is a great equalizer, especially today where every town has so many options for different restaurants. Many kids have sampled foods from sushi to shish-ka-bob. 

Just a trip to the supermarket yields a variety of foods from diverse populations. Asking children to put together a menu revolving around ingredients can be a lesson in itself. It tells us what resources are at hand as well as the type of climate of the country. We can determine if it's agricultural, fishing, or industrial. Food is a perfect introduction to a wider exploration of the globe.

I learned I could do an entire lesson plan on anything from currency to clothing, toys to language. 

It was just this thought that helped me create my two series If You Were Me and Lived in....

In these cultural and historical series, I wanted to introduce children to the diversity of the world. Both series are elastic and can be simplified or expanded depending on a child's level of understanding. The introduction to culture can be shared by kids ages 4-8 and the historical series is appropriate for older students. 

Come travel the world or traverse time with me. I guarantee you it will open a doorway to many interesting discussions and fun while learning.


Mercy Every Minute  
Thankful for a Rock and a Candle

We are all thankful for our abundance, but do we remember to thank God for the everyday things? A friend at church reminded us, “If you only had today whatever you were thankful for yesterday, what would you have left?” Sobering thought. 

Children are usually thankful for parents, food, clothing, and their house. All good things! However, we need to remind them of the Provider of these things. We are thankful for what we have but should also be thankful for Who we have. Here is an 8-day devotional to help remind us. 

Band aid 
Chocolate kiss 
Toy sheep OR candy cane 
A small puzzle 
French bread
Bibles for reading together
We are thankful that Jesus is our Rock. (Read Isaiah 26:4) Discuss attributes of rocks (strong, secure, and unchanging). How is Christ like this? Read Matthew 7:24-27. Why should we listen and obey? Write the name of Jesus and your own name on the rock. 

We are thankful that Jesus is our Light. (Read John 8:12) Discuss Jesus being the Light of the World. Turn off all other lights and talk about how it feels to walk in darkness. Light the candle and offer a prayer of thanks.

We are thankful that Jesus is our Healer. (Read Ex. 15:26 and Luke 17:11-17) Who can heal us? Who was thankful? Put on the band aids to remind you to pray for the sick and to be thankful for health.

We are thankful that Jesus is Good. (Read Psalm 34:8) Ask, “Will the chocolate taste good? How do you know?” (You’ve tasted it and trust it to be good.) Eat the chocolate and offer a prayer of thanks that Jesus is always good.

We are thankful that Jesus is the Vine. (Read John 15:5) Eat the grapes and ask, “What happens when a branch of grapes is not on the vine anymore? What happens when we stay close to Jesus?” 

We are thankful that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. (Read John 10:11) What makes a Shepherd good? (Read Psalm 23) “What comforts the sheep?” Write your name on the sheep, or eat the candy cane and thank Him for His death and protection.

We are thankful that Jesus is our Peace. (Read Isaiah 9:6) Complete the puzzle together, but withhold one piece. What does it feel like to have a missing piece? Without Jesus, we are not whole and do not have peace. Put the last piece in and thank Him for being our peace.

We are thankful that Jesus is the Bread of Life. (Read John 6:35 and Mark 14:22-25) Jesus is the Bread from Heaven that was broken for us. Break the bread together as you pray in thanksgiving for Who Jesus is.

Enjoy your time with your children, and be thankful that you can keep them Home Where They Belong. 


P.S. Did you know we have a Canadian Schoolhouse? Check out the Thanksgiving video devotion here!

Ever feel like there is no fruit in all your labor? Read. . . 

Christmas means toys, lots and lots of toys. But who wants gifts made of cheap plastic that break in a week?

Let the “Smart Gifts: Educational Toys and Games” Resource Guide give you long-lasting options this holiday. Check it out in the Fall 2019 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Thanking God for the Gift

Homeschooling is a reason for thanksgiving. Oh, you may not feel it right now, or even believe it right now, but you've been given a gift--the gift of being forced to be with your children The gift of being forced to be with your children. Oh, sure you could get more done if they were in school. You could have a nice, clean house, exercise when you want, have nice long quiet times, and eat out with the girls. BUT you would miss out on those hours and hours of bickering, laughter, quarreling, and silliness (the good and the bad).

Homeschooling is a gift!!! And God has given it to YOU and your children. It's the gift of the daily, of closeness, of loudness, and of chaos. One day you will see it as a gift. When your children are grown and gone, and you look back fondly on these times, your heart will swell with fullness, and you'll feel the lump in your throat. You'll know THEN . . . but you're living it NOW.

Oh, yes, Mom, you've been given a gift. And so you should say “thank you.” Spend a few minutes right now, thanking God for the gift, thanking your children for being with you every day, and then text your husband and thank him for allowing you to homeschool. (He'll probably think you've flipped).

It's never easy . . . but it is always GOOD!

Be real,
Enjoy a year of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine for only $19 (reg. $29). PLUS receive the entire Curiosity Files series ($125 value). Subscribe during the sale, A Thankful Year with The Old Schoolhouse® Family, November 1-30, 2019. (Subscription begins with the Spring 2020 issue.)

Jodi Riddle
Give Thanks

Thanksgiving shouldn’t just be a season, but a year-round attitude! The Bible says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). One small verse that says so much.

In Every Thing
You can’t break that down much further. Every, each, all, always. On your good days and on your bad. When things are going great and when things are not going so great. When your health is good and when it is not. When the bills are paid and there is money in the bank; and when you're broke and owe someone. 

Give Thanks
What is “thanks”? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “thanks” as an “expression of gratitude; an acknowledgment made to express a sense of favor or kindness received.” Is your attitude one of thankfulness regularly, or do you just remember to express it when the season comes around and you are reminded? We have a Heavenly Father who blesses us daily with grace, mercy, and life. His beautiful creation is an added benefit. Even when those hard times come, we have so much to be thankful for.

For This Is the Will of God
If you are still struggling with being thankful, but say you want to be in God’s will, this verse reminds us that giving thanks IS His will for us. It is so reassuring to know that even when we feel as though we have failed, or we are struggling, or things just aren’t going the way we’d like, we can still be in the will of God by giving thanks in everything. 

When God says something in His Word, we should pay attention, but this phrase is repeated seven times in similar form: “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (1 Chronicles 16:34, Ezra 3:11, Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 29, 136:1). He wants us to be thankful because He is worthy of our thanksgiving. 

Jodi has been with TOS since April 2016. She serves as Operations Manager and is also the  Homeschooling with Heart  blog manager. Jodi is a pastor’s wife and has three adult sons. She homeschooled for eighteen years and also taught in the private and public-school settings. Jodi enjoys teaching, playing the piano, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her heart’s desire is to help others learn to enjoy these things as well!
Surviving homeschooling merely by the skin of your teeth? Regain your strength and stamina in 2020 by using the code  SHARK
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Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!

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Celebrate Thanksgiving with SchoolhouseTeachers.com! We have dozens of lessons and additional resources to help you. Check out lessons in art, copywork, history, poetry, games, photography, and stories in our Seasonal Resources. Members can access Thanksgiving-themed greeting cards, coloring pages, and Native American weapons fact cards. Parents can also check out our 13-hour video course, Building Faithful Kids, to learn how to instill gratitude in their children among other character traits and habits.
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Congratulations to Yvie Field from Sparks, OK, who won our September Contest Corner giveaway!

Contest Corner
for the month of November
If you come across this symbol (. . . ) go to the link provided to read the full review.

History can be so boring! I cannot remember all those dates and places. Who cares what happened back when?

Are these types of comments familiar to you? Do your children complain when the history books come out? If so, the World Changers Biography Club from Tied 2 Teaching might be just the thing to bring a little fun into your homeschool and, at the same time, bring some world changing folks to life for your kids.

This ever-growing digital bundle currently has 30 mini biography units with plans for another 30 in the works. It was easy and quick to order and download from the Teachers Pay Teachers website and will continue to receive updates and additions as they are added each month. (. . .)

While this package is recommended for grades 2-4, we found the variety of titles made them a good addition to our sixth grade reading and history lessons. Having a student with ADHD who is a reluctant writer, I am always looking for fun activities that will encourage him to write while not being overwhelming. These units fit the bill. (. . .)

Of course, we will not always have the opportunity to expand on our units, but there are plenty of ways these units can be tied in with other studies. For instance, if your kids are studying the Civil War, the units on Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln fit in here well. There are units on Oprah Winfrey, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, and Anne Frank. As you can see, a good variety. (. . . )

You now know a few of the finer mentionables about the World Changers Biography Club , but you’ll really want the full scoop, so go and read the full review on our site

AND most importantly, ENTER THE CONTEST for your chance to win this Biography Unit Bundle by Tied 2 Teaching.

Look What’s Happening!

Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA) is hosting a Southern California Homeschool Moms Spring Retreat! It will be held at Murrieta, California on March 20-22, 2020. The theme of the weekend is Rhythms of Grace. For more details and registration, visit their website or contact Michaela at 562-864-2432.
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