Thursday, December 06, 2012

Homeschool Wrap-Up: Thanksgiving

After the election was over, we did a week on Thanksgiving, loosely following the unit study plans on this mama's blog.  We spent a day studying the Pilgrims' journey on the Mayflower, talking about what life was like aboard the ship.  We followed that up with a simple handprint craft.  

Wayflower. Love it.

The next day, we talked about the Wampanoag tribe who lived in the region that the Pilgrims settled.  We used the wonderful "virtual field trip" at to see how the Native Americans lived.

Our third day focused on the daily lives of the Pilgrims in Plymouth.  We read Sarah Morton's Day about the life of a Pilgrim girl, and a companion book called Samuel Eaton's Day about a Pilgrim boy. I can't recommend these highly enough!  They're so wonderful!  We discussed the differences between the Pilgrim children's lives and our own.

The last day, of course, we talked about the first Thanksgiving, the feast, etc.  My favorite book (out of the MANY that I checked out and previewed for this topic) was The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving.  We made Thanksgiving story bracelets after reading the book, and later that evening, I had Hazel tell me back the story using her bracelet.

Before we cleaned out all of the pumpkins that we had decorating the inside and outside of our home for the months of October and November, we took the opportunity to plant one.  We followed this suggestion and opened a pumpkin, added potting soil and water, and waited to see if some of the seeds sprouted.

And sprout they did!  Several days later, we had many shoots coming up from our soil, and our pumpkin was starting to decay.  We decided to continue the experiment and plant the entire decaying pumpkin in a pot with some more soil and let the plant keep growing.  It's doing great!

I would be surprised if we actually saw any pumpkins from our pumpkin plant seedlings, but the kids are really enjoying watching it grow.

Some other things that have been working really well for us at Wallace Academy are the refrigerator chalkboard and the rice boxes.  I have been giving kids a few letters or numbers to write for me right after breakfast, on the side of the fridge that is painted in chalkboard paint.  They're really cooperative with handwriting practice when it's presented this way, especially when it's rewarded with things like chocolate chips or mini marshmallows, which are easily found in the kitchen.  Handy.  

They use the sandpaper letters and numbers to trace if they've forgotten how to make something I ask them to write on the fridge.  I love these!  All of mine have come from this Etsy seller.  I have uppercase, lower case, and numerals.  Spendy, but so nice!  

We've also been doing letter practice in rice before we take it to pencil and paper, which is both popular and effective.

 Thank you for catching up with us!  We enjoy sharing about what we're learning and doing! 

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