A Thanksgiving Unit Study
November 22, 2023
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Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
A Thanksgiving Unit Study
As an overly busy, over-tired, poured-out homeschool mom, I feel far from thankful. I am not thankful for what I have been given by God’s gracious hand, nor for who I have been given. Ever felt that way? Hard things come our way and we lose focus. We can be so far from thankful that we are nearer to being ungrateful.
We still have our family feasts, but our hearts have forgotten, and we have become like those nine lepers who never returned to Jesus. All of the lepers looked for pity because, like us, they were diseased, alone, and ailing. And although they were completely healed, only one thought to return to the Healer.
I believe losing a thankful heart is just as crippling a disease as leprosy—it’s a kind of leprosy of the soul. It causes men and women to go through the motions but forget to return to their Healer.
In this Thanksgiving Unit Study below, I hope you receive some much needed perspective this season.
Look up the following verses with your children:
“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. It is God that . . . bringeth me forth from mine enemies . . . thou hast delivered me . . . Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD” (2 Samuel 22:47-50).
The Lord is our Rock, our Salvation, our Deliverer. This is not just about the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the people we have in our life—it is being thankful for Who the Lord is. How has He delivered you?
“Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people . . . talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. (1 Chronicles 16:8-10).
We are exhorted here to thank God for what He has done for us and to declare to others His marvelous deeds. Who better than to those of our own household? Have we shared His goodness today?
Chronicles goes on to say in verse 12 of chapter 16, “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done.”
Is my continual habit to seek Him and His strength? I believe the reason I become unthankful is because seeking Him has stopped being my continual habit.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (1 Chronicles 16: 34).
No matter my ailing feelings or circumstances, do I think about giving thanks for His goodness and mercy? How about for His holiness: “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalm 30:4).
The angels in heaven around God’s throne continue day and night in praise of His Holiness. Should we do less? Every day of every year of our short lives should be spent in thanksgiving and praise.
“Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day” (Psalm 71:8).
“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws” (Psalm 119:164).
“At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments” (Psalm 119:62).
Sing “For the Beauty of the Earth” which encourages thankfulness in all areas of our lives: God, church, family, brothers and sisters, etc. It is an easy tune to pick up if you don’t know it! You could start a new yearly tradition singing this hymn. Listen to it here.
Make a Joyful Noise This Thanksgiving through music study!
We have many recipes here for holiday foods. Here is one to add to that from our daughter, Hope.
Hope’s Pumpkin Bread
- 2 loaf pans
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 stand mixer
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large stand mixer bowl
- 1 whisk
Pumpkin Bread Dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (I cooked a medium pumpkin and pureed it, let it cool, then measured 2 ¾ cups puree for this recipe)
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/3 cup softened butter
Making the Loaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease two loaf pans very well.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.3 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp. cloves, 3/4 tsp. salt
- In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix just until combined.1 cup unsalted butter, 3 cups sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg.3 large eggs
- Turn mixer to medium, mix until light and fluffy.
- Add pumpkin puree, mix until well combined.2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
- The mixer ingredients will look a little curdled or separated.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined¬–don’t over mix!
- Divide evenly into both loaf pans and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Creating the Crumb Topping (optional)
- Combine 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/3 cup softened butter.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over both loaves 5 minutes before end of baking time.
- Return to oven and bake the additional 5 minutes.
How about a few Thanksgiving Freezer Meals?
Noah Webster and the Pilgrims
Noah Webster was a man who knew his own history. In his 1828 dictionary, he defines Thanksgiving as “The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies. 2. A public celebration of divine goodness; also, a day set aside for religious services, especially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties.”
A celebration of divine goodness and remarkable deliverance. These were probably at the root of the feelings of gratitude in the Pilgrims. I believe they were more than simply thankful for their families, friends, and their feast. I believe it touched those things, but also went much deeper than that. I believe they were thankful for the God of their feast. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Of course they were thankful for their God–aren’t we all? But just how are we thankful for our God today? I would guess that most of our thankfulness has to do with His provision and not necessarily His Person. The Pilgrims knew that His provision was because of His Person and His character.
From my historical readings, the first Pilgrims knew their God! They knew Him to not only be a Provider, but a God of Mercy, their Creator, Redeemer, Life-giver, Deliverer, Rescuer. They knew Him to be all these things and were filled with thanksgiving, even in the most difficult and trying of times (starting over, death of loved ones, harsh cold winter with little to survive on), that He would even acknowledge mortal men!
How about us? Do we know Him in this way? At this time of year especially, we tend to give thanks for what God does for us, more than for who He is. He is good, and the giver of all good things. Celebrate His divine goodness. Thanksgiving: Celebrating Divine Goodness
A Fragment of a Poem about New England
by William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony (in The Mayflower Descendant)
Famine once we had–but other things God gave us in full store,
As fish and ground nuts, to supply our strait,
That we might learn on Providence to wait;
And know, by bread man lives not in his need,
But by each word that doth from God proceed.
But a while after plenty did come in,
From His hand only who doth pardon sin.
And all did flourish like the pleasant green,
Which in the joyful spring is to be seen.
Why not host a Thanksgiving Poetry Tea at home or with friends? More poetry can be found here: Thanksgiving Poems – AmblesideOnline – Charlotte Mason Curriculum
History of Thanksgiving
Games, Copywork, and Activities
Here is more Thanksgiving Fun just for you, Thanksgiving Fun and Pilgrim Puzzles
Give Thanks Scripture Writing, download the free printable pdf.
50 Reasons to Be Thankful We Homeschool
From our Canadian side, here is a free pdf download in case you forget all the benefits of home education: 50 Reasons to Be Thankful We Homeschool – The Old Schoolhouse®
The next time your first response is to complain about your spouse, your children, or your lot in life, remind yourself of the beauty of the Lord and where we have come from as a nation. Join those around the throne of God today and worship Him for the beauty of His Holiness. Bring your children with you as you enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
From the TOS family to your family, may the God of Thanksgiving be praised and honored in our hearts and homes.
A blessed Thanksgiving to you all!
The annual Black Friday AND Cyber Monday deals will be appearing in your inbox over the next week! You’ll be able to explore creative courses, Christian options, and other complements to your family life. What will you see that will fulfill your intentions for education or gift-giving?
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It’s unit study time! Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season with Christine Weller of SchoolhouseTeachers.com. In Episode 43 of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show—”A Thanksgiving Unit Study,” not only will you walk away with craft and activity ideas, but you will be challenged and inspired.
Congratulations to our September winner, Mia P. from Ohio!
for the month of November
Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management
Focus on the Family
In a culture where living paycheck to paycheck is the norm, teaching our children about money management is very important. In Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management, author Matt Bell presents ways parents can teach their children to honor God with their money.
As the author recommends in the introduction, I read the book from cover to cover on my own to understand “the big picture” presented. Then I returned to lessons I wanted to cover with my children over the next few months. This is a book that I will return to for advice as my children enter new stages in life.
The lessons offer advice, activities, and suggestions for all ages. Each lesson begins with ways that parents can manage their own finances. This helps parents as we serve as role models for our children. The author gives real-life examples showing the consequences of poor money management and other examples of God-honoring money management. After this, the author provides tools and activities to help parents instruct their children.
I highly recommend Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management to every parent who desires to teach their children how to honor God with their finances. This book provides lessons that can benefit parents and children of all ages. To quote author Matt Bell, “The most effective money-management lessons are those that are learned with real money in real time in the real world.” This hands-on, role-modeling, Biblically-based approach to teaching money management will appeal to many Christian homeschool families
This is part of a review of the book Trusted. Read the full review on our site which includes more details about the content.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the book Trusted.
Holiday Supplement 2009
Recreate an authentic first Thanksgiving feast, prepare for a peaceful Christmas, and enjoy over 180 pages of holiday crafts, recipes, and traditions in The Old Schoolhouse® Digital Holiday Supplement, 2009. This timeless collection of holiday fun and festivities also includes directions for making your own Christmas decorations and gifts.
Download your free copy now. Then spread the word and share this inspirational holiday guide with friends and family.
The 2009 Digital Holiday Supplement is totally free!
Give Thanks Scripture Writing
Click on the image to download the full free printable pdf.
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
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