Teaching my kids about gratitude is an important aspect of our homeschool in November. I like to use the seasons and holidays as a guide for our homeschool lessons and November provides the perfect opportunity for lessons on gratitude and kindness.
While we talk about these two character traits, I also try to model them as much as possible. As my boys continue to grow, I find the ways I model things change and grow as well. Today, I’m going to share a few of the ways we include gratitude lessons in our homeschool. These are ideas from the past, present, and even a couple I hope to use in the future.
The Thankful Turkey was one of the first ways I incorporated lessons on gratitude into our homeschool. For this activity, I printed out a turkey clipart body with no feathers and hung cut it out. Then, I hung it on the wall. Each night, we would add a feather with things we’re thankful for. It was interesting seeing what each of my boys picked (they’re all still young). It was also a great opportunity to open conversation around the term gratitude and how to use it.
We added feathers to our turkey each day leading up to Thanksgiving. I tried to be intentional with this activity by including it as part of our dinner routine. We already talk about our day and favorite things so it was easy to bring it into our dinner discussion. The visual was a great tool to use since my boys are early elementary and below.
If you don’t want a turkey hanging on your wall for the entire month, you could do a different variation. This year, we’ll be doing a thankful tree instead. I’m going to have the boys make a tree from brown paper bags. Then, we’ll add leaves to it throughout the month. On the leaves, we’ll write down the things that we’re thankful for. Once again, we’ll read through the leaves on Thanksgiving as a reminder of the many great things we have in our lives.
If you want to keep it even more simple, you could use a jar and slips of paper. Keep the jar near your dinner table and write down the things you’re grateful for each night. Then, add it to the jar. You can take turns reading the slips of paper on Thanksgiving day. Keep it simple and pick something that fits the dynamics of your family. It doesn’t have to be elaborate but it works best when done with intention.
Last year, I created a countdown banner that we used as a teaching tool. The banner spelled out Happy Thanksgiving and behind each letter of Thanksgiving, there was a task or activity for the day. Some of the activities were fun while others centered around acts of kindness and showing gratitude for the things we have. We did this countdown for the twelve days leading up to Thanksgiving. (I chose a 12 day countdown simply because that’s the number of letters in Thanksgiving. You could easily alter it to be more or less.)
This was a great way to make things fun and my boys really enjoyed seeing what was hidden behind each letter. This year, I plan to bring in more activities centered around gratitude and kindness.
A few years ago, I started writing down the good things that happened in my day. I found that when I focused on the positive, then I was a happier person and was able to handle my emotions better. I’ve let this habit slide as our family has grown but I’m planning to pick it back up again. November is the perfect month to start a family gratitude habit like this – especially if you’re doing one of the activities mentioned above.
When my boys are old enough, I plan to include a similar practice in our homeschool day. I think practicing gratitude and reflecting on the day is a powerful tool for mindset growth. After all, our mindset plays a huge role in our lives.
Lessons on Gratitude to Practice Together
There are many lessons on gratitude you can bring into your homeschool. I hope you’ve gotten some ideas from this post but I wanted to end with one last reminder. We are the models for our children. They learn by watching us. This is why I highly recommend including reflection and gratitude activities for kids into your day in some small way for everyone in the family. It truly can benefit everyone – even you and me!
Thanksgiving Countdown Banner
Pam is a teacher turned stay at home mom. She has three littles of her own and a rescue dog that she spends her days with. She has taken her passion for teaching and motherhood and combined it into Little Learning Moments, an online space filled with activity ideas and tips to make raising littles a bit easier.
Learn more about Pam at Little Learning Moments and follow here on Instagram
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