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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors

Oh give thanks
to the Lord,
for He is good!

Psalm 106:1

Sidebar Contents

  • Thanksgiving Day Activities

  • Free: Evangelism Boot Camp

  • Sunnyside Up

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Thanksgiving Day Activities

"Count Your Blessings" Visuals


Make a poster and cut out objects (see below). Then write a blessing for which you are thankful on each cutout and tape or glue them on the poster. For example:

  • Poster of a tree with leaf cutouts

  • Draw a leafless tree on a piece of butcher paper or posterboard. (You can also open up a paper grocery bag to use as a large piece of paper.)

  • Cut out leaves from colored paper and write (or have young children draw) something for which you are thankful on each leaf.

  • Tape or glue them to the tree.

  • Poster of a cornucopia with fruit and vegetable cutouts

  • Poster of an umbrella or grass with raindrop cutouts (showers of blessings)

Basket or Box

Decorate a box or basket to hold notes (e.g., 3x5 cards) written by family members expressing thankfulness for various blessings, great or small. Younger children can draw items.

Add more notes throughout the year. Review them occasionally or read them next Thanksgiving.

One family's tradition is to start a box on Thanksgiving into which family members put notes of thanks to each other—with specific things they appreciate. They add to this box until Christmas and open the notes to each other before they share their gifts.

"What Am I Thankful For?"
(with Charades and/or Pictionary)

Have Ready: a chalkboard, whiteboard, or a large pad of paper with markers.

The idea is for everyone to tell what they are thankful for by using the rules of charades or pictionary.

  • Everyone gets a turn as others guess. This is not a points or winning game - just fun!

  • The game can continue after everyone has one turn as long as there is interest.

Your Family
Thanksgiving Service

After your Thanksgiving feast, gather your family and friends for a time of:

  • Singing hymns and songs of praise. See words and hear the music to many hymns of thanksgiving at Cyberhymnal.

  • Recounting to each other the blessings of the Lord.

  • Thanking Him together in prayer.

  • Reading or quoting Bible verses or passages on thankfulness and God's blessings (many of the Psalms and Psalm 100).


HSLDA Protects
Your Right To Homeschool

Since 1983, Home School Legal Defense Association's primary goal has remained the same—to bring together a large number of homeschooling families so that each can have a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defense.

HSLDA gives families the freedom to homeschool without having to face legal threats alone.

(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)


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In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers contribute practical how-to articles, encouraging letters, and ready-to-use teaching tips.

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Sunnyside Up

The Pharisee
and the Sinner

I had finally gotten through our bedtime routine with the children.  All I had left to do was to pray with our 5-year-old son Joey.  I listened as he gave thanks for his home and family.  He asked the Lord for protection and said a final "Amen."

Then Joey looked up at me and announced, "I didn't have to tell God about my sins—I didn't do any today."

Doubtfully, I told him that was certainly interesting.

I don't know if Joey had been guiltless all day or not, but I know he "blew it" with his next move.  He rose up from his bed and pointed his finger at his 3-year-old brother.

The 3-year-old looked quite shaken as Joey said, "I didn't sin today, but I can tell you all about Jacob's sins!"

Submitted by Carol A., Ohio.

Send your humorous anecdote to

God Loves You.

Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Free Evangelism Boot Camp

The Pocket Testament League offers a 7-part online training course. These lessons will help you to share your faith in Christ.


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Thanksgiving Bible Study

Based on Psalm 100

Also use as a mini unit study or devotionals.

1.  Praising God for Who He Is

2.  Thanking God for What He Has Done

3.  Ways To Praise and Thank God

Thanksgiving Day Activities– Sidebar at Left


Are you busy with Thanksgiving Day preparations for extended family, guests, food, and more?

In this issue we offer you a ready-to-use Bible study which includes learning activities and practical suggestions for how your family can praise and thank God this week—and all year long!

You might use all or parts of this Bible study during your school time, as a guide for your family devotions, or for a family thanksgiving service.

We have also added some ideas for activities in the sidebar at the left. They are fun and meaningful ways of expressing thanks that all ages can join in and enjoy.

May your family come to a deeper understanding of who God is and what He has done by studying God's Word together at this Thanksgiving time -- resulting in praise and thankfulness to our wonderful Lord for His goodness to us.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

1.  Praising God for Who He Is

Praising God

1.  Bible Study and Memory

Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:1, 2.

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
     Serve the Lord with gladness:
     Come before his presence with singing."

2.  Word Study

Study the words "praise" and "thank."

 •   Look up both words in a dictionary and a thesaurus.

 •   See Webster's 1828 Dictionary online and look up praise and thank.

You can buy this dictionary from Foundation for American Christian Education.

 •   Point out that there is a difference between: praising God for Who He is and thanking Him for what He's done.

3.  Further Bible Study

 •   Look up verses that contain the words "praise" and "thank" in a concordance or online at

 •   Look up "praise" and "thankfulness" in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology for discussion and more references.

4.  Nature Study

 •   Read Psalm 19:1-6 and answer:  "How does the earth and all creation praise God?"

 •   Write a poem or paint a picture of nature praising God.

Who God Is

1.  Bible Study and Memory

Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:3.

"Know ye that the Lord he is God:
     It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
     We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

2.  Considering God, Our Creator

 •   Read Psalm 139, consider, and answer the questions:  "Did God make each of us individually?  Who knows us, our character, and our thoughts better than anyone else?  What does this mean to you?"

3.  Considering God, Our Shepherd

Psalm 100:3 tells us that we are God's flock.

Psalm 23 gives us a picture of what it means to have God as our Shepherd.

 •   Read Psalm 23 and think of how this description makes you feel (e.g., safe, loved, etc.).

 •   List things to praise God for from Psalm 23.

4.  Studying the Character of God

What is God like?

In addition to God being holy, loving, just, and true, older children can learn the meaning and implications of terms such as omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresent, and immutable.

 •   See "The Doctrine of God" for a list of the attributes of God with Scripture references.

 •   Write a character description of God based on Scripture.  (See Exodus 34:6, 7; Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num. 16:22; Ex. 15:11, 33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12; Rev. 5:12, 7:12; and

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Find your best fit, or supplement a curriculum that you already have.
Homeschoolers who subscribe to The Teaching Home newsletter will save at AudioForum.  And here are more ways for you to save on language courses this November!  800-243-1234.

2.  Thanking God for What He Has Done

Thanking God

1.  Bible Study and Memory

Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:4.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
     and into his courts with praise:
     Be thankful unto him, and bless his name."

2.  What To Thank God for

Make a list of things your family is thankful for and keep adding to your list all year long (see suggested activities in the sidebar at left).  Be sure to include the following:

 •   His Love and Free Offer of Salvation

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 6:23)

 •   His Provision

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:19)

 •   All Good Things

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father."  (James 1:17)

You can rightfully thank God for anything and everything good, including a found parking space, safety during a near accident that you avoided, good news from a friend, or the beauty of the day.

 •   Unasked-for Blessings

"For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."  (Psalms 127:2)

"He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."  (Matthew 5:45)

We can thank the Lord for those things we have received from God without specifically asking for them.

3.  Studying the Names of God

 •   List some of the names of the Lord (e.g., Jehovah Jireh - The God Who Provides).

 •   See a list of hundreds of names of God, many with Scripture references, at

 •   What names would you give God, based on your personal or family relationship with Him?

What God Has Done

1.  Bible Study and Memory

Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:5.

"For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations."

2.  Lovingkindness

 •   (See Webster's 1828 Dictionary online for definition of kindness.)

 •   Read Psalm 136 and using it as an example, write a family Psalm telling about God's lovingkindness to your family.

3.  Faithfulness

 •   Read about God's faithfulness in Lamentations 3:22, 23.

 •   Sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

 •   How has God been faithful to you?  Write one or more verses to the above tune praising and thanking God for what He has been and done for your family.

Gifts of Learning for Christmas:

Starting Chess Kid Kit
Easy2Draw Horses DVD

Visit our website for art gifts, more Kid Kits, plush toys, magnetic/dry erase boards, and much more.

Birch Court Books:
Create a Curriculum
or Enhance Your Own Packaged Curriculum.

Common Sense Press, Beautiful Feet Books, Draw-Write-Now, Key to... Workbooks, CalcuLadder, and much more. Free Media Mail shipping with online order of $20.  Free catalog: 800-655-1811.

3.  Ways To Praise and Thank God

"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."  (Psalm 34:1)

1.  In Private and Family Prayer

 •   Private Prayer

Talking to God in prayer throughout the day is how we can "pray without ceasing"  (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  And the majority of our words to Him should be praise to Him for Who He is (His attributes) and thanks for what He has done for us.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  (Philippians 4:6)

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."  (Colossians 4:2)

 •   Family Prayer

Teach your children to begin their prayers with praise and thanksgiving before presenting their petitions.

During your family prayer time, ask your children to think of one specific thing that happened that day (especially to them individually) for which they can thank the Lord.

2. In Song, Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Throughout Scripture, thankfulness to the Lord is expressed not only in words, but through music.

"I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving."  (Psalms 69:30)

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  (Colossians 3:16)

 •   Learn (memorize) and sing hymns and songs of praise and thanksgiving. See a list of 293 songs of praise at (choose menu item "Praising Him" on the left).

 •   Sing "All People That on Earth Do Dwell," based on Psalm 100.

 •   Sing alone, either aloud or to yourself, as you work or travel.

 •   Sing as a family, at meals, devotional times, and in the car.

3.  In Public, as a Testimony to Others

Giving thanks to God should also be done before others as a testimony of His goodness to all mankind and our appreciation of Him.

 •   In Everyday Talk

The phrase "Praise the Lord" is appropriate many times in our daily conversations, before our family and in front of the unsaved or strangers. We should not tire of using it with sincerity!

 •   Corporate Worship and Prayer

Our corporate worship during the song service and public prayers at church should be meaningful praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

"In the midst of the assembly I will praise You."  (Psalms 22:22)

 •   Direct the Praise to God.

Teach your children by your own example that when we are praised by others, we should acknowledge the Lord's grace that enables us to do anything good or praiseworthy. In this way we give the glory and praise to Him.

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth."  (Psalms 115:1)

 •   Ministering to Others

Singing praise and thanks to the Lord at a rest home or rescue mission is a real testimony.


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