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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 30 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Homeschool Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short

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

Psalm 106:1

Thanksgiving Day Activities

After your family has enjoyed your Thanksgiving feast, here are four activities that can help to make the day a time of giving thanks.

"Count Your Blessings"
Thanksgiving 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?" Games

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 does not have to be a points or winning game – just fun!

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

Thanking Others
Around the Room

 •  Write everyone's name on a slip of paper, fold it, and place it in a dish.

 •  Everyone draws a name and thanks that person for something that they have done this past year.

 •  Thanks can be just one sentence, either written or spoken.

 •  Go around the room reading or saying your thanks.

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, including Psalm 100).

Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Unit Study

Learning activities, plus printable notebooking and lapbooking pages.  56 pages.

Thanksgiving Planner

Printable planning pages, plus tips for a stress-free celebration, recipes, decorations, activities, and "Counting Your Blessings with Corn Kernels."  64 pages.

Hat tip for the above links to Home Educators Association of Virginia.

Thanksgiving Holiday Helper

Picture study, copywork, stories, and poems from Sheila Carroll, Living Books Curriculum. 22 pages.

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Sunnyside Up

Automated Spelling

Our 9-year-old son, Sean, combines a keen sense of humor with a strong dislike of spelling.

As we were preparing for an oral quiz one day, I handed him his spelling list and instructed, "Review these words for a couple of minutes, and then we'll run over them together."

"Great, Mom!" he enthused.  "I'll lay the list in the driveway, and you go start the car!"

Submitted by Hannah F., Florida

Send your humorous anecdote to

God's Plan
of Salvation

1.  God loves you.

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

2.  Man was separated from God by sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

3.  The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

4.  We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

God's Word

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

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 In This Issue 

Thanksgiving Bible Study,
Mini Unit Study, or Devotionals

Based on Psalm 100

1.   Praising God for Who He Is
2.   Thanking God for What He Has Done
3.   Ways To Praise and Thank God
      Throughout the Year


Thanksgiving Day Activities

•  "Count Your Blessings" Visuals
•  "What Am I Thankful For?" Games
•  Thanking Others Around the Room
•  Your Family Thanksgiving Service
•  Three Free Thanksgiving E-Books

 Recommended Resources 

•  Birch Court Books: Teaching Products/Christmas Gifts
•  Raising Kids To Do Hard Things Seminar: Dec. 3-4
•  Keepers of the Faith: Gems of Christian Literature


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.

May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.


     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.

Welcome to the Grand Opening
of Our New Website!

Special Grand Opening Offer

Take 20% Off Your Order of $50 or More
through Dec. 31, 2010.  Fill your Shopping Cart and type the word GRAND in the promo code box during checkout.

Time To Stock Up on Teaching Products
And Order Those Great Christmas Gifts!

     •  Marshmallow Polar Bear and other Plush Animals
     •  Coin Collecting for Kids - Book with Coin Slots
     •  Miller Family Books - Character Building Reading
     •  Easy-2-Draw Horses DVD and other Art Products
     •  Hands-on Character Building
     •  Saint Nicholas (VeggieTales) DVD and other DVDs
     •  Hear and There Bird Calls - Book with Sounds
     •  Draw Write Now - Drawing and Writing Practice
     •  Spotted Horse and other Lil' Snugglers for Baby
     •  Grocery Cart Math and other Math Products

Birch Court Books
Free Media Mail Shipping with $20 Purchase
Free Catalog  |  1-800-655-1811

Find Family-Safe Games at

1.  Praising God for Who He Is

When we and our children get to know God and what He is like, through His Word, the natural result will be to praise Him!

A.  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

B.  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 "praise" in a dictionary (online) and a thesaurus (online).

 •  Look up "thank" in a dictionary (online) and a thesaurus (online).

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

(You can buy Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language online at Foundation for American Christian Education.  Watch for the announcement of their one-day sale on November 29.)

 •  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 online 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 (see how-to tips online) or paint a picture of nature praising God.

"If I'd known your seminar was going to be this good, I'd have brought all my friends!"

     That is what several people said to me (Gregg Harris) at my last Raising Kids to Do Hard Things Seminar in D.C.

     Don't make the same mistake!  Believe what hundreds of seminar attendees have found out – their entire family has been transformed, and yours could be too!

     This is a powerful household strategy seminar where the entire family (ages 10 and up) hear the same biblical ideas at the same time.  That way the whole family can buy in to the strategy together and start functioning together as a household team.  See Session Times & Topics.

Be Sure To Attend Our Last 2010 Seminar!
Orlando, FL - Dec. 3-4, 2010

Don't let the distance stop you –
Hop on a plane and invest in your family's future!
And don't forget to invite your friends.

Register Today (and pay whatever you can afford)

Raising Kids To Do Hard Things  /  (503) 313-8106

2. Thanking God
    for What He Has Done

Likewise, when we and our children get to know God and what He has done, through His Word, the natural result will be to thank Him!

A.  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 loving-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.

B.  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?

The Gems of Christian Literature
on Sale Now!

    Are you looking for the absolute best in Christian literature?

    We have sifted through hundreds of old books to seek out the very best gems for you and your family to enjoy!

    These stories honor the Lord, edify families, and provide examples of Christian character for children.

Save Now!  Receive $1 off each already-low-priced book!

Keepers of the Faith

See the Reviews and Order Securely Online at   906-663-6881

Happy Reading!

3. Ways To Praise and Thank God
    Throughout the Year

"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 songs of praise at

 •  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.

Copyright  2010  The Teaching Home


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