The Homeschool Mother’s Journal Thanksgiving Edition

In my life this week:

This has been a really busy week!  I spent a day or two cleaning out the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets before Thanksgiving.  I knew I would need extra room in the fridge for the turkey and for leftovers after Thanksgiving.  

In our homeschool this week:

We didn’t do any formal schooling this week.  We did some housework  and lots of cooking (home ec!), though, so we were still spending time together and learning together.  

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share:

I think one thing we all need to remember, especially when life gets busy or hectic around the holidays, is that it’s perfectly fine to take some time off here and there.  It’s not necessary to do formal school work 5 days a week.  Our homeschooled kiddos need to learn to be flexible with their schedules.  They need to learn to prioritize.  They need to learn to cook, clean, show hospitality, help others in need, and even take a break now and then!  I’m not saying that school work isn’t important because it is.  It’s not the most important thing, though.  My main goal is to bring up children who love God and who are willing to serve others and show them God’s love.  If I had to choose between my kids being good Christians or good students, I’d choose good Christians.  

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing:

Since it was Thanksgiving week, we visited at both sets of grandparents’ houses this past week.  We spent Thanksgiving day at my husband’s parents’ house along with my hubby’s sister and her family.  We had a great day visiting and eating!  The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we spent the day at my parents’ house with both of my sisters and their families.  My sisters both have younger children, so there was plenty of noise and fun!  

My favorite thing this week:

One of my favorite things this week was taking some time off from school.  I enjoy doing school with my children, but it’s also nice to occasionally take a few days off to just enjoy being together.  

I also really enjoyed getting together with my hubby’s sister and her family and with both of my sisters and their families.  Our kids all love to play together, and it was fun to see them having such a good time.  

We also enjoyed putting up our Christmas tree!  Our family tradition is to put up and decorate the tree on the day after Thanksgiving.  I can’t remember exactly when we started that tradition, but we’ve done it ever since my children were very small.  

Another tradition is that we add a few new ornaments each year.  Whether we make new ornaments or buy them, we add at least 2 or 3 new ones every year.  I love for my tree to be decorated with all of the ornaments that my kids have made over the years and with the ones we’ve made together.  I like store-bought ornaments too, but I definitely don’t want a tree that’s decorated only with store-bought ornaments.  

And I like for the tree to be totally filled with ornaments!  I like for the tree to be overflowing with them!  I enjoy looking at each one and telling the kids where that particular ornament came from or who made it.  It’s fun to remember specific shopping trips and places we’ve been.  It’s fun to remember visits from friends and relatives when they gave us handmade ornaments.  I want my children to have those memories too and to know how blessed we are to have so many friends and relatives who love us.

Things I’m working on:

This week I’ll be making more ornaments for our tree.  My daughter, Mary Grace, will probably help me.  You can see some photos of the ornaments we’re making at the end of this post in the “photo to share” section.  These quilted ornaments look like they would be complicated to make, but they’re really very easy!  They do take a little bit of time, but it’s not difficult.  We’ve enjoyed making a few of them and are looking forward to making more.

I’m reading:

I’ve just started reading a 2-year Bible.  I did the Bible in 9o days a few months ago, and this time I’d like to take more time and dig a little deeper into it.  The Bible I’m using is dated and actually begins on January 1.  I’m going ahead and starting, though, because that way I (hopefully) won’t fall behind if I miss an occasional day.  

I’m also reading the 2nd book in the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini.  I just finished the first book, Eragon, and the one I’m reading now is Eldest.  There are 4 books in the series, and each book is around 600 pages, so it’ll take me a while to finish them all!  They are fantasy books about dragons, elves, and men.  There are, of course, good guys and bad guys and lots of adventures.  The author was homeschooled too!  

I’m cooking:

This past week I did some cooking for Thanksgiving.  At both grandparents’ houses we all brought a few things so that nobody had to do too much.  I made a turkey, brownies, green bean casserole, sweet potato patties, pumpkin pies, and cookies.  Today I don’t have to cook because my church is selling BBQ plates as a fundraiser for a mission trip the youth will be going on in April 2013.  Woohoo!  

I’m grateful for:

I’m so grateful that most of my family lives close by!  I know lots of people who don’t have parents or grandparents or cousins near them, and I’m very grateful that both my parents and my husband’s parents live near us.  Our siblings live close by too, so our children get to grow up together.  It’s also wonderful because my sisters and I can trade out babysitting for each other.  Because my oldest daughter is autistic and non-verbal, I have to have a sitter who knows her and knows how to handle her.  I never have to worry about her if one of my sisters is keeping her.

I’m praying for:

I always pray for my family.  I also always pray for the ladies who are on the Hip Homeschool Moms site with me.  Right now I’m praying in addition for folks who have a hard time during the holidays.  I know there are lots of folks who get depressed during the holidays because they are alone or for other reasons.  I’m so blessed to have friends and family close to me, so I try to pray for those who aren’t that fortunate.  

A photo to share:

Quilted Ornament November 2012


If you want to read more journal entries, you can do so at  


  1. Tanya Holt

    Enjoyed this, Wendy. I’m a recovering “homeschooling drill sergeant” and it’s still hard for me sometimes to take breaks or veer away from more formal schooldays, even when I know we all need it! Thanks for reminding me it’s okay, (and often very beneficial,) to stop sometimes! Taking a break does NOT mean the learning stops and it can give us time to focus on the things that matter most. I know I’ll need to keep that in mind as we head into a busy Christmas season!

  2. Wendy

    Tanya, it really is hard to break out of drill sergeant mode! I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to take breaks and do more informal schooling too. It’s gotten a bit easier over time. Thanks for your comment!


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