This week, we got to enjoy one of my favorite features of Adventures in My Father’s World–a week-long Thanksgiving unit.
This is something that I’ve done every year, anyway. But it was nice to have everything planned out for me for a change. Some of the books were new to us, (somehow we had never read The Thanksgiving Story, even though we have enjoyed the sister book, The Fourth of July Story), and we also used some old favorites (all of the Kate Waters books about colonial children). Some of the crafts were new, (somehow, we had managed to never make woven construction paper placemats before!), some we had done before, (hand and footprint turkeys are a yearly must around here), and some we had done before and skipped doing this time, (we didn’t feel like making paper grocery bag Indian vests again).
There were even dedicated science lessons for this week. There were estimating and measuring assignments, and I added the book From Seed to Pumpkin, particularly for Ladybug’s benefit, so we could see the life cycle of the pumpkin. There was even a fun experiment for discovering the density of a pumpkin, as well as growing your own plant using the pumpkin seeds from the previous estimating and measuring experiments.
I love that this was incorporated right into our school year. The unit is designed to be done whenever necessary in your school year, (although it is labeled as week 13, and is arranged in that spot in the teacher guide), whether you start earlier in the year, and so need to delay the Thanksgiving study, or if you start later, and need to do it even closer to the beginning. The flexibility of this program is another big must!
I wish that My Father’s World could find a way to add a similar Christmas unit to one of their programs. I’m thinking that their global curriculum, Exploring Countries and Cultures, would be the perfect opportunity to learn about Christmas around the world, (and would offer a nice counter-option to Winter Promise’s Children Around the World program, which does have such a unit). While I also create a Christmas unit every year, it would be fun to look at it with fresh eyes, and get some new ideas that I might otherwise overlook, or never think of at all!