Continuing with our teaching character in your homeschool series, the best character trait we’ll be looking at is thanksgiving. This can also be seen as gratitude, or being grateful for all the people and things we have in life. Following the same layout as the honesty character study, you’ll be given a description of thanksgiving/gratefulness and a variety of resources for teaching it.
Teaching Character in Your Homeschool: Thanksgiving
Although the season of Thanksgiving is right around the corner, teaching this important character trait can be done any time of the year. In the following tips and suggestions, you can teach your children about:
- Developing a grateful attitude.
- Remembering to give thanks to God (and others).
- Trusting God to provide everything they need.
- Growing in praise and joyfulness.
Each of these characteristics also help address the very opposite of being thankful to help weed out poor attitudes, unforgiveness, and complaining.
Start by addressing what it means to be grateful-
“… feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.”
Bible Stories to Teach Gratefulness
There are several bible stories you can read to your children to help them see how the people of Israel were never satisfied, or grateful, for what God was doing for them. Highlight the miracles God was performing, but also their negative attitude. This could open discussions for how we should be grateful in every situation:
- The Bitter Water, Exodus 15:22-24
- Whining About Manna, Exodus 16:1-16
- Whining About Water, Exodus 17:1-7
- Mad About Manna, Numbers 11:4-23, 31-34
- Time Out in the Desert, Numbers 13:1-3, 17-21, 25-33; 14:1-11, 21-30, 36-38
- Elephant Altar, Joshua 3:9-4:24
Scriptures to Memorize for Thankfulness
Use the Scriptures below as memory verses and copy work:
- Psalm 34:10
- Psalm 107:8-9
- Psalm 145:7
Resources for Teaching Thanksgiving/Gratefulness
Below you’ll find a few free resources to complete your character study:
- Free Thanksgiving Printables for Kids (Totschooling)
- 30+ Free Thanksgiving Printables for Kids (Modern Sports Mom)
- Thanksgiving Coloring Pages (Fun For Littles Ones)
- I Spy Thanksgiving Activity (Paper Trail Designs)
- Thanksgiving Bingo Game (Confessions of Parenting)
And of course, a few books to read:
- Thankful, by Eileen Spinelli
- How to Catch a Turkey, by Adam Wallace
- God Gave Us Thankful Hearts, by Lisa Tawn Bergen and David Hohn
- Thanksgiving in the Woods, by Phyllis Alsdurf and Jenny Lovlie
- The Night Before Thanksgiving, by Natasha Wing and Tammie Lyon
- A Very Thankful Prayer
- A Turkey for Thanksgiving
- The Story of the Pilgrims
- A Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving
A just a few thankfulness/gratefulness activities to consider:
- Create a thankfulness jar.
- Write grateful cards to family and friends.
- Participate in a thankfulness challenge.
- Bake a sweet treat and donate it to someone you’re thankful for.
- Tell your loved ones a thankful affirmation daily.
Thanksgiving can be much more than just a season. It can become a way of life. Use the ideas in this character study to cultivate some important characteristics in your children, and don’t forget to check out the other traits in this series.
I’d like to hear from you! What are some ways you teach about thanksgiving and/or being grateful in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below!