A year ago I started prepping for this blog… with a first grader you never know what you are going to encounter and school certainly makes for a different child. I am thankful for the opportunity to post here and have had a blast with the first grade curriculum. This leads me to what I promised to write about in my last entry; The Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.

So as I mentioned before, we live in an area rich in resources that make teaching certain aspects of history not only a breeze but very fun. There are living history museums near by, the Mohegan Nation, and of course Mystic Seaport. The Seaport is wonderful for maritime history, but I’ll cover that in the Homeschool Blog (Oh come on – you know you want to see where else I’ve been writing about homeschooling my first grader…)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and this being about first grade and first grade activities and of course at this age it’s an awful lot of emphasis on firsts, we get to what led up to the first Thanksgiving.

Much to my child’s surprise she learned that the Pilgrims were hungry, cold and weak that first winter. Taken off guard by the early New England winter, they were not prepared at all for the early snows, the cold rain, and inhospitable temperatures that came before they were finished building. Houses were made of vine, straw, bark and branches and the only food they had to live on was the food they brought from the ship. Needless to say the children were likely very tired of this. Entering into the picture was a Wampanoag nation warrior named Squanto who taught these settlers about planting corn and catching fish…

After learning all of this my little one was very happy to be able to eat her green beans and broccoli, and our Thanksgiving prayers have included a thank you for our home having real walls and a real roof instead of shingles of bark and twigs for walls. If you can ever get to the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts to get to walk with the Pilgrim reinactors or to the Wampanoag site to see how the Wampanoag people lived, I highly recommend it.

A Year of Thanks

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