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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633
  tth@teachinghome.com  

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For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School 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.


1. "Count Your Blessings"
     Thanksgiving Visuals

Poster

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.




2. "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.




2. 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.




3. 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).




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(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)




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Sunnyside Up



The Magic of Math

My husband and kids were shopping with me on a recent trip to the grocery store.

My husband took our daughter with him to get a couple boxes of crackers.  As our daughter reached for the regular size box of Wheat Thins, my husband stopped her and showed her that you could get the larger box (50% more) for only $0.20 more, and tried to talk to her a little bit about the value of getting more quantity for just a small difference in price.

Next, our daughter reached for the regular size box of Triscuits.  As my husband stopped her once again, she sighed and said, "Okay, okay, Daddy.  I'm not a mathemagician like you!"

Submitted by Mara M., Washington.

Send your humorous anecdote to publisher@teachinghome.com.




Bible Reading Schedule

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

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at TeachingHome.com.






Christian Music Online 24/7!

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to Abiding Radio at www.AbidingRadio.com.

Also: Old Christian Radio.




God's Love for Us

Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

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

"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)




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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

Sidebar:  Thanksgiving Activities

 1.  "Count Your Blessings" Visuals
2.  "What Am I Thankful For?" Games
3.  Thanking Others Around the Room
4.  Your Family Thanksgiving Service

Recommended Resources

  •  Birch Court Books
  •  Franklin Springs Family Media
  •  Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class

Greetings,

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.


Cordially,
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.




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4.  Coin Collecting for Kids.  Information, plus slots to hold coins, including Westward Journey nickels and 50 state- hood quarters.

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1.  Praising God for Who He Is

     A.  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 both words in a dictionary (online) and a thesaurus (online).

 •  See Webster's 1828 Dictionary online and look up praise and thank.  (You can buy this dictionary from Foundation for American Christian Education.)

 •  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 BibleGateway.com.

 •  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.



     B.  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 ChristianAnswers.net.)



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Watch the trailers, get more information, and order online.

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franklinsprings.com
See information and view trailers for all our top-quality DVDs that set forth a vision of God-honoring family life.



2. Thanking God
    for What He Has Done


     A.  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 ChristianAnswers.net.

 •  What names would you give God, based on your personal or family relationship with Him?



     B.  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 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.



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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 CyberHymnal.org.

 •  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.




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