During this first full year of homeschooling, we have experienced many benefits to this change.
This week, I know at his school we would have had half days due to conferences, a feast with other classes, an assembly, and a “special” visitor that comes to the PE classes and teaches the students dance moves.
I understand that for most kids, this is a really fun week.
All of these things caused stress when we were a two parents working family, with a child that couldn’t eat the foods due to allergies, who couldn’t tolerate the noise for the dancing or assembly.
In previous years, there was lots of communication with myTBP’s school during this week and we were always thankful when the Thanksgiving holiday arrived. Exhausted, but thankful.
In addition to reading, math and science, we talked a lot about varying perspectives about Thanksgiving and what different people think the day is supposed to represent.
The idea of gratitude has been central to our discussions. Because of this, we planned to bring items to a local food bank.
We started by looking at the food bank’s website and found a list of the most needed items.
As my son read this list, I noticed his expression became more serious. While he read, he would pause and look at me as if surprised that some would need soap, underwear, diapers, and canned chicken.
We made a budget to spend at the grocery store and it was expected that he would contribute a few dollars of his allowance.
As we shopped we talked about the prices and prioritizing our items. We figured that getting more of the requested items was of key importance.
“Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to shop so carefully? I never look at prices.”
Yes. We are lucky.
When we arrived at the food bank, a long line of people waited to receive help.
I was surprised and saddened by the length of that line. My son was too.
We drove around back and rang the bell. A cheerful volunteer helped me with the bags.
“I bet you’re busy this week.”
She smiled and said, “Yes. We are always busy, but this week especially. Everyone wants a nice meal.”
As we drove away, my son asked, “Did you see there was a kid in line?”
Yes. I did.
On the way home, it was quieter than normal. I think we were both thinking about that line.
I think that this experience provided a powerful Thanksgiving lesson, more than anything I could have written in my plan book.