Nov 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Humor

11/25/2008 — cori

Today, in school, I decided to teach the kids a different take on Thanksgiving. Meaning...I wasn't just going to sit down and read the same old story. I wanted to get to the heart of Thanksgiving. I started by asking what character traits both parties (by that I mean Pilgrims and Indians) exhibited.

They stared at me blankly.

Okay then...let's try another direction. So then I asked, "Do you think the Pilgrims and Indians really wanted to sit down and eat together? Don't you think they were scared of each other?"


The audience participation part of this lesson isn't going according to plan. As I'm mentally scurrying to reinvent this lesson so as not to loose any participants, Chloe raises her hand and politely says, "Um, Mommy, this is too hard for me. So, I'm just not going to do this, okay?" I decide to 'pardon' her and excuse her from having to delve into the depths of her brain and pull out a story related to the character traits that surround the original story that is Thanksgiving. I should have just surrendered then...but like an idiot, I trudge on hoping that just one of my children can tell me what a 'character trait' is.

I go on to explain how the Indians exemplified mercy to the Pilgrims and how the Pilgrims in turn showed the Indians great trust even though they were probably terrified of them. I just introduced two key vocabulary words and was hoping that the boys could expound on those a bit more, so I ask another question. "How would you feel if you were the Pilgrims?"

"Sad and hungry."

Oh really...that about sums up all character traits. I'm thinking no one is into this lesson but me. What am I wasting my time for. (It is vital to input here that homeschooling doesn't always go the way you want it to. Some days are awesome; others feel as though you're talking to a wall.) So I just dispense the assignment and hope for the best. I asked each of them to write a Thanksgiving story but to highlight the character traits that Thanksgiving is known for.

Bennett is all over that one. Finally, something he can understand that I'm talking about it. He rushes down stairs and immediately gets to work on his story. He starts with:

1 day a pilgrim died and a Indian said we shooed help them they are ding so they went over and said 5+5=10.

He can't wait to show me his progress and even beckons me down to come look at it right away. He's cracking himself up. Instead of showing the internal seething I'm feeling at the moment as a bad homeschool mom who obviously cannot get across the seriousness of the first Thanksgiving, I play along and ask him, "Why does he tell a dying man what 5+5 is, Honey?".

Bennett can't believe he has to explain, "Because he wants to make him laugh." Duh!

He later went and edited it to show a little more seriousness and the graveness of the situation...but I think I personally like the first edition better. Who knows, maybe there was a personality like Bennett at that first Thanksgiving.

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