Fun Thanksgiving Ideas for Your Family

thanksgiving link up.1

Are you looking for some great activities for Thanksgiving week? I’ve teamed up with some bloggy friends to bring you Thanksgiving homeschool lessons, tips, printables, recipes, and more.

Be sure to add your own Thanksgiving links to the linky at the end of this post!

Thanksgiving Homeschool Ideas

Thanksgiving Fun

Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving Craft Projects for Moms and Kids

Thanksgiving Booklists

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Over the River Poem & Copywork

FREE Over the River Copywork

Most of us are familiar with the “Over the River and Through the Wood” song, but did you know that it has twelve verses? Written by Lydia Maria Child in 1844,  this festive poem is also known as “A New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day”.

I’ve created two subscriber freebies using this poem and several vintage works of art featuring sleighs.

One is just the artwork and poem:

OtR pg 1 sample

And the other is the artwork, poem, and lines for copywork:

OtR copy pg 1 sample

Both of these Over the River poem & copywork sets are available to download from the subscriber freebie page. The link for that page, along with the current password, can be found at the bottom of every update email. Not a subscriber? New printables are added monthly, so sign up now!

Purchase the book:

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Learning to Play Instruments When You Can’t Afford Music Lessons

I have 5 kids, 1 keyboard, 1 guitar, 1 ukulele, and several layers of dust. My kids have played around with all of these instruments using youtube videos, but we simply don’t have the money for weekly private lessons.

Learning to Play Instruments When You Can't Afford Lessons

*Disclosure: I received  free resources from for review purposes and am being compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review.  As always,  I am sharing my honest opinion with you. This post contains affiliate links.

I decided to see if it was possible to learn how to play our instruments using music books from I carefully researched the options before placing my order, hoping that I made wise choices. I am very pleased with the results!

I have a bit of music knowledge from four years of playing clarinet in Band. As best I can, I’ve tried to look at these books through the eyes of someone who has no musical experience.

Music Theory

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. 😀 I think it is super important to give kids a good foundation in music theory. They need to know the names of all the notes & symbols and how to actually read music instead of just memorize notes. The music lesson books each have an overview of these things, but only the guitar book includes adequate music theory instruction.

These two reproducible workbooks are very easy to teach:

Music Theory Books

Music Lesson Books

My older teens are able to go through these books independently. The younger kids need some guidance. The lessons are easy enough to understand, but it gets confusing for them when they are trying to read & learn, assume the correct positions, and follow the notes.

Progressive Piano for Young Beginners

Progressive Piano for Young Beginners Book 1 – includes book, CD, and DVD

Progressive Piano for Young Beginners Music

This colorful book starts with how to play the treble staff with the right hand, then the bass staff with the left hand, and finally combines the two after they are mastered. The DVD is a big help for visual learners, and playing along with the CD helps set the pace.

Progressive Beginner Piano

Progressive Beginner Piano – includes book, CD, and DVD

Progressive Beginner Piano Music

Chords are the focus of his book. The DVD allows the student to study finger placement, and playing along with the Cd helps train the ear.

Alfred's Kid's Guitar Practice

Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course Complete – includes book and 2 enhanced CDs

Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course Music

This book teaches how to read and write chords. It includes enough music theory emphasis that no other book is necessary. Tune your guitar with the CDs, or load them into the computer for additional tools.

Children's Ukulele Method Book

Children’s Ukulele Method – includes book and CD

Children's Ukulele Method Music

Strum along to simple chords in this easy-to-follow book. The CD is a great accompaniment for all the songs.

Music for the Holidays

We love holidays and looks for every opportunity to add a new level of fun. I ordered a few extras to supplement our music lessons.

Irish Penny Whistle

Irish Penny Whistle w/Booklet – includes tin whistle and book

Irish Penny Whistle Music

My husband and I lived in Dublin for a year before we got married, so we are quite fond of Irish music. We have a tradition of watching the High Kings every year on St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite song on that DVD is Mairi’s Wedding, so I might have squealed a little when I discovered it was one of the 30 songs in this little book.

Christmas Joy Music

Christmas Joy! Level A for piano – Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Up on the Housetop, Go Tell It on the Mountain, We Three Kings of Orient Are, Jingle Bells, Come Little Children, Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly, Good King Wenceslas

Christmas Joy! Level F for piano – The Coventry Carol, The Holly and the Ivy, Jingle Bell Rag, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, Silent Night, We Three Kings of Orient Are, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, What Child Is This?

Music Placemat

Music Placemat – an easy way to learn about the instruments we hear in beautiful Christmas carols.

Affordable Music Lessons

The total for everything listed above is $120. For the price of a few weeks of private lessons for one child, all 5 of my kids are learning how to play multiple instruments. And I’m about to start piano lessons myself!

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If you are unfamiliar with, I highly recommend them for all of your homeschooling needs. I’ve been ordering from them for over ten years. Browsing through their big-as-a-phone-book catalog is something I look forward to every summer.

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FREE Halloween eBooks

Free Halloween eBooks for Kids

Halloween is only two weeks away! There are several vintage books that I remember from my childhood on this list of Free Halloween eBooks through the Open Library system.

If you are not familiar with the Open Library, it is a collaboration with several libraries around the country to provide an online lending library. You can borrow five books at a time for two weeks. [Read more…]