colonial christmas unit study, making parchment paper, Pilgrims

Pilgrims and Christmas…

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I love the Pilgrims.  I have loved learning about them right along with my children this year.  It has been so inspiring and astounding at the same time.  Ever since we visited Plymouth, my heart has been opened to learning all I can about these courageous, faithful people.  Their faith which brought them across the ocean on  trip to an unknown land, all because they followed their beliefs is so inspiring to me.  They came here and so many died, all because they wanted to follow God’s leading.  They left everything familiar for the unfamiliar.  They didn’t question how God would provide, they just went.  They endured hardships, sickness, and even persecution.  They still obeyed God’s calling.  I can sometimes find it so hard to follow God’s leading and he certainly hasn’t led me across the ocean yet!  It’s amazing.  I can not fathom the life they had, without finding the utmost reverence for them.

Today we read a bit about Christmas and the Pilgrims. What we read surprised the kids.  The first Christmas in Plymouth was not even celebrated!  The Pilgrims felt the customs of England had made Christmas too worldly a holiday and they went about their normal business that first Christmas…even beginning work on the first house to be built on that day.

After we read we looked up some great information on http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/index.php .  What we found especially interesting was the Passenger List page.  We read all the names of the actual passengers and when you clicked on each one you could read a little info about them.  Who they were, who they were married to, when they died, etc.  it was fascinating!  I know I’ll be looking more in depth at this on my own.  It was really interesting to read about these people and picture who they were.  We also looked at some artwork of the Pilgrims.  Then we made parchment paper, by taking regular computer paper, soaking it in tea and crumpling it.  Our next step will be to get berries to make berry ink and feathers to make into quill pens.  The kids are very excited about this!

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