November 10, 2011

Stories of the Pilgrims

“Gratitude is a divine principle. The Lord declared through a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith:  “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. …“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.” 6
In the Book of Mormon we are told to “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you.” 7
Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.” – The Divine Gift of Gratitude, Thomas S. Monson
November always brings to my mind gratitude as we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving as a family.  There are wonderful traditions, crafts, and activities that can be done in our homes and homeschools to draw our minds continually to gratitude.  There are many historical studies that can be done in our homeschool to support this theme of gratitude as well.  Learning about the Pilgrims is one of those.  While there are literally hundreds of resources available, I’m just going to share one that we like.  The best part about it?  You can find it free online.stories of the pilgrimsStories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey was first published in 1912 and takes us from the challenges and trials in England to Holland, and eventually to life in the New World.  It uses the Brewster children and other Pilgrim boys and girls to relay much of this story.
I’ll be honest, I’m a product of an average public school education and had no idea that the Pilgrims first moved to Holland to escape the persecution of the English King!  Not only did they move to Holland, but they lived there happily for 11 years.  In Holland there was no persecution for worshiping God according to the way they felt led.  So why did the Pilgrims leave Holland?    
Like any decision there were many factors involved.  Some of those were:
  • Their children were beginning to live like the Hollanders, taking on the ‘ways of the world’.
  • Most of the families worked very hard in the mills and were unable to afford farms. 
  • Even some of the children were having to work, and it was impacting everyone’s health.
The book has so much more and takes you step by step through the adventures, trials, and triumphs of these brave families.  Best of all it is written so well that my children beg to hear ‘just one more chapter’ of the story.  They get drawn in to the lives of these Pilgrims and live the history.  They ask questions that lead us to many family discussions. 
If you are interested in reading Stories of the Pilgrims this year I’ve found several options to choose from, including one totally free choice.
  1. Read Stories of the Pilgrims on the computer for free at The Baldwin Project here.  The book is divided into chapters and includes illustrations.  There is a handy navigation bar on the left of the screen so you can go right to the chapter you left off with each time you read.
  2. Download Stories of the Pilgrims for a Kindle or EPUB format for $2.99 from Yesterday’s Classics in their Individual Files section.  Kindle format can also be grabbed from Amazon, also by Yesterday’s Classics.
  3. What if you want to listen to an audio book version instead?  Well, you can, but it will cost a bit more.  Jim Hodges offers it on MP3 CD ($25.00) or as a Digital Download ($18.00).  It’s unabridged and lasts 4 hours and 10 minutes.  

I hope you find ways to tie your homeschool learning in with the counsel to be grateful this Thanksgiving season, and that you make wonderful memories along the way!

Tristan is the happy wife of one good man and mother to seven little ones ranging in age from 10 down to not yet born.  You can peek into her family’s life at their blog Our Busy Homeschool.

8 comments - Add a comment below -:

Dana ♥ said...

Tristan I love this book! Like you mentioned, there are many resources available to study the history of Thanksgiving,, but the one you shared is a family favorite.

We came across it years ago and purchased a copy of it because I wanted to hold it in my hands. We have read it many times. It is definitely a classic by any standard.

Jon said...

This book is also available in multiple formats on I prefer their online format but it's nice they have kindle format etc, also.

Jon said...

BTW, thanks for the recommendation.

Tristan said...

Dana - I know, I have a printed copy, now I have it in audio format too.

Jon - Thanks, I'll pop over and grab the Kindle format too. hehe!

Amy said...

Thank you for the recommendation. I just downloaded it for my e-Reader.

Lexi said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to teach the truth of history and cover all the little details?? We are loving history!!

Amber said...

We love this book too- definitely a keeper for Thanksgiving!

Mama Rachel said...

Awesome!!! I love learning about amazing resources like this and can't wait to share it with my family. Thanks, Tristan! :D