Sharing a Season Filled with Gratitude

Oct 25, 2018 | Posted by Jennifer


As educators, whether of the traditional brick-and-mortar variety, the homeschool variety, or anything in between, we earnestly desire to prepare our students well for the “real world.” Dutifully we spend time constructing our lesson plans and checking our scope and sequences. We want our students to be prepared to move into their adult lives with the appropriate educational foundation that will allow them to carry the torch into the next generation. But among the traditional subjects of English, math, science, and history, there is something of even more heft that we wish to impart. It’s the intangibles such as respect, courtesy, honesty, integrity, compassion, and gratitude that we understand commands in many ways an even more prominent place in our curriculum and in our homes.

Gratitude is a topic that many people think of when November rolls around. With Thanksgiving being only a few weeks away, it is only natural. It is a time of year when we dedicate extra time to remember and express thanks for the blessings in our lives. As I started to consider the topic of gratitude, I thought I would ask a few of my friends what they think of when they hear the word “gratitude.” Here are a few of their reflections.

It’s a moment-to-moment choice. Freedom. – Steffanie


It’s a multiple of grateful. We call them “gratefuls.” It’s acknowledging the multiple layers of gifts and graces. – Alicia


It is a foundation for mental and spiritual health. – Amy


It is acknowledging the presence of grace in our lives. – Sharon


The realization of how incredibly blessed we are when we probably don’t deserve to be. – Jennifer


That moment when you realize that what you’ve already been blessed with is enough. – Dimple

I love these reflections. I think it is no accident that “grace” is mentioned more than once. After all, grace and gratitude share the same Latin root—gratus, which means pleasing or thankful. To me, gratitude is an intentional choice. It is choosing to take the time to acknowledge both the blessings in our lives as well as the “blessings” kept from our lives.

In order to help our students learn to express gratitude, we need to model something critically important―slowing down. Sometimes in the busy-ness of our day-to-day lives, gratitude suffers. It is very difficult to note down and reflect on all the blessings in our lives when we are spending all our time rushing to accomplish the next item on our ever-growing list of to-dos. This is a lesson that I am admittedly still learning.

What does gratitude mean to you? I would love to hear your reflections. Please share them in the comments. I will be adding these thoughts into my daily journal and reflecting on them. I hope as you move into this season of thanksgiving that you can take the time to express gratitude for your blessings and share them with your students. Happy Thanksgiving!


Jennifer Mauser has always loved reading and writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1991. Once she and her husband had children, they decided to homeschool, and she put all her training to use in the home. In addition to homeschooling her children, Jennifer teaches IEW classes out of her home, coaches budding writers via email, and tutors students who struggle with dyslexia.

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