England was ruled by James I in 1620 when the Pilgrims set sail for the New World. They had been told that the world was flat, that they would perish if they left and that  leaving England was not a good idea. They had had it. The monarchy and aristocracy in England at the time was very powerful and they treated the common people very poorly. If too many of the commoners left, who would work their fields and do the dirty work, there was not religious freedom for anyone who did not support the Church of England and there was a little opportunity for the ordinary family. Some went to the Netherlands where there was more tolerance for religious freedom and the small group of English left in September 20, 1620, a little behind schedule and said they hoped to leave before the weather got too rough into the season. About 100 settlers set sail on the Mayflower from Plymouth, England. Most were Pilgrims but some servants, contractors and a few families just seeking a better life. They knew it would be a tough voyage, but things have gotten so bad in their home country, it was worth the risk for a better life for their children. The ship got off course, some passengers got sick and some perished. Those who made it had a tough time ahead and those those who survived were there to celebrate the first thanksgiving in the Plymouth colony. Those on the Mayflower we’re not the only to leave their homeland for a better life. 

     Take this as an opportunity to discuss your family history and where your ancestors came from and why. Discuss how difficult it would be for a family to make that decision and how bad it must have been for them to pick up and leave. This country we live in is far from perfect, however, for generations it’s been a place for, as the Statue of Liberty says, “give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…” Those who dared to come here knew they risked their businesses, their fortunes, their lives and those of their loved ones, so that a land could exist for those leaving their homelands for religious and social freedoms. Consider doing a search for videos and lessons on why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Explain to your children how hard it would have been to have survived the passage on the Mayflower and the difficulties that the early settlers faced.  They were responsible for growing, hunting (fishing) and gathering their own food.  There was no Meijers, Walmart or Kroger to pick up all the groceries needed for their daily needs.  Life was hard, the colonists had to depend on one another for survival.  There were probably times when they wondered if it was worth the journey.  As time went on, they came to enjoy the freedoms the New World and the Colonies had to offer.  Everything in life is a trade off.  I’m thinking as they watched

their children grow up with freedom of religion, freedom to life as they wish, they must have been grateful to have had the opportunity to seek a better life..Those are the lessons to be taught as we celebrate Thanksgiving this month 🍏

Mrs. Burau