Pilgrims, Soapboxes, Teapots, and Podcasts

And first of ye occasion and industments ther unto; the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at ye very roots & rise of ye same. The which I shall endevor to manefest in a plaine stile, with singuler regard unto ye simple trueth in all things, at least as near as my slender judgemente can  attaine the same . . .

Opening lines to the History of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford, 1647

An eye-witness account penned less than 30 years from the actual events recorded.

Don’t judge Governor Bradford too severely for his grammar and spelling. He wrote this about 20 years before the English language was standardized with rules. Rules that have found amendment in the ensuing 350 years–and have, I might say–all but been discarded in the atrocious habits of contemporary online and social media communications.

But, I digress.

Or . . . maybe not.

[Tweet “WARNING: Miss Kathy’s on a Soapbox . . .”]

I’m working this week on my podcast which I’ll be publishing the week of Thanksgiving. It’s a history lesson drawn from primary sources, like Bradford’s famous diary account, detailing the purposes and trials of the pilgrim settlers on Cape Cod in 1620–and the subsequent Thanksgiving celebration shared with their neighbor Indians in the fall of 1621.

This is a story, which of late, has been spun out of proportion, if not entirely discarded in the atrocious pillaging of our American history. Truth is forfeit for re-written accounts playing to a distorted view of the purposes and trials of our founding generations to advance a political agenda. It is so pervasive, that even news as it happens is redrafted to suit a particular ideology–rather than be communicated within the sensible structure as it actually happens.

As a Principle Approach trained teacher from over 20 years ago, my education on the matter came through primary sources, compiled in what we called the Red Books, published through the Foundation for American Christian Education.

The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Christian self-government, Principle Approach Education

There are no commentaries here. Just facsimile reprints from the storehouses of thought in the writings of brave men and women who pioneered, in turbulent times, the birth of a nation founded on Judeo-Christian ideals. In addition, they sought to apply the lessons learned from thousands of years of recorded history in the fallacies of failed governmental systems worldwide.

Their original writings may not spell “stile” the way we spell “style” (as noted above), but these were not an illiterate people.

The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Christian self-government, Principle Approach Education

They were well read and educated in their time–quite beyond many claiming literacy in today’s world. Men and women with great faults–to be sure–as too are you and I. But, a people honed in the fierce rigors of hard work just to make it through a day of living with the basic comforts of food, clothing, and shelter that we take for granted.

In such times, childhood was fleeting. Ten year olds stepped into their apprenticeships to be groomed for a life’s work and service to their community. Even the textbooks of a mere 100 years ago testify to the advanced nature of literacy required of such a tender age in the average American classroom. 

I know. I collect them. I read them. They are inspirational and often move me to tears at how dumbed down a society we live in, even with so much opportunity for true scholarship available. Would that the social structure in society supported it. 


But, I fear we talk more about the need for better education than we have wisdom to restore the foundations of a time when a love of literacy and learning were considered noble ventures. In past times, such treasures were achieved through personal responsibility and discipline, rather than the next clever special program and testing process at a cost of billions. 

And, Johnny still can’t read. With comprehension. Or articulate through soundly reasoned original thoughts derived from the meaning of what he’s read.

But . . . I am on a soapbox, aren’t I.


How thankful I am that the Lord put me in a place where I was introduced to the Principle Approach philosophy of education before my children started school. They had the privilege of attending private Christian schools where this method of education became the foundation for their teaching and learning. I learned along with them.

We eventually found ourselves living in Chesapeake, Virginia, were they attended StoneBridge School, the pilot school for Principle Approach Education–and I joined the staff as part of school development and drama teacher. I attended the many teacher training workshops held regularly by the master teachers, and learned the power of knowing HOW to learn and think, and reason ALL subject matter from a biblical worldview. This is where I started curriculum writing for my drama classes and eventually, when I moved and taught in New England, my English and literature classes. 

New England is where my son resides. He’s now on staff at the very school where I once taught and he attended–teaching his classes using Principle Approach methods. 

And–praise God! That’s where that grand-girl of mine now attends school–a 3rd generation in Principle Approach Education.


Yes–I am so very thankful this Thanksgiving to think on these things.

I have been writing historical dramas about Plimoth Plantation and our American Christian history for 20 years. My son and sweet daughter-in-love, also teaching at the school, once shared the stage in one of my Plimoth Plantation plays back in the late 1990’s. Just look what she surprised me with in the mail this week, saying that when she saw it she thought of me!

pilgrim hat teapot

So sweet and petite–and meaningful. THANK YOU, ANDREA!

It looks splendid on my tea cabinet, don’t you think? 


I’ve pictured it here with a recent find–an old historical fiction for elementary grades retelling the Plimoth Plantation Thanksgiving story. It’s dated 1956.


Prayer was still in the schools and God and country were still seen as partners in the American mindset. And, in American textbooks. In this elementary level book, the pilgrims establish self-government with the Mayflower Compact–the first constitutional document in our nation–in the name of God and advancement of the Christian faith.


In my last podcast, When the Pageant Wagon Comes to Town, I laid the foundation to understand how relevant biblical truth is to our American story. I left off with a teaser to this month’s podcast.

So, if you want to hear the rest of the story, drawn from primary sources including the poetic song written and sung on the plantation at the time, humorously recounting the trials of settling Plimoth in it’s first couple of years, plan to stay tuned for my podcast release on Friday, November 20, titled From Leyden to Liberty.

I’ll follow that up over the next 5 days after that–November 21-25, re-publishing a lengthier 5 part series here at The Writer’s Reverie, of the same title, From Leyden to Liberty.

Let all your homeschool friends know and share the links with them! Plan to make time to absorb the true account of this national holiday instituted by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. He saw a need to return to some foundational principles that made our nation great, too. 

[Tweet “Because, with Thanksgiving, the emphasis is on God and the good gifts He has given us.”]

Our life. Forgiveness of sin. A calling to serve Him. Provision to the purpose. And all the good things and beauty found in between! When we start from the place of Thanksgiving–all other things in our life and this world fall into proper order–even the most turbulent times in an upstart age.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100 NKJV

The Writers Reverie blog signature, Kathryn Ross

When the Pageant Wagon Comes to Town, THe Writers Reverie Podcast Episode 2, Kathryn Ross

Click to hear my latest podcast!

Help Pageant Wagon Publishing provide quality literature and study guides for the Christian family, home, church, and school. GO FUND ME TODAY!

Help Pageant Wagon Publishing provide quality literature and study guides for the Christian family, home, church, and school. GO FUND ME TODAY!

long subscribe w border

Sharing Pilgrims, Soapboxes, Teapots, and Podcasts this week with:

Wholehearted Wednesday

A Little R and R Wednesday

Thought Provoking Thursday

Not Just Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season

Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Katherine’s Corner

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Spiritual Sundays

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.


  1. It occurs to me that there are few people who stand on a soapbox and are more articulate than you! It takes courage to stand up and speak out on these issues. And you are one of my heroes!

    Oh, how I pray that a love for literature and books doesn’t go by the wayside in this *instant* world of social media and immediate communication. Progress has brought many good things – like not requiring our ten-year-olds to work! – but other things have been lost in the pursuit of *faster*. Faster isn’t always better.


    (I guess I hopped up there with you for a moment…)

  2. Wow! A wonderful share. I love your pilgrim hat teapot! So cute and sweet. I love anything to do with tea. It was fun to stop by and say hello. Enjoy a great weekend and thank you.

  3. Amen! Sharing.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: