July 5, 2012

Teaching Our Children to Love America

A note to our readers who are not in the U.S.: I apologize for talking about American History and holidays again today, but hopefully some of the resources below will also help aid you in teaching your children the principles of liberty and love of country. 

I hope everyone had a beautiful, happy Independence Day with loved ones and friends!

Each year, when July 4th rolls around, I ponder on my children and if they know how I feel about the great land of America. One of the biggest reasons I think about this each year, is because of the great example of my Grandpa.

My Grandpa Nielsen was born on July 4th, and he always said his mother told him he "arrived on a firecracker." My mom and aunts and uncles all called him their "Yankee Doodle Daddy" and all the family gathered every Independence Day for a party and picnic at Grandma and Grandpa's house after our hometown parade.

I still have vivid images of my sweet, quiet Grandpa standing at attention, with his arthritic hand over his heart, at the sound of the National Anthem or upon seeing the flag. It was not always easy for him to stand in his later years, but stand he did. There was no doubt in any of our minds that Grandpa loved being born on the same day as our great country-- and that he loved the U.S.A..

And so I ask myself: Do my children know my love for our Constitution? For our flag? For our nations' founding? In good conscience, I am happy to say "YES, yes, they DO."

I would like to share some of the resources I have used in our homeschool and family culture that have helped our family know and understand more about the birth of our country, it's Divinely Inspired Constitution, and about our early history. 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am providing links where they can be found, but I want to make it clear that NONE of the links are affiliate links that earn this blog or myself ANY money. I just HIGHLY recommend these resources because I have used them myself. :-) (I HAVE received a free copy of  the book "Great American Documents for Latter-day Saint Families" in exchange for a review I am writing of it on my own blog, just FYI.)

***These are MY recommendations alone. I am not speaking for the Latter-day homeschool blog, its moderator, or other authors. 
Of course, there are many, MANY more great resources, but these are some that we have used and loved often over the years. I do love the selection that is found at the Latter-day Family Resources website.

George Washington once said, 
"A primary object … should be the education of youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing … than … communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"
And from Abraham Lincoln:

"Let [the Constitution] be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges, let it be written in primers, in spelling books and in almanacs, let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation."

With these two quotes in mind, in addition to Dana's beautiful quotes from Ezra Taft Benson yesterday, do we have any doubt the importance of teaching our children about our nation's inspired founding?

I pray we will give "the rising generation" the tools they need to preserve and promote the liberties we have been blessed to have in the wonderful land of America.

Rachel is the happy mother of eleven children between the ages of 17 and one year old. Now in her twelfth year of homeschooling, she continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for Thomas Jefferson Education principles and has spoken at several homeschool and TJEd conferences. She enjoys Shakespeare, designing and sewing Renaissance costumes, and both singing and reading with her family. She blogs at Thoughts From The Hearth and at Old Fashioned Motherhood .

3 comments - Add a comment below -:

Eve said...

Here, here! This concept is starting to grow in my heart more and more as we tackle this thing called Home Education, that is: to share with our children our love for our country and grow in our understanding of what made and makes our country great!

May I add one more wonderful resource? I bought a 3 disk set from Diane Hopkins at her Love to Learn store, called a "Patriot's Handbook". We are listening as as a family as we drive to visit family this weekend. It has music and spoken selections and is just a treasure. There are songs, stories, poems, speeches and documents, read-aloud by the authors themselves at times. It is so moving!

It includes: Robert Frost, John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, followed by Ronald Reagan's "Farewell Address," and the letters between John and Abigail Adams. A story shared by John McCain as a POW and Neil Armstrong as he described his first moon-steps. So much more. There was a feminist selection we skipped over. I felt *I* learned so much, too.

I highly recommend it! (Disclaimer: I also received no compensation to share this resource).

Jess said...

Great resources! I remember listening to "Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By" when I was a kid. Thanks for the reminder!

Lisa said...

Wonderful! I volunteer to teach in public schools on Const Day and am always looking for more resources. Wendell minor has done some beautiful childrens books, henry knox and yankee dodle ameerica, that are good for young children (age 9 and up). If u have netflix they just added the history channel documnetory the revolution, it is great, a time committment, but very much worth watching.