5 things to teach your kids this 4th of July
Aside from Christmas my favorite holiday is the 4th of July. Proud To Be An American makes my heart beat faster and my chest fill with pride. This country, even with it’s problems, is still my home and there’s no place I’d rather live. I love the flags, the fireworks, the barbecue’s all of it! Now that I’m married to a Sailor, my affection for our service members has become deeper too. It’s a new world when you see first hand what they sacrifice, that the civilian world doesn’t.
I noticed that there were some…gaps in information my kids had about Independence Day. There are also a couple pet peeve’s I noticed my husband has when it comes to average knowledge of America/Military/Tradition. Then there are those awful videos we’ve all seen where people are asked simple historical questions and they have no clue what the answers are. It made me think, maybe this is a good time to make sure my kids know a few facts. I mean nobody wants their kid going off to college and being the star of that embarrassing interview! If you haven’t seen one check this guy out.
That being horribly said…here are 5 facts every American kid should know! Enjoy
5. Names of the Current President AND Vice President
Like them or not every kid should know who these two people are. I’m also a big supporter of teaching them to respect the office they hold. We are not going to make fun of the President, yell about them or degrade them. Most of the time the country is a pretty close 50/50 split on the vote. That means half the people in our country like(ish)ed that person and half do not.
Isn’t diversity one of the things that makes this country great? Look, I’m not teaching my kids the intricacies of politics yet. I am teaching them they can have a firm view on something while still respecting the opposite opinion of others. It shows them they can disagree with someone without being disrespectful. I hate to tell you this, but none of these candidates are ever completely right. Regardless, every American should know who both of them are.
4. What Freedom Means
This is a cool one to ask your kids firsts. Some of the things they come up with is pretty entertaining. My kids had no idea that some people don’t have the same rights we do. They were blown away to know that being able to go to church where we want is a privilege. I taught them that voting isn’t something everyone in the world gets to do. Our guys were surprised only white men were allowed to vote even in America, at one point.
Oh, and let them know that everything on the internet is not accessible to people in some countries and you will blow. their. minds! Obviously our freedoms in America can go on and on. At the appropriate age. We eventually taught our kids how blessed they are to live without fear like some people too. I mean, how can they celebrate their freedom if they don’t know what it means.
3. Our National Anthem
Ok, if you don’t know this one just google it, be ashamed and never admit it to anyone. If you look up the story behind the lyrics of Francis Scott Key your kids might enjoy hearing that as much as mine did. If they have never heard it be sure to play it for them and then start taking them to baseball games! Bless their hearts. Have you seen the videos of college kids that don’t know who is Francis Scott Key?
2. How Many Stars Are on the American Flag and Why
So, my daughter knew part of this one. In fact she loved to point out that the wooden flag coin holder I made for her Dad did not have the right amount. Give me a break, I am no carpenter and ran out of room. I asked her if she knew why there needed to be that many and got a blank stare. Those simple details we forget to mention, right. If you don’t know, here’s a hint. United STATES of America.
1. Independence Day vs. Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day
I know people like to thank service members on each of these holidays with the best of intentions. However, there are specific reasons for each one. Independence Day is the day America adopted the Declaration of Independence. America was going to make a break from Great Britain. The history channel has a good article about it here. A completely fine time to thank all past and present service members. It’s also a fine time to thank our emergency services personnel who embody the Americans that help keep America great.
This day is reserved to all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice when fighting for this country. Memorial day is not to recognize our active duty or retired but those who died while serving in the U.S. Military. We have a prayer time for the families that lost their loved one. It’s also a chance to thank God for their sacrifice for our freedom. Then we pray for the safety of those currently serving, including our Sailor.
Now you can’t go wrong! This holiday is to celebrate all military currently serving, retired, or deceased. Whether they served during war time or not. It is a time to acknowledge their sacrifices made each day by choosing to pledge themselves to fight for our freedom at anytime.
A freebie that I know most kids already memorize in school. The Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands,
One Nation, Under God, with Liberty and Justice for All.
Enjoy those freedoms that have been fought for you! I hope your barbecue is hot and your drinks are ice cold.
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