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The United States of America - how to teach our kids to support their country.
Are our kids too distracted to care about America?
Kids nowadays are so inundated with technology, sports, celebrity news, and reality TV that they have forgotten or never learned important aspects about the country in which they live. Very few of our children living here in the U.S. can explain some aspects of American history, or have an interest in our election process and/or in other fascinating things about America. With that said, let's explore some things that can be done to help America come alive for our children as well as show them how they can continually shape America.
What Ever Happened to the Pledge of Allegiance?
While I'm still ranting, what about our Pledge of Allegiance? Years ago in schools children used to say the Pledge of Allegiance before school began. We would be in our classrooms, then the teacher would ask us to stand up, then we would place our hands over our hearts and recite it. Ask your child to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and see how far he or she gets.
Songs of America
- For some of us singing songs of America was a daily or weekly routine in school, church, and at sporting events. We have given up our American songs for the latest and greatest R&B artists' hits, Country singers' songs, and/or Jazz hits. Most public schools no longer teach and sing our national songs. Are we afraid we might offend those who are not familiar with those songs? So what if we do; those songs are our heritage, so we can sing them at home and in the car.
American traditional songs:
- America the Beautiful
- This Land is Your Land
- Yankee Doodle Dandy
- The Star Spangled Banner
Nine year old singing The Star Spangled Banner
America's Historic Sites
- Take your kids to Washington, DC which is a must see hotspot. You can arrange to take a tour of the White House, if tours are still offered. Visit the Smithsonian Institute, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and different war memorials. Other wonderful American sites are found in Boston where you and your family can see the house of Paul Revere as well as the Freedom Trail which is a 2.5 mile walking trail that has 16 historical sites along the trail. There is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial site located in Atlanta, GA.
Have you been to any of the American historic sites mentioned?
Explore America through these rich resources
- The Election Process - not many of us or our children are remotely familiar with America's election process. Have the kids research the election process then have an "Election" night for some family fun by having your kids run for certain offices and have their friends elect them using the American election process.
- Take the kids with you to the Polls - review with your children the sample ballots that come in the mail. Children are allowed to stand with their parents at some voting precincts.
- Get your kids interested in Local Politics - politicians make decisions that affect your family's lives, and your kids need to know that. Take your kids to community meetings or what are called Town Hall Meetings to listen to and to meet their local elected officials and see what amendments and/or referendums are upcoming for their community, town, city, and/or state or even for the country. In some states tours are given at the Governor's House or Governor's Mansion as well as at your state's capitol. There are also organizations like Generation Joshua - http://www.generationjoshua.org. Through Generation Joshua, kids can get involved in politics through Student Action Teams.
- Meet your state's Congressman or Congresswoman - your Congressman or Congresswoman will hold talks or campaign at certain events, and a lot of these events are free of charge.
- Sit at the feet of a Veteran - freedom is not free, and veterans know that more than anyone. What precious people they are. Have your kids go to a Veterans Administration Hospital as part of a group visit and listen to the stories of a veteran. The kids will see the Dog Tags, maybe a Purple Heart award, and other significant war items.
- Display the American flag on your property - teach your kids how the American flag came about and to be proud to display it whether it be on your front porch, on your vehicle as a bumper sticker, or on your clothing.
- Write letters to our Enlisted Men and Woman - there are organizations that encourage kids to write letters to enlisted men and woman and will mail these letters of support to them.
Historic Tours of America
- Washington DC Tours | Washington DC Attractions | Historic Tours of America
Showcasing world-class sightseeing tours and tourist attractions in Washington DC. Learn about the history & See The Best Washington DC Attractions First!
Write Letters to Our Soldiers
- OperationGratitude - OperationGratitude
OperationGratitude annually sends over 100,00 care packages and letters to soldiers.
- A Million Thanks
A Million Thanks is a year-round campaign to show our appreciation for our U.S. Military Men and Women, past and present, for their sacrifices, dedication, and service to our country through our letters, emails, cards, and prayers.
- Soldiers' Angels - May No Soldier Go Unloved
Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit with hundreds of thousands of volunteers... providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and their families.