It’s already July first.  Yikes!  Leading up to the Fourth of July in just a few days, take these days leading up to Independence Day to teach your children about our Nation’s history.  Do a little research yourself.  You could do a search of some interesting documentaries about the times leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Explain how we came to be a country, independent of the British Crown. Do a search of clips from the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”  The songs tell the story of what was going on in the colonies leading up to the Revolutionary War.  “Here Comes the General” is a great song from the musical about George Washington.  “You’ll Be Back” sung by King George in the musical tells the story from the King’s perspective of the colonists seeking independence from The Crown.

fireworks display
Photo by Jingda Chen / Unsplash

     Teach your children about the meaning of the Stars and Stripes on the Flag of the United States,  with each state being represented by a white star on the blue back ground and each of the thirteen red and white stripes commemorate the original thirteen colonies, with a red stripe both at the top and bottom.  Below I will post a list of vocabulary and people you might have your kids look up who had a part in our Revolution to become our own country.  

U.S.A flag
Photo by shota James / Unsplash

     Explain exactly what the Declaration of Independence was and how dangerous it was for those who signed it.  They could have been hung for treason.  These brave individuals risked so much for liberty from the King of England.  

     Those early colonist and eventually Americans had a renegade quality which in my opinion ‘runs through the blood of every American.  Think about what it took for this country to come into existence.  It all started with the Pilgrims who traveled to a place they did not know to escape persecution for wanting to practice they own religion.  In addition to that, life in Great Britain was oppressive.  Unless you were nobility, royalty of a part of the upper class, your life was very difficult. Your land and possessions could be taken from you.  There was little opportunity to reward those who worked hard from the lower ranks.  It was worth it for the common person to risk getting on a ship to a far away land for a better life.  It meant leaving what was known for the unknown but with the conditions they were living in, the thought of a better life for their their children was worth it.  Many died along the ways and that first winter.  

White House
Photo by Ian Tuck / Unsplash

     The King taxed them, beyond what the colonists felt was fair and taxation, without representation became one of the major causes of the war for independence.  The colonial army was out gunned, out manned under equipped, they were the under dogs in the fight against the highly trained British Red coats, most likely the best trained military in the world. The colonists the renegade spirit to take on them on. That’s what makes American great, we take on the tough fights, we are up for a challenge and that’s the way it’s been since the beginning.  Over our history for a few hundred years men and women have come here, seeking the American Dream of opportunity for those willing to work for a good like, a better life, available to anyone willing to put the time and effort in.  Explain to your children that we have no class system here like in other countries, where it’s hard to move up. 

statue of Liberty
Photo by Freddy G / Unsplash

      Sometimes we forget the awesomeness of what it means to be an American.  There were reasons to shoot off cannons and fireworks that first Day of Independence when we declared freedom from King George and establish that we were ready to fight for it.  Do we occasionally have problems?  Of course.  Problems are part of being in the human race.  But when a country decides that we are One Under God, we recognize that we have differences and problems and we work to solve the problems. We are the shinning city on the hill that others look to for stability and guidance.  We are up for any challenge that comes our way.  We make things happen here, whether it is mass production of automobiles, stepping in to help our allies in a war against evil, freedom to worship, freedom to love and live how you wish, opportunities for entrepreneurs to design technology, airplanes and anything else you can imagine, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is our motto.  Teach your children to be proud of their country and their heritage. Being proud to be an American does not mean you forget where your ancestors came from, that’s part of the beauty of America, we are the melting pot of people and ideas.  We all contribute to making this country great.  President John Kennedy said “Don’t ask what your country can do for you ? Ask what you can do for your country?”  We each can contribute in our own ways.  Tell your kids what you do as a parent sending good citizens out into the world and how your role helps make America a better place. Your children’s roles are to work hard in school and to live by the Golden Rule “treating others the way they wish to be treated-“In everything, do to others as you would have them do unto you; for this is the law of the prophets Matthew 7:12.

Have fun this week teaching your children about how the United States became a country. Have patriotic songs playing around the house our on your patio while you are outside. Here is a list I made, and you may have your own favorites. Making a list on Spotify or where you obtain your music is easy and fun. This could be a fun activity to do at home or in the car, while on a car trip. You could even look up You Tube videos of your songs and play one each morning this week. One of my favorites is a country music song, by Phil Vassar, American Child. The video is great. I think your kids would love this and you may start singing along yourself. Share your memories of singing some of these songs as a child and your own Fourth of July memories with sparklers and picnics.

      Your work is cut out for you this week.  Well, I wouldn’t really call it work because you may learn a thing or two yourself and you may have fun. Carry on, I think you have some Great Days ahead of you…Happy 4th of July!

Author, Mrs. Burau 🍎

Fourth of July Vocabulary

Thomas Jefferson

King George III

The Red Coats

The Boston Tea Party

Liberty Bell

Independence Hall

Paul Revere

Betsy Ross

Minute Men

George Washington

Alexander Hamilton

Battle of Bunker hill

“The British Are Coming”

“One if by land, two if by sea”

“My Country Tis of Thee”

Continental Congress

Valley Forge

Patrick Henry

Thomas Paine “Common Sense”

The Old North Church