Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, a new sense of patriotism arose in America, and the banner that proclaimed the loyalty of our entire nation was the United States flag. In addition, our fathers and grandfathers, having experienced the pain and suffering of prior wars, understood the value of this precious symbol that represents the freedoms to which Americans cling.
This month, in honor of Flag Day on June 14, it's important that our children also learn why they should honor Old Glory. As homeschool parents, you can enhance the moral fiber of our nation and instill a love of patriotism not only by teaching your child the Pledge of Allegiance and proper flag etiquette, but also by participating in the following civic activities that help children see beyond themselves and understand what it truly means to be an American living in "One Nation Under God."
Fly the flag. Build your own flagpole and fly the American flag at your homeschool.
Celebrate other patriotic holidays. Participate in flag ceremonies, as well as Independence Day and Veteran's Day parades, and explain to your homeschoolers why we observe these days. Do something meaningful that starts a family tradition your children can look forward to each year.
Visit historical locations. A field trip to local museums, state capitols, and cities like Gettysburg, Boston, and Washington, D.C., can make for great learning opportunities that create a love for the U.S.A. and teach the price that was paid to make it great.
Study American statesman, artists, inventors, and songwriters. In addition to studying famous individuals like Benjamin Franklin, Grant Wood, Thomas Edison, and Francis Scott Key in your homeschool curriculum, also take a look at your own family's history. Is there someone who played a role in America's freedom that your children would be proud to know?
Teach your homeschoolers the importance of voting. Explain the rights we have as American citizens and take your children with you when you vote. Illustrate democracy within your own home and let your children vote on dinner menus, homeschool activities, and more.
Give your children a sense of civic duty. Show your children how to make our country a better place by volunteering at nursing homes, planting trees in the community, recycling, and participating in food drives and fund raisers. In addition, be sure to teach your homeschoolers to pray for our leaders in government.
Make it personal. Share with your children your feelings about our country and tell them why it's important to you. Create family discussions on current events around the dinner table or ask what if questions like "what would you do if you were elected president?"