Creating Adventures for Independence Day
June 28, 2023
Bring Home the Red, White, and Blue
Here comes a holiday and along with it—teaching opportunities! Sneak in a little learning this summer while observing Independence Day.
- Let the holiday spark curiosity. Investigate why businesses often close on national holidays. What other national holidays do we observe? What is all this red, white, and blue about?
- Enjoy a public space. Someone once pointed out to me that libraries and parks are perhaps the two greatest uses of our tax dollars. As a homeschooler who has overused her library card, I just might agree. Point out a few positives to spark admiration for some of the good things in our country. Enjoy a day at the park. Better yet, grab some library books first and enjoy them at the park.
- Take it to the next level by discovering a national park. Pick a national park to visit via a documentary or find out all you can through books. Get your hands on a map of that park. What animals dwell there? How old is this park? What is it famous for? How many national parks are there altogether?
- How about those highways? Though not always in repair, what an incredible system. The highway system may make an interesting research project. Do your kids know the vision behind it and who started it?
- Visit an old cemetery, respectfully of course, and look for markers of veterans. Find out which wars they served in. If you visit around the Fourth of July, take in the impressive and solemn display of tiny flags and the sacrifices they stand for.
- Collect state quarters. Sort through your coins for state quarters. Each displays something special about the state and which year it was admitted to the union. Match them with the states on a map. Line them up in chronological order.
- Contrast our Independence Day with another country’s. Does Mexico observe independence? How do Canadians celebrate Canada Day on July 1? What does freedom mean in other countries?
Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy the holiday and enjoy your homeschool. You’ve got the freedom to do so.
About the author
Heidi Mosher writes and homeschools in Michigan. She notes that reading The Homeschool Minute weekly over the years impacted and shaped her homeschool tremendously. She is thrilled to be a mom, to homeschool, and to uplift homeschoolers through her work at The Old Schoolhouse®. Heidi has been married to Chad for 25 years. They are the proud parents of four, including two homeschool graduates.
Raising Real Men
Creating Adventures for Independence Day
Holidays are big at our house. We love the opportunity to tell the important stories to our family and make the kind of rich memories that will remind our kids of those stories when they are far from home.
America’s history is not without problems. No country’s history is. We do have something special here, though. We have the great privilege of living in a country where we are free to worship, free to speak truth, free to homeschool our children. In order to keep those freedoms, though, we have to pass on the ideals and principles that underlie them.
That’s why we should celebrate Independence Day! It’s a time we can naturally talk to our kids about what makes our country special and help them to understand how important those things are.
When they asked us to write about creating adventures for Independence Day, it occurred to us that we’re not sure we could do better than John Adams (the Founding Father who would become our second president) already did in a letter to his wife the day after the vote for independence:
It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
That sounds like a great plan to us. Go to a parade, or organize one yourselves, as neighbors of ours have done for many years, through your own neighborhood. Have a cookout. Shoot off fireworks or watch community fireworks. Organize some family sports and games. Tell the stories. Celebrate God’s mercy in giving us the “land of the free and the home of the brave!”
Get our free Independence Day Celebration Guide with lots of ideas and links to help you tell those stories and celebrate, complete with some free downloads from our Hero Tales from American History audiobook by Theodore Roosevelt!
Happy Independence Day!
About the author
Hal & Melanie Young are the award-winning, best-selling authors of Raising Real Men, No Longer Little, and Love, Honor, and Virtue. They are publishers, writers, bloggers, and popular conference speakers internationally, known for their Christ-centered focus and practical, real-life stories. They are the parents of six real boys (five grown!) and two real girls and live in noisy, messy happiness in North Carolina.
Hunting for the Truth
Children love to search for hidden things. Have you seen how their young minds can create noble quests that turn tiny trinkets into priceless treasures?
While it’s delightful to observe their imagination at work, it’s sobering to realize they will soon grow up and begin seeking much more than mere trivial prizes.
They will inevitably begin asking the hard questions that arise in the heart of any truth-seeker.
The Questions We Ask
- Where did we come from, and why are we here?
- Why do evil, death, and suffering exist in the world?
- Is there hope for our future?
Our goal as parents is to teach our children how to find truthful answers.
If we’re strategic, we can equip them today with critical thinking skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Framing the Questions
One way that we do that is by helping them develop a Biblical worldview.
With a Biblical worldview as their lens, our children can wisely sort through the sea of answers they’ll encounter and compare them to the Word of God.
Nothing compares to the beauty and majesty of Scripture.
Train Them to Pursue Truth
What are some practical ways we can help our children become critical thinkers who pursue and recognize truth?
- Choose media wisely. (It can be a barrier to critical thinking.)
- Start young with open-ended, creative exercises like picture writing prompts.
- Practice at home with fun, yet challenging questions.
The Prize Is Eternal Treasure
Life really can be stranger than fiction. If you could travel back in time twenty years ago and describe to people in 2003 the types of challenges we’re facing in 2023 . . . those people would laugh and call you crazy.
Who knows what the next twenty years will bring? (God knows.)
We can’t possibly anticipate all of the challenges our children will face, but, thankfully, we know they don’t have to face them alone.
Eternity awaits them. All of this life is simply preparation for the next. That’s why we need to teach them to hunt for the Truth. Finding it—or should I say, finding Him—is life’s greatest treasure!