Summer is a terrific time to teach children about liberty.
Starting with Memorial Day, you have five built-in teaching opportunities to tackle this topic.
Memorial Day is a time we honor those who have died serving our nation. I hope you took a moment during the holiday to talk about these heroes and the freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifices.
D-Day, June 6, provided another opportunity to talk about the cost of freedom. On this day in 1944, 160,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France to fight the stranglehold of Nazi tyranny. The eventual defeat of Hitler’s armies, at the great cost of human life, led to the lasting freedom our Allied countries and we in the United States enjoy today.
Flag Day, June 14, would be a wonderful time for families to study up on what the Stars and Stripes mean and why we should take such pride in this national symbol of liberty. It might also be a good time to invest in a flag and to learn the protocol for flying it.
Of course July 4, Independence Day, is an excellent time to discuss the freedoms on which our nation was built. On this day in 1776, our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, was adopted, declaring that all people are created equal, and all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Make it a point this year to read this document and teach your children about our laws and rights.
And just in case you’ve missed the campaigning, this is a presidential election year – another great opportunity to discuss the liberties inherent in our ability to peacefully elect those who we wish to represent us. Many nations in the world do not enjoy such freedom.
My goal for each student in Oklahoma is that they be college, career and citizen ready by the time they graduate high school. To achieve this, we’ve revised our Social Studies standards to place more of an emphasis on citizenship development. But parents, we need your help in teaching and reinforcing these lessons. This message should start at home. Children must appreciate the exceptional nature of American history, the role of Founding Fathers, our system of government and our freedoms. The advancement of such knowledge is essential for our students to fully participate in our nation’s economy and political processes.
For ideas on topics to discuss and activities to do with your children, visit our Social Studies resources page, http://ok.gov/sde/social-studies#resources.
We want children to be engaged in civic life at every level. Our future freedom depends on this.