July 2, 1776.
It was on this day that the Continental Congress in America decided to declare independence from England. Two days later, July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and ratified. The history surrounding the founding of America is fascinating; spies and battles, secret meetings and political debates, heroes and villains. As Americans, this history is part of our heritage and these stories are our stories.
As parents, it is important for us to talk about national history with our children. Whether it’s visiting Colonial Williamsburg or having a cookout on the 4th of July to celebrate Independence Day, our heritage as Americans is important to share with our children!
Take a look at the founding fathers and read biographies about them. Catching their vision for what America could be can help inform your own vision for the future as well as inspire your children. Read original documents like the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution with your children. If you’re looking for a challenge or something ‘romantic,’ check out the love letters between John and Abigail Adams.
Watch historical movies and discuss how accurate they are. This is a fun way to let history come alive before your eyes while providing material to discuss and think through. On that same note, there are many great historical fiction books that can be beneficial to read together as a family, such as Johhny Tremain.
It has been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Not all of American history is good; we’ve had our share of injustices. It is important to discuss these things with our children as well so that future generations can learn from the mistakes of the past.
History belongs as much to the present as it does to the past because it is history that has forged our collective identity as Americans. Experiencing American history with your children will give them a foundation that will allow them to become shapers of the future.
Part three of a four part series on history.