Elementary teachers are only allotted a certain amount of time in the school day to devote to history lessons. Even if they get the time to teach how the United States was founded, they might not have enough time to discuss each individual Founding Father. Learning about the Founding Fathers not only fosters an appreciation for freedom and liberty, but it also instills pride as an American.
Explain what a Founding Father is to your child. You want your child to know that a Founding Father was a statesman or political leader that either signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the Revolutionary War or drew up the Constitution. Many of the Founding Fathers were involved in all three.
Read a few library books to your child about the Founding Fathers. "We the People: The Story of Our Constitution" written by Lynne Cheney, "Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence" by Benson J. Lossing and "The 4th of July A Celebration of Independence: The Birth of the United States and Her Founding Fathers" authored by Nickie Summers are all great books with which you can start. Stuart A. Kallen also has numerous published biographies on each individual Founding Father if your child wants to study one Founding Father at a time.
Take your child on a field trip if possible. Individual states have their own attractions honoring the Founding Fathers. For example, Philadelphia has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, while Colorado Springs has Rock Ledge Ranch, a living history farm and museum. Northern Virginia residents can visit Gunston Hall, the home of Founding Father George Mason, and in Boston, Massachusetts, kids can head on over to The Freedom Trail. There is nothing like hands-on learning opportunities to get your children excited about history.
Set aside time for your child to participate in some online activities. For example, History.org has a game called "Name That Founding Father," while SuperTeacherTools.com has a Founding Fathers Jeopardy-type game kids can play. Children are attracted to the online format and parents can use this to their advantage to help their kids master lessons on the Founding Fathers.
Send your child to a summer camp that teachings about the history of our nation and the men who made it happen. Rose State College has a kids program in the summer that does just that. So does Patrick Henry College, Southern Virginia University and the Tampa Liberty School.
- Introduce the Founding Fathers to your children a little bit at a time. There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence alone -- John Hancock plus the 55 members of Congress.
- National Archives and Records Administration: America's Founding Fathers
- Constitution Facts: Fascinating Facts about the Founding Fathers
- We the People: The Story of Our Constitution; Lynne Cheney,
- Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence; Benson J. Lossing
- The 4th of July A Celebration of Independence: The Birth of the United States and Her Founding Fathers; by Nickie Summers
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