“Let freedom ring.” Three words that most of us have grown up singing since infancy, especially during the month of July. Next week will be filled with sparklers, fireworks, and a sea of red, white, and blue in celebration of our nation’s independence from Great Britain 240 years ago. Freedom is hard to define, even harder to obtain and keep, and costly to protect. Why not spend time with your homeschoolers exploring what freedom is and helping them cultivate a deeper understanding of Independence this 4th of July.
Here are our top 6 Independence Day activities to get you started.
- The Cost of Freedom – Research the history of Independence Day, focusing on the reasons for the Declaration of Independence and the lives lost to win freedom from Great Britain. Make a relief map of the main events during the Revolutionary War including places like Philadelphia, Boston, and Yorktown. If you’re in the northeast or want to incorporate field trips, plan a trip to Independence Hall or your local Revolutionary War site to give your children a living experience of what it took to gain our freedom.
- Old Glory – The American Flag is our symbol of freedom and independence and is perhaps the most recognizable flag in the world. Study its history and changes over the years, exploring the current project to preserve one of the nation’s oldest flags. Then, create one of these many American Flag Crafts from kidsactivitiesblog.com
- Freedom for All – To understand freedom and its manifold blessings, sometimes we must be confronted with the opposite, seeing those in the world who are not free to worship, to speak against their government, or even to live a life of their choosing. Oppression and slavery are still alive and thriving throughout our world today. Explore countries worldwide through the interactive map by Freedom House. Your students will not only learn about what it means to have freedom of speech, press, and religion, they’ll be able to identify those nations where children like them do not experience these freedoms. Create a prayer list and get active in supporting civil rights and liberties in these areas. Older students may want to learn about and get involved with International Justice Mission and their fight to end slavery around the globe.
- What Freedoms Do We Have? – Do your kids understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights? If not, start by researching both of them with an understanding of why the Constitution was created! For fun, take some time to learn about each of our Founding Fathers and when you think you know it all, take this quiz to find out!
- Four Freedoms Ideal – During WWII images like Rosie the Riveter and Uncle Sam were memorialized as a way to rouse public support for the army and workforce. Similarly, Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms painting worked to inspire support politically and financially for the war which was being fought, and he used FDR’s Four Freedom ideals of freedom from want and fear and freedom of speech and religion. Review the paintings, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post, and read about the incredible response they received from the American public. Then, recreate this experience by having your children brainstorm the freedoms that are most important to them and create paintings, posters, collages, etc. that depict these essential freedoms.
- Celebrate Your Freedoms – One of our greatest freedoms (and one that’s not well understood by children) is our freedom to assemble. During the week of Independence Day, your community will be filled with opportunities to explore and celebrate the holiday through parades, historical reenactments, museum exhibits, and more. Take time to experience all of these together in celebration! And don’t forget, if you have time to visit Valley Forge, Independence Hall, or a revolutionary war site, that’s a great place to start.
Whether you choose one of these Independence Day Activities or simply hang Old Glory from your front door, we are so blessed to be able to celebrate Independence Day in freedom, to sing the National Anthem, and to worship the God, who has enabled this nation to flourish. How will you celebrate these freedoms this Independence Day? Tell us in a comment below!