Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Citizenship Day

September 17th is Citizenship Day, and I almost forgot! It's not a common holiday so I guess that can be forgiven. Also, we're not back to doing school on a regular basis, either. Citizenship Day is the second holiday out of our Holidays Around The Year book that we will be celebrating this month. (Other options presented in the book that we're not doing this year include Hispanic Heritage Month, High Holy Days, Feast of San Gennaro, and Confucius' Birthday.)

Because I forgot about it until today, I did not get a book out of the library. But looking at the recommended book list I realized I already own one of the books! It's The Pledge of Allegiance and I had picked it up at a thrift store because of it's beautiful pictures illustrating the meaning of the words in a way that kids would understand.

So to "celebrate" Citizenship Day (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution) we talked about what it means to be a citizen rather than a visitor, using a home as a metaphor. We talked about the things we are responsible for, like paying the bills and keeping the house clean, that people who visit us don't have to do. But both have to follow the rules!

We also talked about why we are so happy we are citizens of America instead of being born in another country (focusing on religious freedoms) and then talked a little about the citizenship process. The book comes with a sample of the citizenship test, but we didn't do it this year. Scholastic.com offers a plan and resources on Immigration and Citizenship for classrooms (for free) that can be adapted to a homeschool set up.

We finished up with reading the book again and practicing saying the pledge without it. The week of Citizenship Day is also Constitution Week. We're going to learn more about the American flag using our I Love America curriculum. (Sadly, it's out of print but you can still get it used on Amazon.com.)

The e-book version of Holidays Around the Year is available at the Scholastic website, the picture is a link to the listing on Amazon.com.

For older students, here's a link to a great 12 minute video about American Exceptionalism. (Another way to explain why it's great to be an American citizen.)

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