Family & Education

Tips for Teaching Kids About Patriotism

BY Karen Doll TIMEAugust 31, 2022 PRINT

Patriotism is defined as a love for or a devotion to one’s country. Exhibiting patriotism in the home honors our courageous Founding Fathers and all of the patriots who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. Sharing patriotism with your children also lays the foundation for future generations to appreciate what our nation represents.

You can shape the patriotic spirit of your home in significant ways. For instance, we can show respect for the American flag and fly it proudly, we can learn about our country through song, and we can read about the history of our national symbols and about the lives of famous patriots.

Teach your children the importance of true patriotism by incorporating some of these activities into your daily routine.

Honor the American Flag

Do you know what the colors in the flag represent? Can you list all the nicknames of our beloved American flag? Learn about the flag’s rich history and teach your kids about one of the United States’ most beloved symbols.

I’m proud to be an American, so one of the first things I do each morning is hang up the flag on our front porch—weather permitting, of course. My husband, David, taught us all about proper flag etiquette from his training in the Boy Scouts, where he earned the Scout’s top achievement, the Eagle Scout Award.

If you don’t already have one, get an American flag and display it prominently for all to see. Model and demonstrate proper care and presentation, including properly illuminating the flag when displaying it at night and not flying the flag during inclement weather.

Teach your children the Pledge of Allegiance. Talk about the meaning and significance of the words and recite it daily.

Learn Patriotic Songs and Their History

I get goosebumps every time I hear “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It deeply moves me. Sometimes, I even get a bit teary-eyed thinking about the overwhelming joy that Francis Scott Key must have felt, that morning after the horrendous battle in Baltimore Harbor, to see that our flag was indeed still there.

Teach your children “The Star-Spangled Banner” and share the story of that momentous time in history. Learn other classic patriotic songs, such as “My Country Tis of Thee,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “America the Beautiful.”

Explore American Symbols and Historic Landmarks

The Bald Eagle, our national bird, soared to notoriety when it became part of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782. The Bald Eagle’s long lifespan, unparalleled strength, and magnificent beauty made it the perfect choice for the young country.

The Statue of Liberty, otherwise known as Lady Liberty, was a gift from the country of France and is one of the most recognized symbols of the United States. The statue’s original name was Liberty Enlightening the World. Learn about the fascinating creative process, the construction timeline, and the statue’s astonishing measurements.

Read about the North American Bison, our national mammal; the mighty oak, our national tree; and the rose, our national flower. Invite your kids along on a virtual tour of the White House. Discover the choice behind each president depicted on Mount Rushmore. Investigate why there’s a crack in the Liberty Bell.

Analyze Patriotic Literature

A great place to start is “The American Story: 100 True Tales From American History” by Jennifer Armstrong. The stories are fascinating but also short, which can spark an interest in digging deeper. Kids will walk alongside Neil Armstrong as he takes the first steps on the moon and soar with the wind in the Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk Flyer.

A popular and fun patriotic poem is “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Though the poem was inspired by real events, it is meant to be taken lightly. Encourage your kids to dig a little deeper to discover the truth about Paul Revere’s legendary midnight ride.

Kids can learn a great deal about our nation while listening to wonderful poems such as “Old Glory,” “Song of the American Eagle,” “Liberty Bell,” and “Old Uncle Sam.” Also, read aloud “A Nation’s Strength” by William Ralph Emerson, and discuss what it is that makes a nation strong.

Read About Famous American Patriots

Do you know the names of the seven Founding Fathers of our country? Here’s a few hints: One was a president, one founded the first successful lending library, and another was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

Read about explorers like Davey Crockett and Lewis and Clark, inventors such as Robert Fulton and Henry Ford, presidents, teachers, artists, and others. Our kids enjoyed reading and listening to the “Childhood of Famous Americans” series. It’s great fun for kids to get an up-close-and-personal look at the everyday lives of all the people who’ve help shape our country and make it the great nation it is today.

Karen Doll
Karen Doll is a freelance writer and homeschooling consultant based in the small village of Wassergass, Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing about homeschooling, gardening, food and culture, family life, and the joys of chicken keeping. Visit her at AtHomeWithKarenDoll.wordpress.com
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