“AT every of these schools shall be taught reading, writing, and common arithmetick, and the books which shall be used therein for instructing the children to read shall be such as will at the same time make them acquainted with Graecian, Roman, English, and American history.” A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (Section 6)
What an amazing idea offered by Thomas Jefferson in his first attempt to establish a system for public education in Virginia. Imagine how knowledgeable our children could be about the Founding period and Founding Documents of the United States if they routinely read about them across the course of elementary, middle, and high school education. Our public schools, particularly in light of the impending changes resulting from the Common Core curriculum, do not emphasize this material. Yes, there are three grades during which children receive some instruction about the history of our nation, but the amount of time invested in the subject matter is very limited. Instruction about material which instills a sense of patriotism about the United States is limited further still.
Please take a moment to think about how you can supplement what your child reads and learns about the history of our country. Consider having reading material available in your home. My fifth grader loves to read biographies, and I have encouraged her to read about the lives of notable men and women of the Founding Period. My ninth grader enjoys both science and philosophy. She has read works of both Locke and Hobbs. She has also read about scientific advancements made by Americans. My eleventh grader is taking the AP US History Course, and he enjoys reading about military history in his free time. If your child has a school project, consider how you can incorporate the history of our country into it. For example, if a child is studying poetry, suggest that Mercy Otis Warren’s “Squabble of the Sea Nymphs” be the basis for the project. The poem takes on a whole new meaning when the reader knows that Warren was referencing the Boston Tea Party though out the work. Although the school may emphasize US History in only three grades, you can add depth and complexity to your child’s knowledge base by guiding her or him back to the Founding period throughout his educational experience. A parent’s participation in the educational process is What IS Right With America.
Read The Squabble of the Sea Nymphs at: http://www.bingoforpatriots.com/american-history/founding-fathers/other-notable-founding-figures/mercy-otis-warren/the-squabble-of-the-sea-nymphs/