For the benefit of our 9 year-old son, we have taken a chapter in the book, How to Raise an American, and each month we have a Patriots Birthday Party held for a famous American, or someone who contributed to our society in a great way like Columbus. In the case of Columbus, he opened up the new world to further exploration and settlements, and bringing the modern world to indigenous peoples who were still living in the stone age. Thats right, 5000 years after the wheel was first used in the old world the people of the new world had not even discovered the wheel yet, or the use of metals, nor even a written language.
We will not only discuss what the person did to make them special, but what America was like at the time. What they wore, what they ate, toys there kids may have played with, and songs they may have sang. Often my son will get a small gift related to the person or event, like for Columbuss Birthday he got a compass, and a lesson in basic map navigation like Columbus would have needed to know how to do. We also plan our meal around it, with the Birthday of Columbus we had Italian. When possible we will also watch a movie or documentary together about the person, or get a book from the library.
Its great fun and educational, and he cant wait to see who I pick next month.
Others were: Ben Franklin - Philly Cheese Steak night, Boston Baked beans; and French Fries in honor of him being the first ambassador to France. Then we watch the movie 1776
John Glenn was a great way to introduce my son to good old fashion TV Dinners, to demonstrate how the food taken by astronauts had to be packaged for them, with great thought. For desert, freeze dried ice cream. And the astronaut movie choices are endless.
Get the Idea?
The possibilities are as much fun planning as doing it. Upcoming Parties in our home will be for Reagan, Washington, Harry Truman, Sally Ride, Helen Keller, Lou Gehrig, Henry Ford, Jesse Owen, Walt Disney, Jackie Robinson, Abe Lincoln, Father Flanagan, and on and on.
1. I’ve not read much about Columbus, but I know a teacher that hates him claiming he did some pretty bad things. Thoughts?
2. For celebration of Obama do you take the kids allowance and give it to the rest of your family?
3. In all seriousness, sounds like an excellent idea and probably one that I will do with my kids when I have them. It’s so important to teach kids where we as a nation came from and what our founding principles are. This has to be passed on and we can not lose these principles.
Great idea! This may make my son with an interest in history into a full-fledged history buff! Wonderful!!
Love your idea. (But Helen Keller - wasn’t she eventually a communist or something?)