Dictionary.com defines “independence” as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”

What a great idea! Being free from the influence or control of others.

Having just celebrated the 4th of July, we’ve heard a lot about freedom and control these days. From choosing your gender to bearing arms, everyone has an opinion about what our freedoms should look like. We look at each situation, opportunity, or crisis through the lens of our own values, assigning a preferred outcome based on our beliefs.

So how do we, as home school parents, strive to teach our children truth, justice, and life within biblical instruction in a time and place that is so diverse? How do we hold true to the example and teachings of our Founding Fathers? Does our society today even compare to that of the 1700s?

The answer is simple: We teach our children with honesty.

We do them no service to shelter them from the issues at hand. When our children ask questions, we should answer with biblical truth. We are called to teach them to navigate the waters of uncertainty while they are still under our instruction—while they are still close to us, walking beside us through the horrific events of our world. Although many things are different from the America of 1776, the desire for true freedom is still the same: a freedom that allows us to raise our children as we desire . . . God’s way.

Take time, in the wake of your 4th of July celebration,  to reflect on what independence means to your family.

Contemplate how you can help your children understand that freedom is best when it honors God. Next year, give new meaning to your 4th of July traditions by adding a time of prayer and thanksgiving for those who fought to give us the blessing of true independence.

Nancy Fileccia, co-creator of A Journey Through Learning and featured speaker at both 2016 THSC Conventions, shares the following ideas to keep patriotic spirit strong all summer long.

  • Gather patriotic, beach themed or summer themed cookie cutters–stars, rocket, sand pail, shovel, butterflies, USA, flag, etc. Spread ice cream onto a cookie sheet and refreeze. Then cut out shapes of ice cream with your cookie cutters. You can also cut out shapes on sandwiches or use them to make cookies. Decorate your cookies with summer colored icing and sprinkles.
  • Make patriotic fruit kabobs. Alternate sticks of strawberries and bananas or green grapes. Lay on a plate for the flag stripes. Then add a bowl of blueberries for the stars.
  • Make fun fizz drinks. Make orange, pink, red or blue Kool-Aid ice cubes ahead of time. Put them in a glass with Sprite and add popping candy.

As a bonus, Nancy would like to bless each family with a complimentary lapbook for Grades 2-7 entitled, Freedom Isn’t Free. Print your copy and begin to celebrate through learning today!

Independence is something to be treasured. It’s a gift not to be taken for granted. Only we can instill in our children the benefit of our independence. We must teach our children to honor the ideas of our Founding Fathers. Enjoy celebrating independence all summer long!

To continue your study of independence, find information about our Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and more within the aisles of the exhibit hall at the THSC Convention in The Woodlands, July 21-23.

Speaking of free, did you know that THSC adult members can attend Convention for FREE? Find out more about complimentary Convention registration and how your family can  join the fight to help Keep Texas Families Free!

Texas State Historical Association