Child-led learning is a natural part of Montessori education. Our family found that child-led learning also worked well for patriotism. Our child-led patriotism mainly consisted of following our children’s lead in choosing patriotic holiday activities.
It didn’t take a lot of observation to discover that our children loved fireworks and parades. We traditionally found the largest fireworks display that was accessible and attended parades whenever they were available for patriotic holidays.
I generally started holiday celebrations by reading a book aloud that described the background of the holiday. After that, we embarked on a family outing or Will and Christina created an activity based on the holiday.
When our children were little, in-house “parades” were popular. Will and Christina decorated a wagon or other parade vehicle, or they carried flags and paraded through our house with my husband and me as the audience.
Our Fourth of July outings were probably our family patriotic highlight each year. Vail, Colorado, became a favorite destination. The parade in Vail is both fun and inspiring. And we have yet to find a better fireworks display than the 4th of July fireworks choreographed to music over the lake in nearby Avon, Colorado.
As they grew older and were figure skaters competing internationally, Will and Christina gained a first-hand appreciation of countries and cultures around the world. Christina has even lived in England the past four years.
Still, our family’s child-led patriotism worked well for us. Our children ended up with the ability to appreciate other countries and cultures but with a deeper sense that, first and foremost, they are—and are proud to be—American.
Has your family experienced any child-led patriotism?