Saturday, February 19, 2011

Preparing for President's Day

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
~Abraham Lincoln
I laugh to myself when I think of this quote because I tend to be the type to open my mouth (and insert my foot), removing all doubt in the minds of my listeners (or readers!). But at least I can laugh at myself!

We've been having some fun preparing for President's Day:

- reading President's Day by Anne and Lizzy Rockwell, Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth (illustrated by Barbara McClintock, one of our favorites!), Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas, George Washington's Teeth by Deborah Chandra, Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln by Judith St. George, and Abe's Honest Words by Doreen Rappaport.

- fieldtrip to visit sites that honor Washington and Lincoln. Having the fortune to live in DC, we went to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument before stopping at the Lincoln exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History (you can check out their online exhibit, too!). And on Monday, admission to Mt. Vernon is free, so we'll hit that up as well.

- making snacks in honor of Washington and Lincoln: pretzel log cabins and cherry desserts (like these cherry coconut cupcakes)

- working on our President's Day lapbook (we used materials from homeschool share and squidoo).

- playing math games with money, particularly pennies and quarters!

- making tri-cornered hats out of black construction paper (it doesn't get any easier than this!).

I love focusing on holidays and building traditions around them for our little family. I heard some of my friends complaining that in their children's schools they are putting a lot of focus on black history month (which is wonderful!) but ignoring President's Day (which is tragic). Just by the simple study I've been doing with Mayumi I've developed a much deeper love and respect for Washington and Lincoln and I hope that I can pass that, along with patriotic zeal for our history, on to my daughter. If you have any other ideas for President's Day, please share!
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
~ George Washington in an address to the Continental Army before the Battle of Long Island (27 August 1776)

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