Patriotism, a love of country, is an important feeling to nurture in your children. If we love our country we will work to make it a better place. We will celebrate and emulate the highest ideals and greatest achievements of our nation. We will acknowledge the mistakes and national sins of the past and learn from them. Loving the land and the people that make up your nation is a virtue.
One thing you can do to nurture patriotism is to teach your kids American patriotic music. Nothing touches the soul and the emotions like beautiful lyrics set to majestic music.
Get a patriotic CD from the library, buy one or download some and listen to it. Here’s a list of some to look for.
- The Star Spangled Banner
- America the Beautiful
- My County Tis of Thee
- Battle Hymn of the Republic
- This Land is Your Land
- Ballad of the Green Berets
- God Bless the USA
- I Was Born in the USA
- Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
- Lift Every Voice and Sing
- The Stars and Stripes Forever
- You’re a Grand Old Flag
- Over There
- U.S. Air Force Anthem: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder
- U.S. Army Anthem: As the Caisson’s Go Rolling Along
- U.S. Marine Corp Hymn
- U.S. Navy Anthem: Anchors Away
Practice one or two of your favorites until you know them by heart.
National Anthem Etiquette Exploration
The Star Spangled Banner is our national anthem and we have certain courtesies that should be observed when listening to it or singing it. It might be a good idea to practice this at home with a flag displayed and the national anthem playing on your CD player so your kids will know what to do at the next parade or baseball game, even if no one else does. Respect for America is always cool.
- Take off your hat and stand when you hear it.
- Salute if you are in uniform, or put your hand on your heart if you are not.
- Listen quietly and respectfully as the song plays.
- If you are invited as the audience to sing along, then sing.
- If a flag is displayed at the same time, face the flag and salute or put your hand on your heart.
Beautiful America Exploration
Make a photocollage of America the Beautiful. Cut out pictures from magazines, use you own photos or get images from the Internet and put together a poster showing scenes of things you think show a beautiful America. It could include scenes of natural beauty or the people, homes or cities.
History of the Song Exploration
Look up and read about the history behind one or two of your favorite songs. Knowing where they came from makes them more meaningful.
Share A Song You Love
Pick one of the songs of America that you love and share it with your kids. Explain why it means so much to you.
Here is one song that I love. I feel great pride and gratitude for our military and their families when I hear it. I understand that while dying for the oppressed is a sacrifice it is a noble one.
- Learn about flag etiquette and how to hold a flag ceremony. These are usually done by the military or scouting organizations, but there’s no rule that says anyone can’t have them. Practice and hold one at your next church picnic or family reunion.
- If you have the chance to attend a flag retiring ceremony take advantage of it. During the flag ceremony, old tattered flags are retired respectfully by first cutting the stars from the stripes and then burning them completely. The ashes are then buried. Organizations that are authorized to do this are the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, the VFW, the American Legion, and the Marine Corp League.
- Listen to national anthems from other countries around the globe. Find the countries on a map or globe.
- Discuss the great things about America and some of the mistakes we’ve made in the past. Talk over what we can do to make our country better.