We get a newsletter from Hillsdale College, a gift from my in-laws. Today we received November’s issue, an adaptation of a speech given by Larry P. Arnn earlier this year at the dedication of the college’s new Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.
Granted, this has nothing to do with Christmas, unemployment, or other things going on in our daily life right now, but the topic Mr. Arnn shared in this newsletter is important to our family, and is something I plan to place importance on in our home school. He was talking about the Constitution of our great country, and the steps we can take as Americans to analize our current government structure and reinstitute the the Constitution as it was once embodied in our country.
Near the end of the adaptation of his speech, he was quoted as saying:
The Constitution itself says nothing about education, for the same reason it says nothing about families or marriage or child-rearing: the federal government should not control or regulate these things. Parents and teachers, not the federal government, teach children. What they teach them matters most, for without proper moral and civic education a republic [representative] government will falter. With it, and with a strong defense of our right to religious liberty, republican government can flourish. (emphasis mine)
For this reason, that it is only by teaching our young children what our country stands for that they can live free, that I plan to place emphasis on constitutional studies when we do more formal teaching on government. The Constitution is an amazing document, and you can only really appreciate it after reading and studying it.
Quite a while ago I purchased a catechism of the Constitution, which I think will be helpful in sharing with our kids the very basics of what our country stands on. You can purchase your own copy for only $5 by clicking here. For more books, videos, and study courses on the Constitution, go to their main website at www.learntheconstitution.com.
Other books you may be interested in reading for your own study of the constitution and founding of The United States of America include:
- The 5,000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World by W. Cleon Skousen
- The Federalist Papers by Alexandar Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
- Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Pain
I really think it is important, as Mr. Larry P. Arnn emphasised, that children are taught what it means to be an American. Especially as our government continues to morph into this “progressively” changing system that seems distant to what it began as, they need to be taught that it does matter that they understand government, understand their rights, and understand their true civic duties as citizens of this country.
To get your own free subscription to Imprimis, the Hillsdale College publication, click here.