Today, my heart aches for a nation that has turned away from the Lord and looks to the government to solve its problems, seemingly unaware that we are experiencing judgment as a result of our rejection of the God of the Bible and His moral laws. I am saddened to see how far we have strayed, yet hope cannot keep from rising inside me. God can still bring revival, changing the hearts of men and women once again, so that they seek His face.
This hope is tempered by the realization that it not only takes loving God, but knowing and obeying HIs Word to make a nation great. We must seek His Wisdom, found in Scripture on how to govern a nation, enact moral laws, and transform our evil culture. God speaks about history, law, politics, leadership, culture, and justice in His Word.
The American Heritage Foundation
In response to a growing trend in pushing socialism and one-world government in public schools, this non-profit organization was formed to teach American history and to promote patriotism in young American lives. Though a non-religious organization, it promotes conservative, family-friendly values. Lesson plans have been created to use in public schools to stem the alarming tide of anti-American propaganda disguised as history and government class. Their lesson plans are offered free to homeschoolers too!
I received a CD-rom to review from American Heritage Foundation which contained America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty.These lesson plans are easy to use and fun to use!
My favorite was the high school version, which focused on documents. The documents analyzed were The Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment. There is also a neat section of Entrepreneurs in History which takes a look at Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, James Hill, and John D. Rockefeller. I like the pro-free market emphasis!
But the elementary and middle school versions were jam-packed with activities that can be used by children of all ages and we enjoyed "testing" them in our homeschool co-op.
How We Used the Lesson Plans
We played the Independence Game, a role playing game that helped us to understand the different players in the America Revolution, their roles, ideas, and values. We saw how each player was affected economically, as well as, politically. We discussed their rights and responsibilities, imagining how each event affected them and their families. The game players were the king, parliamentarian, governor, soldier, British merchant, and colonist. This game was enjoyed by the entire coop (ages 8 to 17) and brought the events of the revolution alive in a new way!
We also used the Radio Theatre Script We've Got to Get Independence! in coop. We acted it out, recorded it, and played it back. What fun! Again, this activity was enjoyed by all ages. We also enjoyed The Presidents together...learning about all of the presidents of the United States of America. I found all the activities to be handy in teaching a wide variety of ages.
There are more activities about the flag, national motto, Statue of Liberty, Star Spangled Banner (national anthem), and Pledge of Allegiance.
These lesson plans are free to download from their website, American Heritage Education Foundation and teacher training workshops are available too!
I so appreciate these free, but very valuable lesson plans. They have been a blessing to me this year as a coop history teacher. I wish that the lesson plans were filled with Scripture and Bible-lessons, but I realize that the intention of the foundation is to reach all young Americans. I certainly hope that they do because they have a message that needs to be heard!
Hope for America
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people," (Proverbs 14:34 NIV).
As much as I love this country and desire to see these lesson plans work to restore a love for our nation's heritage, I am afraid that our only hope right now is for a nation-wide revival. Until people cry out to God to meet their needs and heal their sinful, broken hearts, socialism will continue to grow in popularity. When people don't seek the Lord, they expect the government to take God's place as their provider! My dream is for another Great Awakening to sweep across the fifty United States, paving the way for a country filled with people who value freedom, responsibility, progress, and unity. Until then, we can continue to pray!