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How Do You Instill Patriotism and Civic Duty in Your Children?


Homeschooling veterans share how they teach their children the lesson of patriotism by good citizenship, service, and fulfilling our duty.

Patriotism and Good Citizenship…

The flexibility of homeschooling makes teaching patriotism and civic duty quite doable because the reality is that love of country and good citizenship are ideas best learned through doing.

Toward that end, I teach my children by example. We not only read and talk about important political matters affecting our country, but I take my children with me to the voting polls.

More than a few times, we’ve walked the halls of our local legislature and talked to our representatives about topics of concern. My children have witnessed me call and write to our representatives.

Additionally, we have attended pro-life marches and freedom rallies together.

Though such events sometimes expose us to negative comments and bad behavior from the opposition, the lessons are invaluable.

We discuss ideas such as freedom of speech and see how that freedom can inspire patriotism and civic duty or inhibit it.

In an age when people have so many avenues to express their opinions, children need to see that their voice and actions can impact their communities and their country.

That vision is most evident through the thoughtful study of history and active engagement in the day’s events. Once children understand that they have a meaningful role in the world, then love of country and civic duty become natural impulses.

Tara Brelinsky, North Carolina

Service Outside the Home…

I instill a sense of civic duty in my kids first by requiring service outside the home.

It could be helping a shut-in rake some leaves, volunteering at a food pantry, running a coat drive for the homeless, etc.

They must do five hours a year in grade school, ten in middle school, and twenty in high school. For when we serve, we learn to love. My kids usually surpass their needed hours, usually through our scout work in Trail Life and American Heritage Girls.

Through these groups, we have put wreaths on graves of deceased soldiers, welcomed veterans home through honor flights, and participated in retiring the flag ceremonies.

The most memorable time was when we were at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, welcoming Marine Veterans from WWII to a special service held in their honor.

My son happened to be in a wheelchair due to a broken foot and ankle. (Author’s note: stay away from trampolines!!) He sat there reverently in full uniform, holding a picture-perfect salute.

The veterans passed into the museum, many tearing up as they saw the children with their signs and balloons and heard their cheers. One elderly man, however, had tears STREAMING down his face. He was in a wheelchair. He whispered something to his caregiver, and she wheeled him over and asked if he could get a picture with my son.

And there they were, opposite ends of life’s spectrum, bonded over their mutual respect and love of country. They got the picture, the gentlemen nodded, saluted my son, and was wheeled away. It was a powerful moment my son will not soon forget.

Kristin Brown, Virginia

Doing Our Duties as Citizens…

Just as we are commanded to love and honor our parents, it’s only fitting that we should love and honor our country, our fatherland.

The best way we have found to teach this to our children is to do what we should do as citizens. We vote at every election and primary, and now our adult children do too.

We support pro-life candidates by passing out flyers, attending rallies for just causes, and speaking out against unjust laws.

We pay our taxes, support our community and parish, and have been available for jury duty when needed.

We hope that by our leading by example, our children will continue to love and support our country’s values and help change what needs to be changed.

Susan Brock, Virginia

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