Pair of books bring civics lessons to young children
Two civically oriented children’s books to help parents raise young patriots that will appreciate their exceptional country were released on May 21. Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence and Woodrow for President deal with the path to American independence and American presidential elections respectively.
Peter and Cheryl Barnes write and illustrate patriotic books for young children by using an anthropomorphic mouse to guide the reader through historical events and complex aspects of American democracy, such as elections. The books were published by Little Patriot Press and are both beautifully printed and illustrated.
The greatest failure and decline in American education has been in neither science nor math. American students continually fail to understand the basics of American history and civic institutions to a frightening degree. This failure starts at a young age and sadly continues all the way through college.
In a RealClearHistory article earlier in 2012, Editor Samuel Chi said, “The people who aspire to hold the highest office of our land actually know very little about the history of this nation, let alone the rest of the world.”
“If anything, this is a terrible indictment of our education system, from elementary schools to the institutions of higher learning, including even the most elite universities (after all, Obama attended Columbia and Harvard). It’s possible now to have 16-to-20 years’ worth of education and not come away with even a cursory grasp of history that actually matters,” Chi said.
By starting children off early in simple to understand, interesting and informative narratives, parents can help make up for the lack of civics education in America’s failing primary schools.
Neither Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence, nor Woodrow for President are overly simplistic and can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
For instance, in Liberty Lee’s Trail of Independence, there is an addendum that gives important details about every major event that lead to American independence. This section has resources and information to bolster what the child will learn throughout the story, and helps to inform the parent or teacher in the proper way to guide the student through sacred American texts, like the Declaration of Independence.
In Woodrow for President, a child can learn about the mystifying art of political campaigning and why it is so important to vote. In the back of the book there is a “contract to vote” where a child can agree to get involved in the political process when they reach voting age.
Any parent or elementary school teacher that wants to stem the tide of historical illiteracy and inculcate the values of civic participation would be greatly helped by reading Woodrow for President or Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence to their children.