Independence Day History (and Homeschool Fire Safety)

July fourth is synonymous with gatherings of family and friends and displays of fireworks. To understand why, we must take a look back in history.

The day is a celebration of our country’s 1776 declaration of independence from the control of England. Many United States citizens were tired of their lack of participation in governmental decision-making (“No taxation without  representation!”), and they desired to be self-governed. Thomas Jefferson, along with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, penned the Declaration, a statement against this outside control. It was happily approved and signed, marking the U.S. a free, independent country.

The idea of fireworks is credited to John Adams, who wrote his wife about his involvement in the Declaration and suggested that future annual celebrations of independence include, among other things, “illuminations.” Fireworks were a part of the importance and excitement of the event, and that has carried on for the past 241 years.

So, if John Adams, founding father and second president of the United States, said that fireworks should be used in celebrating our independence, that’s a pretty good reason to do it! But, to have fireworks, you need fire; and where there’s fire, homeschoolers need fire safety…especially in Pennsylvania, where it is an annual elementary requirement. With the 2017-2018 school year officially beginning on July 1, I thought a bit of fire safety would fit in fantastically during our Independence Day celebrations.

Here are nine fire safety rules to follow and teach your children before shoving a sparkler in their hands and letting them run wild.

1. Do not use fireworks without adult supervision. Young children should not light fireworks, and older children should be monitored.

2. Never use fireworks indoors, even if they seem harmless.

3. Never hold fireworks while lighting them (sparklers excluded). Always keep your face back and then move away quickly after ignition. Parents may opt to have their children to wear safety glasses or other eye protection while lighting fireworks.

4. Understand how to light each firework and what it does when lit. 

5. Keep at least two buckets of water around. One should be used to hold finished fireworks and duds. The second should be used (although, hopefully it won’t be necessary) for emergencies. A nearby water hose is also good precaution.

6. Do not try to relight a firework that fizzles out. Wait 15 minutes to make sure that it won’t restart on its own, and then have an adult place it in a bucket of water.

7. Do not touch the burnt end of your fireworks after they have finished; they may still be very hot.

8. Do not put fireworks of any kind close to someone’s face. Even small sparks can cause an injury.

9. Choose an open location, away from flammable objects such as propane grills, when setting off fireworks.

For more information on being safe with fireworks, check out the National Council on Fireworks Safety. Have fun!

Summer Learning – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I reviewed some math lessons and games that make a great part of your daily summer routine. Our children worked hard this past school year to raise their level of learning, and we want to ensure that they will not lose those recent educational accomplishments. In Part 2, I’m addressing reading. Like math, reading is a necessary life skill, so working it in as often as possible is important. If you have a child who enjoys reading, it isn’t a problem. Get a library card, if you don’t already (I know…homeschoolers and the library!), and check out as many books as your little darling wants. If you have a child who needs to be persuaded to open that cover, try one of these ideas.

Reading Lessons for Summer Continue reading “Summer Learning – Part 2”

Summer Learning – Part 1

Summer vacation has begun in our house! While I’m extremely glad for the break (and I’m sure that the kids are, too), my years of teaching tell me that no school for the entire summer is bad for learning. I know that much can be learned by simply living and having fun each day; grocery store trips, playground stops, nature walks, and even backyard play are all educationally excellent. But subjects such as math, reading, and writing (both composition and handwriting) can take a deep dive to the bottom when ignored for a couple of months.

So, what can be done to keep learning afloat this summer? In this three-part series, I’ll address how to incorporate the three Rs into brief, maybe even entertaining, summer lessons. First up is math. Continue reading “Summer Learning – Part 1”

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In Deuteronomy 11:18-21, we are told to teach our children about the Lord. What better way is there to teach them than by homeschooling? At least, that’s the opinion here at The Living Room Schoolhouse.

We are a Christian homeschooling site aimed at providing helpful tips and resources for homeschooling, as well as information about Christian living. We strive to acknowledge God’s hand and his infinite blessings every day, in all we do. Our home is where we live and learn. Please come in and join us!