Saturday, October 20, 2018

W is for Washington (Blogging through the Alphabet)

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Studying the history of the United States would not be complete without learning about the Founding Fathers of the nation including George Washington. The first American president was also commander of the Continental Army and president of the Constitutional Convention thus having a great impact on the historic foundation of the United States government.

How Can We Learn about George Washington?

There are so many great resources available to learn about George Washington. From primary sources of writing by Washington and about the first president to historical sites and even crafts and costumes! Learning about history does not have to be dull.

A fantastic way to learn about Washington is through read-alouds with your children. There are some great choices from different well-known publishers such as Landmark Books or National Geographic.

Learning about George Washington does not need to be relegated to older children and adults, as he is a good role model for all children. Some of the myths and stories told about Washington help us teach valuable lessons. For example, who hasn't heard the story of the cherry tree and the young Washington stating, "I cannot tell a lie" story? 

Reading through his Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation (which he wrote as a school exercise before he was 16) is a great way to study Washington and apply it to character education. Washington was a leader among his school friends – friends had even said he was not a fighter but a peacemaker on the playground. 

image from pixabay of Mount Rushmore

One of the themes that displays itself again and again in Rules of Civility is that of modesty and self-restraint. These are two great virtues to instill in children today. An interesting point made in the introduction of my copy of Rules of Civility by Letitia Baldrige is that in the time of Washington "the family was the center of the universe" and people attended church regularly where they would discuss good and bad behavior. Baldrige continues: Washington "would find our society today extremely foreign and probably unkind" (14). 

"let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave." 

To assist you in teaching the Rules of Civility, I have prepared some materials for you to use in your home or classroom. You will get three rules you can hang up in your house! 

Another great place to study George Washington is Our family has been enjoying several history courses already including Drive Thru History: American History. 

There are also interesting courses like American History for Beginners which utilizes interactive content to teach children of grades K-2 over the course of 34 weeks. Students will learn about events from 1492 to the creation of the Bill of Rights in 1791 through crafts, maps, studying vocabulary, and even recipes. 

Where can you choose from 43 history courses for your kids, with no per-course or per-student fees? offers your entire family can access 400+ preK-12 courses across all subject areas also gain access to ten full libraries of World Book Online for research and timelines, a glimpse into nearly 600 historical events through This Day in History, and a huge streaming video library that includes Drive Thru History and Torchlighters titles! Make family history this year with all the great resources available at!

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  1. I have enjoyed many resources about Washington and I remember reading a book of the expenses he kept during some of his life. It was really quite interesting. I will be looking into the Rules for Civility. Sounds very neat.

    1. I think I saw something similar (about the expenses) online before - one of those primary sources that has been photographed for easy access.