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How to Use Quotes of Founding Fathers to Teach Language Arts

How to Use Quotes of Founding Fathers to Teach Language Arts

Language arts can be an intimidating subject for many homeschooling families. I’m so excited to be sharing with you the top quotes of founding fathers perfect for language art lessons, when applying the Charlotte Mason method of education. Charlotte Mason loved to introduce her students to thought-provoking quotes, not only for the purpose of what was being said, but also for the example it provided for good spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar.

As I introduce you to some of the top quotes of founding fathers, I will share how to use Charlotte Mason method to teach language arts to your children ten and older, depending on the learning skills of your individual child.  Before I jump headlong into this lesson for the teacher, I would like to recommend that you have a good resource for teaching your children the correct rules for each of grammar rules.

Declaration of Independence and American Flag

Here is how to use quotes of founding fathers in your language art lessons

  • Copy work is the easy way to implement language art the Charlotte Mason way.  Be sure the child is reading what he or she is writing.
  • Bold words are examples of vocabulary words that can be studied during the week and tested, along with the spelling, at the end of the week or when mastered.
  • Point out the capital letters and explain why these words are capital: beginning of the sentence or proper noun.
  • Point out all punctuation: periods, commas, quotation marks, explanation marks, question marks, semi-colons, colons, hyphens, apostrophes and parenthesis.
  • Dictation can be done after the child has studied the quote for grammar, spelling and punctuation.  You would slowly break up the quote into small parts, having the child repeat after you and then write what was said until the whole quote is completed. At the end of the dictation, have the child find any mistakes.  You can choose to keep working on the quote until mastery or move along to another one.  Be sure to give good quotes that include the problems that the child demonstrates as gaps in their understanding.
  • For high school students only – have them write a 250-500 essay on what the thoughts were on this quote, the history behind the quote or even their own thoughts on the quote.

“A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal.” – John Adams (Thoughts on Government, 1776) 

`Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. `Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.” – George Washington (Farewell Address, September 19, 1796)

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry (Second Virginia Convention, 1775 atSt. John’s Church, Richmond VA)

“Against the insidiouswiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” – George Washington (Farewell Address, September 19, 1796)

This post is part of the iHomeschool Network quotes series.  Next in my series will be The Top Quotes of Founding Fathers Perfect for History Lessons.