When I think of the Fourth of July, many things come to mind: cooking out, watching fireworks, the blessings of freedom, the many lives sacrificed to preserve our nation.
Another thing that immediately pops into my head is Liberty’s Kids. It is just too good to forget. In case you’ve never seen the show, it was a television series produced by PBS. And it rocks. Seriously.
The Liberty’s Kids series is a cartoon that walks chronologically through the Revolutionary War period. It follows three kids who are reporting on the events surrounding that time, often getting themselves into the middle of the action. They meet every historical figure you can think of, and likely many you’ve barely heard of. They tell the stories of the heroes, both famous and obscure, who shaped their future and our present.
And the stories are masterfully woven together in a way that feels natural. They’re exciting adventures. In other words, it doesn’t feel like the plot lines are just a cheap way to teach a history lesson. Kids see right through that.
I’ve also been impressed with how the Liberty’s Kids series handles some of the issues that other children’s programs would like to minimize. People die, slaves are oppressed, religion is a way of life. It is not overtly Christian, but doesn’t ignore the fact that faith was instrumental in the lives of many who shaped our nation. The characters talk about Providence and don’t hide all religious notions. Impressive for PBS.
My kids have watched the entire series through twice over the course of the past year or so. They know more about the Founding Fathers and the first patriots than most adults do. And, after watching the show with them (or listening in from the kitchen while making dinner), I know more about the Revolutionary War than I ever learned in school.
Whether you homeschool or not, Liberty’s Kids is the best tool I’ve found for teaching that all-important era of history. Watching it would be a great way to spend summer afternoons when you drag in from the pool or when the kids want an escape from the heat. It’s educational entertainment worth investing in. I can’t say that about many things out there.
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers.
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