July 4th learned through children

By Anita Tedaldi: FNM columnist

I would have never thought that in my thirties I’d get the chance to be an American kid.

But homeschooling has given me the opportunity to see the world through my children’s eyes. I get to experience what it’s like to grow up as an American child, and to learn about traditions and a heritage that was foreign to me growing up in Italy.

Because I home-school, I’m fully immersed in my children’s learning patterns and vision of the world around them.

Recently, we focused on American history and have been gearing up for the Fourth of July, amidst the chaos of upcoming trips, the challenges of juggling their work, the house, which is the biggest casualty at the moment, and my own work.

I wanted to make sure that my children got the full Fourth of July experience, so we’ve been talking about it both in terms of what it means to the country and what they think it means to them personally.

It’s important to me that my daughters have memories of Independence Day not only in their school work but also personally.

Perhaps it’s because I didn’t grow up here, but I remember being fascinated by the Fourth of July and drawn to friends’ fond memories of going to Uncle Jo’s house for Independence day, watching the fireworks and spending time with family.

Now I get to actually experience what it’s like to be a child celebrating Independence Day with my offspring.

It’s not exactly a barbecue at an uncle’s home, instead of hot-dogs and burgers and a family gathering, we get my husband deployed and me, the Italian mom, who’ll probably cook pasta for the Fourth of July.