Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. Traditions

Like most of you I have tried to teach my children about Dr Martin Luther King Jr. When Gandalf was a young boy we got this book.

It was a cute simple book that taught we about Martin Luther King Jr. And we were able to read throughout the year at story time. But as they have gotten older we have tried to have more in depth talks about the importance of treating everyone with kindness. The importance of remembering that we are all spirit brothers and sisters. 

I am so thankful that schools have added to these lessons at home. Last week we were reading the book Amelia to Zora: 26 Women who Changed the World when Draco told me Rosa Parks should be on the "R" page. He then went on to tell me all about her and her story. Including great facial expressions to show his shock that such things really happened. I am sure he thought I didn't know any of this. I love that my children are learning about great leaders while at school.

But as my children have gotten older I have wanted to do even more at home for this holiday. If we get to enjoy a day off from school we should set aside time to learn why. Last year my girlfriend Edie who has older children and a heart of gold let me borrow a book that was perfect for my grade school children.( In addition to being a great friend she is also an awesome wife and mother and writes for the city of Newport Beach. You can read her latest article here. I am always edified when I read what she writes)  It was a perfect book. The illustrations were wonderful and my children were able to get a better understanding of Martin Luther King's story. And I found this printable from Pinterest. (I now follow her on Facebook and love her blog 30 Handmade Days. You should check her out.) Her printable helped my kids to have an outlet to reflect on Dr. King's dream and to have some of their own. Side note: some of their dreams were quite simple and not at all related to Martin Luther King's. But baby steps. 

Check out this great book. Link above.

But when we went to the library last  week all the books on Dr. King were checked out. Clearly we need to invest in some new books for our family library. Sunday night my husband found a You Tube video that we watched and talked about as a family.

This morning we gathered after breakfast to listen to Dr King's full speech (Find it here) and fill out our printable for this year. (I did have to tell my children to leave their Nerf guns and swords (sword of the Spirit) on the stairs because maybe we should keep our weapons out of our reach while we listen to a speech on peace.) It was a great experience to read the speech out loud as a family. I then asked my kids to tell me what parts stood out to them.

Gandalf liked the part about every mole hill ringing out "Let freedom Ring" because that meant even the small parts and things wanted freedom. 

Draco liked the part at the end "Free at Last" from the song. We then looked up the great Negro Spiritual "Free at Last!" so we could better understand the song. I have been wanting to make a playlist of Negro Spirituals for my heart loves them so. I love when my husband sings them for choir. When Yoda was 3 he would sing "Hole in that rock" all the time and I loved it.  This new playlist will be perfect for Sundays. 

Yoda replied "What Gandalf said". His young mind had a hard time understanding what we were taking about. 

Baby Girl coloring like her brothers
Draco filling out his printable

This will become our new tradition. And make a perfect family night. Reading his speech and talking as a family. Of course I cried. And it's a perfect time to share our testimony that we are all spirit brothers and sisters. The perfect time to discuss Christlike characteristics that Dr. King had and that we should all strive towards. I am so thankful for Dr. King's courage. His courage to stand up for what is right. And his courage to take the higher road and rise above hate and bitterness. To have the pure love of Christ. 

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