Summer Fun: Journey Across America

My kitchen has been transformed. It is now covered with posters about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A big map of the United States covers the picture window. Big USA letters hang in the window. No, we're not celebrating the Fourth of July early, we're setting out on a Journey Across America.

Today is one of my favorite days of the summer. It's the day we kick off our summer-long learning experience. My girls go to public school, and last summer I decided that we were going to spend our summer learning about some things that have been forgotten in the elementary school curriculum -- things like geography, pride in being an American and serving others. Last summer, we went on a trip around the world where we learned about five different countries and the missionaries who served there. We learned about what makes other countries different from the United States and how lucky we are to live in a country where we have plenty to eat, where we can go to school and where no one can tell us we can't believe in Jesus. We finished the summer with our own version of The Amazing Race.

In January, my girls and the four friends we included last summer started asking me what we were going to do this summer. Today, they find out the answer. Instead of going around the world, we're going to take a trip across the country. By the end of the summer, we will have "visited" eight states and every region of the U.S. I've taken the state mottos and created a Bible-based lesson around them.

Every Wednesday that we meet, I plan to blog about our lesson for the day. While this blog is mostly about things that you can do in a few minutes a day, this is something that takes planning and time, but the experience is so worth the effort.

Today, we're going to visit New Hampshire. New Hampshire's motto is Live Free or Die. We're going to learn about how the early New Hampshirites (did you know that's what people who live in New Hampshire are called?) lived out that motto. We're also going to learn about Galatians 5:1: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. We're going to talk about how Christ came so we could be free from sin -- not so that He could set up a whole bunch of rules that we have to follow to have a relationship with Him.

The girls will all get matching shirts and hats and will get to decorate their travel bags. Each girl gets a travel journal in which to keep track of our journey. We're going to make maple syrup muffins, learn about Mt. Washington and build some ships.

We're also going to be collecting books for the Urban Scholastic Center as a way to live out what we're learning. So, if you want to donate some books, we'll gladly take them.

This summer, I plan to hear lots of giggles mixed with some Biblical truth coming out of  my kitchen. I hope you'll find a way to incorporate some of that into your summer, as well.