That's right Mr. O'Reilly Factor, we're finding Lincoln, and you've got nothing on Adelae! It's true, President's Day (February 20) sits squarely in the Earthly Kingdom and you won't find it on the church calendar. Still, teaching my wee ones about our American history is important too.
One way I've enjoyed introducing my children to some of the presidents is through coins. Especially when those big red kettles are out around Christmastime, each coin dropped comes with a mini history, math and care-for-our-neighbor lesson.
In preparing for President's Day, and Lincoln's Birthday this weekend, I began thinking about the dusting game the little girls played in the book All In a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. I loved this book when I was little and I'm sure Adelae will love it too, so I've got to dig it up - certainly it's still around somewhere!
As I remember the book, the mother hides buttons in her parlor and the girls find them as they dust. If they dust well enough, they'll find all of the buttons! Switch the game up with pennies and you've got a game of Finding Lincoln and a clean house all at the same time!
Adelae is four. She has several jobs around the house, including putting away the silverware, making her bed, setting the table for dinner - property with the fork on the left, as well as keeping her toys picked up throughout the day. Also, she just reminded me, Adelae helps fold clothes by taking charge of all the washcloths and sock matching. And, she also reminded me that she's an expert onion and garlic peeler! Keeping up a house has to be something we work together to accomplish. It's our home, so it's our work!
This game was a fun way to introduce Adelae to dusting. Teaching a child to dust is sort of like teaching them to brush their teeth. It takes a lot of guidance and practice to make sure they don't miss a spot. I hid 16 pennies throughout the house. Why 16? Old Abe Lincoln was our sixteenth president! I tried to make some easy to find, while others hid in places where she'd really have to find the unexpected dust traps.
It's a good thing I didn't hide quarters. Even though I hid the coins myself and shadowed my little duster, teaching her along the way, we still couldn't find one of the pennies for a long time. It was on the second tier of the window sill.
Now Little Miss Adelae can dust. She also knows Lincoln was our sixteenth president and he is on the penny. We haven't had an in depth conversation about our Civil War President - Yes, I'm a Yankee living in the South - but I guess we can save that for later in the month - maybe while we play with our "new to us" Lincoln Logs set!
It there a faith connection here? I think so, and it's a good one. When we pray for daily bread in the Lord's Prayer, we're taught that daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, including devout and faithful rulers and good government. Believe me, I'm keeping this prayer in my heart this election cycle! Also note the Fourth Commandment. We are called to honor our father and mother, but also those in authority over us, even those in the government. We are called to honor, serve, obey, and respect our authorities, including the president, as God's representatives. This is harder, much harder. In turn both sides have been beyond disrespectful, myself included. Please keep our country and President Obama in your prayers as you celebrate President's Day this year.