For years the United States Bill of Rights has been taught in schools all over the country. But this is something that you should not just leave to the teachers, but as a parents you should be eager to teach your child all you can about the Bill of Rights. So where do you begin. To start with you will want to explain why the United States needed a Bill of Rights in the first place. Especially since the United States already had a very strong Constitution.
The Constitution itself lacked a guarantee of individual rights. At that time most Americans feared that the tyranny of an intrusive national government would usurp individual liberties, especially religious liberty. According to a historian by the name of Charles Warren: “Men on all sides contended that, while the first object of a constitution was to establish a government, its second object, equally important, must be to protect the people against the government.”
Various states however, did have a limited bill of rights. But in most states the deprivation of liberties was very common. Many minority groups and religious groups were persecuted. You will also want to point out to your children that on December 15,1971 there were ten amendments or modifications made to the original constitution. The very first part of the Amendment it about freedom or religion, and freedom of speech. The first Amendment prevents Congress from limiting these freedoms. By going over this history with your children you can give them a head start in school. This can be a very difficult topic for your children to understand.
You will also want to explain to them that the Supreme Court of the United States most important principles have been adapted to various crises of human affairs. The courts has actually defined the freedoms on which the government must not encroach. Freedom of Speech however had a very historical development. Sometimes freedom of speech has been viewed as a privilege to be enjoyed. During many periods in history civil rights granted by governments were often altered or withdrawn. This of course led to the continued struggles for freedom of speech.
Not only is it important that your children know all the facts behind the Bill of Rights, but they need to understand the history behind it. You would be surprised at what many schools leave out. There are also many websites that offer information for kids such as www.constitutioncenter.org. They have a lot of educational resources for you and your children. Most school curriculum’s focus on certain key years and dates, but leave out some other very important details. Unfortunately you will not find out what you don’t know until you are faced with a problem as an adult.
Don’t just read information from a book, take your children to historical sites and let them actually see where these things took place. There are a lot of places that have historical sites that relate to the Bill of Rights. Not only would this be a fun way to spend time with your family, but it will be very educational as well. Also by seeing something first hand it will help your children to remember. So the key point of this article is to take the time and give your children a little bit of insight into history.