Labor Day—it’s the holiday we associate with back to school sales, cookouts, and a day off of work. But why do we even celebrate Labor Day? There’s such a rich history behind the holiday that most Americans don’t even know.
Want to shake up your regular curriculum and inject some fun and learning into your homeschool this Labor Day? Here are three activities that will enrich your entire family.
1. Read a Presidential Address from the Past
Presidents give speeches on Labor Day. Their speeches help us understand what was going on with American workers at various moments in history. Plus, they are fun to read aloud together as a family.
We at Silverdale Press love to help your homeschool family use primary sources. Presidential addresses are some of the best primary sources around.
Our newsletter subscribers received a free document analysis guide on Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 Labor Day speech. Want primary sources like this one emailed right to you? Sign up for our newsletter.
2. Learn Facts about American Workers Today
Labor Day honors the American worker. But who are workers? How many teens work? Are unions still important? How many workers are self-employed? What issues face American workers today?
Spend some time looking at the charts and graphs about American workers on the Pew Research Center’s Website. (This is great practice for critical and logical thinking). You are guaranteed to learn some fascinating facts!
3. Write to Your Member of Congress
At the first official Labor Day parade in Chicago, Representative Lawrence McGann declared, “Let us, each Labor Day, hold a congress and formulate propositions for the amelioration of the people. Send them to your representatives with your earnest, intelligent, endorsement, and the laws will be changed.”
Now that you’ve explored facts about American workers, write to your representative and tell him or her what labor laws need to be changed. From retirement savings to the minimum wage, teen labor to workplace safety, there are many important issues facing American workers.
So, are you ready to take a break from your regular curriculum or open your kids' eyes to a slice of history they do not know? Try our White House Holidays: Labor Day Unit Study. You will learn so much about the history of American labor, through the unique lens of the presidency!