Knowing Dr. Martin Luther King's name is not enough.
A national holiday giving the kids the day off from school is all that some kids know about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
The plight of the Civil Rights Movement is even further removed from some of our children, especially those younger in age.
The nature and events of all that led up to the movement can be a deterrent for some parents to discuss the significance of Dr. King's work, and, ultimately, life.
Explaining slavery, segregation, racism and unequal rights is by no means an easy task, especially when it comes to your innocent, unassuming, child.
The importance, however, of educating our kids is paramount when it comes to our history as a nation.
While we, as parents, work so hard to create an ideal world, or bubble, in some cases, for our kids to live in, we cannot shy away from arming them with the truth and highlight those that have given their lives to make our nation a better place.
Such is the case with teaching our children about Dr. King. We have a responsibility to teach our children about the good, and, at times, the bad that has made the United States of America what it is today.
Age appropriate conversations are, of course, the perfect starting point. Luckily, enough schools already have laid the groundwork for the discussion parents should follow up on.
After speaking with my own kids about what they have learned about Dr. King, in school, this past week, I was not surprised to find that the key takeaway about Dr. King was that "he made a famous speech."
But he did so much more than just make a famous speech and our children deserve to know what can come from perseverance and standing up for what is right and just.
Kidz World has posted a Civil Rights Movement Timeline, which not only highlights Dr. King's role within the movement, but a number of other noteworthy figures as well as historically significant laws and amendments along the way.
Spanning from Vermont being the first state to abolish slavery in 1777 to President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, the timeline is a quick read of historical facts that kids can appreciate and, more importantly, should know.
For those a little older, reading Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and watching clips on interesting unknown facts about him, both of which are posted on ABC News, may prove to enhance the learning experience you are providing.