Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15, 2024

image from http://seattletimes.comToday we celebrate a great man – Martin Luther King Jr.  It has been over 50 years since his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, but his inspiring words live on today.

It’s easy to think that the world has always been as it is now, but only a short time ago, there were still people in our country who weren’t truly free. Martin Luther King Jr. worked hard to change things for the better.  We can take the time today to reflect on the work that we still need to do to reach racial equality.

Today, you can do a few things to teach your children about this amazing and inspiring man. A mini-unit study, if you will.

Learn about the Civil Rights era in American History:

This Crash Course video is a great place to start:

You can read a picture book biography:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was…?)

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The Speech

You can watch is “I Have a Dream” speech:

You can change up your regular copywork routine with some of King’s inspiring quotes:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

You can take his inspiring ideas and go out into your community to do good:

King said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” So go out and do acts of kindness – help at your local soup kitchen, read to an elderly friend at your local nursing home, bake cookies for a new neighbor, donate food to your local food bank. Just get out there and serve your community in any way you can!

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” How will you answer that question today?

This is not a one-day exercise. Strive to incorporate these teachings into your everyday routine and way of life.

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to Justice, Peace and Brotherhood.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.   (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)


Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.

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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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