Free Lessons

The American Flag

On June 14th, 1777, the First Continental Congress passed an act that established an official flag for the United States of America. The flag had 13 stripes, one for each union (state). The stripes are red and white. It also had a blue rectangle in the top left corner with 13 stars in the shape of a circle. From 1777-1960 Congress passed several acts that made changes to the design of the American flag. The American flag has changed over time because new states entered the union. The American flag still has 13 horizontal stripes. There are seven red stripes and six white stripes. The red stripes and white stripes are alternating. The stripes still represent the 13 original colonies of the United States. Now, in the blue rectangle, there are 50 stars to represent the 50 states. The colors of the American flag are meaningful. The color red symbolizes hardiness and valor (bravery). The white symbolizes purity. The blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice. The American flag is referred to as “Old Glory.” In 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14th as Flag Day.

July 4th/Fourth of July/ “The Fourth”

The United States of America celebrates its independence from Great Britain (England) on July 4th.  Most Americans refer to Independence Day as “The Fourth of July” or “July 4th.” On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress (delegates from 13 colonies/states) voted in favor of independence from Great Britain (England). Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the delegates approved the final version of the Declaration of Independence. However, it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, but others contributed their ideas. In 1941, Independence Day (The Fourth of July) became a federal holiday. Americans celebrate the Fourth of July with a picnic, parade, barbeque, fireworks, etc.

A Moms Group/Mommy & Me Group

A Moms Group There are groups called a Moms Group and Mommy & Me Group where you can meet other moms.  Sometimes it is just moms that meet. Other groups are for moms and kids, the kids interact and the moms talk. These groups are typically for kids under age 5. The phrase “mommy and me” refers to when a mom and their child go somewhere with other moms and children and play together. The ME in “mommy and me” means the child. Many moms enjoy going to a moms groups because they need to meet other moms and have some time to socialize; having adult conversations about life, motherhood, etc. Often moms feel lonely and that they only talk about kid stuff. Mommy groups give moms a place to make friends and socialize. Most cities & towns have a moms group. The group may be hosted by a local organization, a church, and/or a person. You can “ask around” (ask people) about mom’s groups in your local area. Or, search on Google, “moms groups in (your town/city)”. Mom’s groups are usually free. Try the link below to find a local moms group. I have no affiliation (no connection) to the website/group If the website below doesn’t show options in your city/town. Search on Google, “moms groups in (your town/city)”.  

A New U.S. Citizenship Test Is Coming.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a goal of instating a new citizenship test by the end of 2024. The current test hasn’t been updated since 2008. USCIS wants the new test to match current educational standards. The new test has been designed, but USCIS is not using it yet. There are 3 parts to the citizenship test; reading, writing, and speaking. Let’s look at the test sections and what will change. Current Test New Test Reading Section: Each applicant has to read sentences to the examiner.   No changes Writing Section: The examiner asks each applicant to write up to 3 sentences. Applicants study a list of vocabulary words from USCIS.   No changes Speaking Section: The examiner asks the applicant questions from the information on the N-400 form. New Speaking Section: The examiner will show the applicant a picture of the weather, food, shopping, school, or other daily items. Then the examiner will ask what is happening in the pictures. The applicant must describe at least 1 thing in the picture to pass. U.S. Government & History Section: People taking the test must show knowledge of the U.S. government and history. Applicants are given a list of 100 possible questions. They will be asked 10 questions and must get 6 correct.     New U.S. Government & History Section: The U.S. history and government section will be multiple choice and the test will be on the computer. The test will continue to be 10 questions from the list of 100 questions. Applicants are still required to get at least 6 out of the 10 questions correct.   This information talks about USCIS’s proposed new test. The new test is not yet ready. USCIS could still make changes. This information is only here to inform you of…

It’s an Election Year

This year is an “election year”, meaning that there will be ordinary (regular) elections for local government. I’m sure many of you have started seeing things in the news after the election and candidates. From January until the first Tuesday of November (Election Day) the news outlets will be discussing something about the presidential election. In every presidential election, the Democrats and Republicans have one candidate that represents their party. Many people want to become president, but each party selects one candidate. Candidates are Selected Through Primaries and Caucuses People who want to become president announce their interest in becoming president. These people campaign by doing speeches and rallies in preparation for the primary election or caucus in each state. A primary election is when the party members vote for the best candidate to represent them in the general (presidential) election. In a caucus, political party members select the best candidate through a sequence of discussions and votes. Depending on the state where they live, citizens can vote in a primary or a caucus. You have to be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in a caucus or primary.   Preparing for the General Election After the primaries and caucuses, the Democrats and Republicans will each have one presidential candidate. Next, the presidential candidate needs to select a “running mate,” the person who will run (compete) with them for the vice president position. The presidential and vice-presidential candidates run together.   The General Election (The Presidential Election) Citizens do not directly vote for the president. In the U.S., there is a system called the Electoral College. In the Electoral College, each state gets a number of electors based on its representation in Congress. Each elector casts one vote (their vote for the presidential candidate). The presidential candidate that gets…

The Y (YMCA)

Have you ever heard the song YMCA by the Village People? Ask your parents and grandparents. The song and dance moves to the YMCA song are very famous in the U.S. The song is about an organization in the U.S. called the YMCA. The YMCA has been long for a very long time and many communities have a YMCA. Currently, like always, the YMCA is a place where people pay a membership and get to enjoy services like a gym, pool, swim lessons, classes, and summer camps for children. The YMCA offers things for everyone. People call the YMCA, “The Y”. Example: He takes swimming classes at The Y two days a week. Please listen to the song and also check out the YMCA website. Visit and click Find Your Y

Christmas Break for Students in Grades K-12th

In the U.S. students have a Christmas break/vacation. Most commonly, students have half a day of school on December 23rd. The next day; December 24th (Christmas Eve) there is NO SCHOOL. December 25th is Christmas and there is NO SCHOOL and most places are closed. Schools remain closed, for students and teachers, between Christmas and New Year’s Day (January 26th-January 1st). Students usually return to school on January 2nd.

Thanksgiving Idioms:

I’m stuffed When a person says, “I’m stuffed” it means they are full and don’t want to eat anymore. Examples: After eating a big Thanksgiving dinner, everyone is stuffed. So, we wait for 1-2 hours to have dessert. After eating Thanksgiving dinner, everyone is stuffed. So, we go window shopping to walk around and feel less stuffed.   Extra info.: A teddy bear is a stuffed animal. She is stuffing everything into her suitcase.   Eat like a bird When a person eats like a bird, they eat very little. Examples: Mike is a big guy, but he eats like a bird. Often, elderly people eat like a bird.   To go cold turkey When a person goes cold turkey, that means they quit a bad habit and suffer from the beginning. This is often used to talk about people who stop smoking cigarettes or using drugs. Examples: He tried to quit smoking cold turkey, but he couldn’t do it. She successfully quit smoking by going cold turkey but it was very tough. Some people try to stop vaping by going cold turkey.   Count your blessings To count your blessings means to be grateful for the good things in your life. Examples: This Thanksgiving we should count our blessings. Count your blessings because there are many people that don’t have what we have.  


Before we talk about Thanksgiving, let’s look at the history of the first people in the U.S. and this will lead to understanding Thanksgiving. The First People in the U.S. The first people to inhabit (live in) the land that is now the United States of America were American Indians/Native Americans/First Peoples. The Native American Indians first came to the land of the U.S. thousands of years ago. In 1492, Christopher Columbus accidentally sailed to the Americas. Columbus was an Italian explorer. He was trying to find the western route or direction from Spain to India. Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the Americas. In 1560, a Spanish colony (group of people who lived in a new place) was founded (established) in Florida; people from Spain settled (lived) in Florida. In 1607, an English colony was founded in Jamestown, Virginia. In 1620, a group of about 100 people from England, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The group of people was called the Pilgrims, and their boat was called the Mayflower. They were planning to go to Virginia but landed in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims were fleeing (escaping) religious persecution. Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday that celebrates and remembers the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. The Pilgrims were a group of about 100 people that left England because of religious persecution. The Pilgrims sailed to the New World (United States of America) in their boat called the Mayflower. They planned to go to Virginia, but they went off course and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Pilgrims were starving and did not know how to grow food in the new land. A group of Native American Indians called the Wampanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow food. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held (had) a three-day feast…

A Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior

The words/terms freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior are words that tell you what grade in high school and/or year in college a student is in. There is a name for high school students for each grade they are in. When a student is in the 9th grade, they are called a freshman.  Example: You can say, “I’m in 9th grade.” Or “I’m a freshman” When a student is in the 10th grade, they are called a sophomore. When a student is in the 11th grade, they are called a junior. When a student is in the 12th grade, they are called a senior. There is a name for college students for each year they are in. A student in their first year of college is called a freshman. A student in their second year of college is called a sophomore. A student in their third year of college is called a junior. A student in their fourth year of college is called a senior.