What a crazy year!
That statement is the understatement of the decade, isn’t it?
I hope that this blog post finds you doing well in the midst of what may be one of the craziest seasons of our generation.
With so much going on politically right now, you may be wondering how to begin to broach the topic of Civics with your kids or how to approach it with kids of various ages. Have faith (and a pen😉). I think I’ve found the answer- or at least a great launching point to not only help you not only incorporate American politics into your homeschooling plans but how to make it really come alive.
If you’ve never heard of it- there is a fantastic (and when I say fantastic- I mean yeah- it’s pretty incredible) cartoon series called Liberty’s Kids. And it’s all about the American Revolution.
I was so impressed by this series- I found myself secretly wishing my American history classes had consisted of weekly viewing parties instead of the dusty, dry textbooks I sat through as a kid- I might have liked history more instead if of trudging my way through it. But I digress. . .
My kids loved this series! They begged to watch it – I promise! And might I add, that the creators approached the American Revolution from multiple viewpoints (sometimes opposing) to help viewers appreciate the complexity of what the people of the day may have experienced. They definitely didn’t shy away from the tough issues.
But this series was just the jumping off point for our kids-from here we expanded into reading Who Was George Washington and the Rush Revere series by Rush Limbaugh
And now we’ve created something resembling a political monster, which I was slightly proud to witness at 3:45 this morning as I drove my 11 year old up north to go deer hunting with his grandpa. The two of us spent the entire 45 minute drive discussing politics- no lie. And he initiated the entire conversation.
If I’m going into an intellectual debate in socio-political issues before dawn and without coffee in hand- it won’t be by choice – um no thank you. But this morning left me proud albeit a bit groggy and wishing Caribou Coffee would adjust their wee morning hours during hunting season.
The beauty is- it wasn’t difficult to get our kids interested and more importantly aware of what is happening in the political world. My eight and nine year old daughters, although it doesn’t appear that they are following in the footsteps of their Ben Shapiroesque brother are fully capable of naming the candidates in the 2020 presidential race, what their stances are and the vast importance of our right to vote.
As for our soon to be 1 year old, he also has expressed an interest in politics. Mostly in the form of patriotism😉
Teaching Civics doesn’t have to be complicated – there is a lot to learn, don’t get me wrong, but if you start by cultivating the interest and emphasizing the importance there isn’t far to go for learning to become natural. Couple some of the fun resources listed above with deep conversations on the subject and you might find that you too have a budding political commentator on your hands as well.