Introducing Civics In Your Homeschool

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.

Be Blessed,


Be Heard

Be Heard

I’m working on a short story.

Wanna hear it?

Okay, here goes. . .

Once upon a time, maybe a month or so ago, in a location far, far – okay maybe not that far away, a person said something to Joyce.

The something that was said made Joyce really mad.

Joyce was so mad she could spit fireballs and smoke was coming out of her ears.

Joyce knew she was right.

Joyce wanted the world to know she was right.

She prayed for direction (and maybe some sweet vindication).

She desperately wanted to be heard.

She NEEDED to be heard.

Joyce realized regardless of who was right, the bigger issue was that her love was growing colder by the minute.

Joyce felt really sorry and realized she had no control over the other person, but that she could always control her own reaction.  So she did speak, but she spoke in a way that gave her opinion without trashing the other person’s.

And they all lived happily ever after.



Okay, so maybe not so much short story and more just life in motion, but a true story nonetheless.


There is a lot going on in the world right now. . .


Take politics.

Were you team Hilary or team Trump?

Wait,did I go there too soon?


Okay, how about civics.

Where do you stand on the debate regarding law enforcement and race?


Global Events?

What is your stance on how terrorism should be dealt with?


If you’re breathing, you probably have an opinion on each one of these matters, with compelling reasons for why your opinions are the right ones.


These are all important issues.

Issues that affect communities and nations.

Issues that need to be talked about.

Issues that need to come out into the light.


I agree.


We need to be heard.  But our need to be right cannot override our love for people.


But Joyce, you say, these are really important issues.


Yeah.  Yeah, they are.  The future of our country, the upholding of justice, and human lives are all really important.


But what if in all of our arguing and trying to be heard, we are slowing tearing one another down?


And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other. . . . For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

Matthew 24:10 & 12 


What if we gave people the freedom to make their own choice without the name-calling and volunteering to help them pack for the long trip to Canada.


My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. 

1 John 4:7 (The Message)


Easier said than done, huh?


How the heck do we speak up when the world has gone mad, and when we want to be heard?


I always find that coffee helps.

I mean, who are we kidding.

Coffee pretty much fixes everything.


Drink coffee.

With people.

Surround yourself with the reminder that God loves people.

And once upon time, you and I did too.


And you pray.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 

Philippians 4:6 (The Message)


And trust God.

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:7 (The Message)


Does that mean we shouldn’t talk about these things?




If it’s stealing your love for people, it’s not worth it.


I thought the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob debate was crazy but Team Trump/Team Hillary wins hands down.  I gotta be honest, I’ve really struggled with this, the last few months.  Holding my convictions in my hands without losing the love in my heart for people.

And funnily enough, it was Twitter that convicted me.

Yeah right Joyce.

No really – I promise.


Bill Johnson tweeted this: “This election is the most bizarre in my lifetime, yet it’s not confusing.  The spirit of offense is robbing people of their ability to discern.  Pray for wisdom, without the accusations.  For wisdom, seeing from God’s perspective, is really all that matters.”


Bill Johnson.




The man even tweets revelation.


So, you’ve made it all the way through this blog and here’s what I hope you take away from it today:


Your voice DOES still matter, and it’s okay to be excited if you were a part of Team Trump.


And it is just as okay to be disappointed and angry if you were Team Hillary.


And it’s okay if you voted third party and are disenfranchised with politics altogether.

I’m not here to tell you how to feel.


But the fact that you feel something means you cared.


So. . . take all the time you need to process this election, and remember that God works all things together for the good of those who love him.


He’s got this.

And he’s got you.



Photo Credit: “Cafe” by Unsplash permissions through C.C. by 2.0