Be sure to check out all of the other posts in the How To Homeschool For Free series too!
Everywhere you look these days, there is someone talking or writing about the government. My children have gathered a little understanding of it since their father has been involved in local elections, but I think they could use a refresher on some things. This week’s list of links will hopefully provide avenues to answer questions your children might have about our government and the Presidential election process that will take place over the next year.
Ben’s Guide to Government for Kids provides information and activities designed for educators, parents, and students in K-12 to help teach about our government and how it works. It is an educational site put on by the Government Printing Office, named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. You can also download a free activity book for lessons and fun activities.
Get everything you need from Homeschool Share for making a nice-looking, informative lapbook about Elections. You get nice printables of the Electoral College map, information on how to register, etc… very nice!
The Constitution for Kids gives a brief explanation of how the Constitution is the framing document of our country. There are 3 different levels of information and activities: ages K-3, ages 4-7, and ages 8-12. While this website is lacking in bells and whistles, I found it to have very pertinent links for a student who is doing serious study of the Constitution and why it matters to each and every American.
Kids in the House is designed to give children an idea of what the Legislative Branch of government is all about. There is also a section of teaching resources for your lessons. It’s not quite as entertaining as School House Rock, but you could always add that on a rainy day!
Congress for Kids has info on all parts of the Federal Government. “Congress for Kids gives you access to interactive, fun-filled experiences designed to help you learn about the foundation of our federal government and how its actions affect you.” For my family, this site could easily be a semester’s worth (or more!) of lessons just by itself.
The Oklahoma Homeschool website has several unit study plans available to homeschool families. One of them is a 12-week study of American Government. The President & Elections lesson plan lists the current president as George Bush, so you will want to change that part of the lesson plan to make it accurate and current. There are many, many ideas you can use from the lesson pages as independent lessons if you don’t want to make a unit study of this topic. This is a very well-thought-out unit by Cindy Downes.
Visit National Mock Election and see the vast collection of information on the voting process, why it matters to the future of our country, and how to get involved. A mock election is held and you are one of the candidates! There is an interactive game, The Road to the Capitol, that even I enjoyed playing. I would say that it’s for upper elementary grades, but there’s nothing stopping you from playing along with your younger students in a campaign against Roberta Glass. “Wealthy businesswoman, Roberta Glass, has a heart of stone. She is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress, so she can keep kids away from movies, music, books, and video games that aren’t “approved” by the government.”
If your kids are like my kids, they will LOVE the kids pages by the CIA. What better way to get kids to practice analytical skills and memory/concentration than with a game! I have to admit that I really like these kind of games. Break the Code is really fun, even for me! I have been known to leave my kids notes in a secret code, just for a little excitement. Try it!