A solid understanding of the history of the U.S. Government, its procedures, and our rights and responsibilities as citizens is of utmost importance in the education of any resident of the United States. As homeschooling parents, we should always be sure to teach American Government thoroughly and with great care.
We’re raising the next generation who will go forth in this world to either uphold the framework of this country or dismantle it. As homeschoolers, we’re usually pretty good about teaching history…and that’s a wonderful thing! People who have a good grasp of history are less likely to repeat the bad parts.
We need to be sure that alongside a thorough training in history is a thorough training in the processes of the U.S. Government as early as middle school, but definitely by high school. Luckily, there are so many great resources out there to help you make it easy!
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U.S. Government Unit Study
Using a lapbook with middle school students seems like an oxymoron, but we absolutely loved the United States Government Lapbook for 7-12th Grades from Knowledge Box Central. It was a great refresher for me and a thorough way to teach my children about the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government, the Constitution, the design and procedures of our government, and the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens.
If you aren’t familiar with lapbooks, they are ready-made unit studies that require your children to make mini-booklets to share their understanding of particular topics within the study.
Not all kids appreciate the cutting and folding that goes into making each booklet, but it’s a great way to get in some sneaky writing. Lapbooks can also provide a nice change of pace from textbooks or other typical studies.
U.S. Government Extras for Middle School
There are a couple of companion studies for middle school students could take a study of the government a bit farther and deeper. First, consider including a time for your children to research some or all of the presidents – especially those that played significant roles in upholding or changing the government.
Additionally, consider a study of all the states – or some that were important during certain events that you would like to highlight in your government studies.
These printable notebooking pages can help keep your students focused in either case.
American Government High School Curriculum
I’m not a huge fan of textbook curriculum. But, my very favorite way to teach U.S. Government in high school is Abeka’s American Government in Christian Perspective. It can be completed in a single semester and provides a thorough understanding that doesn’t go over the heads of teens.
Real-Life Government Experiences
I would also encourage you to enjoy some real-life government experiences! Depending on the age appropriateness of your children, consider any of the following activities.
- Call a local judge to get permission to sit in on court proceedings one day.
- Visit a town hall meeting.
- Help on a local campaign committee.
- Visit your state capitol.
- Call your state senator or representative and ask if you can be a page during their legislative session.
- Take a trip to Washington, D.C.
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