No matter if you are studying government because your state requires it or because you feel it is important for your children to know, kids are not always as excited about government as other subjects. The study of government can be very dry and boring to students.
I have been searching for the last few years to find a way to teach my children government that keeps them interested and engaged as I feel not only is the study of our government important but I personally find it fascinating (but I am the #1 nerd in our family.)
First off I found this The Everything American Government Book to use as our government text. This book is filled with everything from the Constitution to present-day elections. It is written in a way that is easy to follow with lots of extra info. I highly recommend it if you don’t already have a government text. We read a chapter a week and discuss how the topics covered that week apply to life today. I also assign a writing assignment that correlates with each chapter. Ambleside online has a reading schedule here you can print out and follow to get the book done in one yr.
After each government reading we play a quick game of Timeline American History Game and Timeline – Americana combined together. This game gives the kids a visual of when things have occurred. It also primes them for upcoming things we will be learning more about later. (side note the entire Timeline series by Asmodee is a great history tool to keep kids engaged and keep learning fun.)
Another (and my kids favorite part) thing we do once a week is play We the People Fight Tyranny Game. This game is a riot, and I love that we are all learning as we have fun. It has prompted my kids to start saving, give to charity more, and question some laws to say the least. My personal view is every family in America should own and play this game.
I also have the complete Standard Deviants School – American Government DVDs that we watch to reinforce what we are learning. These are very fast passed so the kids get a lot of information in a very short time, but also don’t have time to get board before they are over.
Your family may already have a government curriculum but adding one or more of these great tools will surly help keep the kiddos engaged and having fun learning a subject that many dread. I know for me using these tools has helped to take a lot of stress off of me in teaching my kids how our government works and how it all came about because I was not looking forward to teaching in the way I was taught. (so very boring)
We love to learn playing games as you can tell. What are some fun educational games your family has found helpful I’d love to hear about them.