You can definitely tell when it's a presidential election year in the U.S. This year is no exception. With all the debates, campaign ads, and riled up posts on social media, one can't help but be exposed to the democratic government force from all sides. The question is does your young student understand everything going on?
If not, this year is a wonderful learning opportunity to explain how the practice of government works to your child, using real-life examples going on right now! Here are a few fun, at-home ideas for explaining government:
1. Watch (or re-watch) debates. Analyze responses and chart them in a graph for easy comparison. Discuss the influence debates do or don't have on the voting public.
2. Review the Electoral College process. Create a map (print or digital) and mark the influential populations and potential swing states. Make a listing of other major countries' voting systems.
3. Create posters of party candidates. Look up the definition of a two-party system and its history in America. Have your student write an essay on what third-party candidates are unsuccessful in U.S. Presidential elections.
4. Compare democracy versus a republic. Ask your student which the U.S. was intended to be. Make a list of all the main forms of government in the world today.
5. Review the U.S. Constitution and its privileges for voting. Create your own ideal voting ballets at home by examining ballot designs from various states.
6. Take your student to a political rally; candidate speech; or a meeting of local, city, or state government. Review the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including the freedoms of speech and press.
7. Do a mock election with family and friends using a free poll service. Discuss the importance of counting votes correctly. Report results online or with an email announcing the winner.
8. Take your student with you when you go voting. Document the visit with photos and make a picture collage together to share online.
How do you as a parent teach government to your student?