The Home School Court Report
No. 4

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Constitution Day 2006

Where did our Constitution come from? Why was it written? What does it mean? And why has America been under the same piece of paper for over 200 years?

To help answer these questions, Generation Joshua (GenJ) will be commemorating Constitution Day (celebrated this year on September 18, 2006) with a special event designed to encourage youth to become better acquainted with the Constitution. Homeschooled youth ages 11-19 in the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey area are invited. A $15 registration fee includes lunch (and GenJ membership if the registrant is not already a member.)

Every member
of the State ought
diligently to read
and study
the constitution
— John Jay

Generation Joshua’s day-long celebration of the Constitution, held at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, will revolve around a reenactment of the Constitutional Convention, which took place in the late spring and summer of 1787 in Philadelphia.

James Madison’s notes from the Convention will be turned into scripts, allowing young people to reenact the debates, taking on the roles of Edmund Randolph (the governor of Virginia and the delegate who proposed the Virginia Plan), James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and other delegates. Key happenings at the Convention, such as the Great Compromise and the slave debates, will come to life, culminating in 39 of the delegates signing the United States Constitution.

Generation Joshua Director Ned Ryun will prepare the students for the dramatic reliving of the Convention by providing historical background on why a new form of government was needed, why the Articles of Confederation were a failure, and who attended the Convention as delegates. Ryun will also provide context before each debate script is read, answering questions such as why the Virginia Plan was considered so radical, how the Founders dealt with the issue of slavery, and why Edmund Randolph become such a strong supporter of the Constitution he at first refused to sign.

At the end of the day, students will have gained a working knowledge of the key figures in the debates and the ideas the delegates wrestled with as they explored how to make 13 states work as a federal republic.

Once students understand the Founders’ vision for America, they will better grasp why the Constitution was written the way it was, and how it was meant to operate today. &;ldquo;Every member of the State ought diligently to read and study the constitution of his country,” said John Jay, coauthor of the Federalist Papers and first chief justice of the Supreme Court. “By knowing their rights, [citizens] will sooner perceive when they are violated and be better prepared to defend and assert them.”

Come participate in history. Be a part of GenJ's celebration of Constitution Day 2006!