From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/4/2011 9:36:04 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--U.S. Government and Civics

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
August 2011 -- U.S. Government and Civics

---[ College Credit for High School Students ]------------------------

Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy offers AP courses with a
Christian worldview. HSLDA members receive a large discount. View
the PHC Prep course lineup today!


We the People - Importance of U.S. Government and Civic Courses

Dear Friends,

Can you believe we have turned the corner and summer is winding down?
It's almost time to dust off the books and set up the desks.

This may be the year you're planning to teach U.S. government and the
Constitution or to simply entice your child with a civics course. What
a privilege you have to stir the hearts and minds of your children to
appreciate anew the freedoms and liberties embedded in the founding
documents of our country. In spite of all the troubles and problems
our nation is facing, your children may one day have the awesome
opportunity to lead this country into better times, and we're counting
on them!

Let's look at ways you can take what often sounds like a "dry" subject
and make it come alive.


Defining terms is important. Civics, according to Wikipedia, is the
study of the rights and duties of citizenship. This course covers the
citizen's role in government. It will often compare and contrast
different philosophies and forms of government. Many times a civics
course will also include a study of the founding documents and the
structure of our government.

A U.S. government course, on the other hand, often focuses on federal,
state, and local government and studies the U.S. Constitution in


One of the reasons U.S. history or civics is often taught prior to
U.S. government is the necessity of knowing what events took place to
launch America as a country and the resulting need for governance of
our country. Even though in a history course students are taught the
rudiments of the form of government chosen for America, a government
course probes deeper into the political systems, elections, branches
of government, and foreign policy. Better understanding results in
productive citizens who will participate in the process.

Another way to prepare to delve into government and the Constitution
is taking time to look at what the Bible says about our participation,
duties, and responsibilities to those in authority. This will provide
the lens through which to evaluate our system versus other forms of

Now you are ready to choose curriculum and resources and jump in! To
help you get started you may want to consider some of the offerings
for government ,
constitutional law, and civics
courses from a variety of


The more your teen is practically involved in the course, the more fun
it'll become. For example, when you are studying government at the
local level, suggest that your teen write one of the officials about
something in the community he recognizes that needs changing or
improving. Maybe a stop sign ought to be installed at an intersection
near your home to increase safety.

Take time to participate in local political campaigns and elections.
The relationships forged may be helpful to your teen in the future. If
you're not sure how to get involved, ask our Generation Joshua, , team. They will
enthusiastically connect your teens to others in your area as well as
provide activities to consider.

Field trips can be an essential part of a government or civics course.
Again, on the local level, consider attending a town hall or city
council meeting. Maybe a tour of your state capitol will give your
teen a visual of government in action. Of course, the ultimate field
trip to consider is a visit to Washington, D.C. HSLDA's Federal
Relations Department compiled a list of sights to help you, . (One word of advice: it'll
mean more to your teens if they understand the different branches of
government prior to the visit.)

While studying the events leading up to the formation of our
government, supplement your curriculum with biographies of the
Founding Fathers or speeches written by them. One such resource you
may enjoy is For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer. Your teen could research the
origin of the Liberty Bell or why Philadelphia was chosen for the
Constitutional Conventions. Another idea could be to use works of art
created during the different time periods to visualize occurrences.
Movies can also help your student to imagine the scope of what was
happening. For example, Z-Guides to the Movies offers a study guide
for Johnny Tremain .

You might decide to teach American government the spring semester of
the school year. Then if your teen plans to participate in one of
GenJ's summer camps Patrick Henry Teen
Leadership Camps, they'll be better prepared to be involved in the
governing process in a memorable way. Doesn't this just make you
want to experience this subject again?!

Enjoy these final days of summer, taking time to become refreshed.
We'll see you in September as we talk about homeschooling and the
daily interaction with family.

Thankfully celebrating our freedoms,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants

Quote of the Month

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like
fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment
should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington

Contests/competitions to supplement Government/Civics courses:

Congressional Medals
Benjamin Rush Awards

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Being an American

HSLDA High School Teacher Training Sessions - Purcellville, VA - Join
Becky and Diane as they present High School at Home: The Basics and
High School at Home: The Next Step. Registration is now open

September 9-10, 2011 - H.O.M.E., Greenville, NC (Becky)

September 17, 2011 - HSLDA High School at Home: The Basics (Becky)
Purcellville, VA

September 19, 2011 - CHEACC, Naples, FL (Becky)

October 1, 2011 - GRHE, Roanoke, VA (Becky & Diane)

October 17, 2011 - SAIL, Winchester, VA (Diane)

October 21, 2011 - MAP Your Future, Indianapolis, IN (Diane)

October 29, 2011 - High School at Home: The Next Step (Diane)
Purcellville, VA

November 10, 2011 - PEACH, Xenia, OH (Becky)

-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your

We live in a world where concise information presented at the
right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
legislative efforts. Yet it's tough to keep up with all the
issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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