Have you hit the point in the school year when planning for next year is more fun that finishing the current one? Have the doldrums set in? Do you have to dig deep to find the motivation to get through just one more day?
When we hit that point in the homeschool year, it helps to remind ourselves of the higher purposes of homeschooling. Homeschooling isn’t easy. It’s a sacrifice. It takes determination and a true belief that this is the best thing for our children.
As homeschool parents, we have the tremendous opportunity to shape who our children become, to instill within them habits and character. One of these habits and character qualities is citizenship, or the informed and active membership in a political community. We hope one of your homeschooling higher purposes is to instill within your children this ideal, put forth by the ancient Greeks, of enlightened engagement in our communities.
In this edition of the newsletter, we give you three important reasons to study the presidential election in your homeschool. As parents, it is our job to prepare our children to become citizens.
Did you get our free lesson on the primaries? The primaries can be hard for parents to explain to their children. We are in the middle of the primary season right now, so this is the perfect opportunity to learn about them. Also check out our newsletter mini lessons on the primary calendar, Rose Garden strategy, and election changes because of coronavirus.
1. Prepare your children to become voters
For most Americans, voting is the most important thing we do as citizens. It is also the most common way people participate. The right to vote is a pretty amazing thing. Not everybody had it at first, and in our Presidential Election Unit Study 2020, we look at how the right to vote was given to more and more people over the course of history.
The right to vote gives ordinary Americans a voice in politics. Each vote has equal value; nobody’s vote is worth more than his neighbor’s.
Voting is important because it chooses the people who make the laws that we must follow. We, the people, must exercise the right to vote. And we, homeschool moms and dads, must prepare our kids to become voters.
Consider these quotes from real life young adults about why they have chosen not to register or vote:
There are lies in these words. While our kids are still young and under our care, it is our job to dispel these lies. It is our job to teach them that their votes do matter. It is our job to teach them that their votes can change things. It is our job to teach them to express their beliefs and values by voting.
Behind these lies, what is missing are parents who prepared their children to become voters.
2. Ensure your children will vote as young adults
As parents, it is our job to make sure our kids vote as young adults, to make sure they have a say in who makes the laws we all have to follow. Young Americans, ages 18-24, have the lowest rates of turnout. They are the least likely people in all of America to vote. Only around 40% of people in this age group have turned out to vote in recent years. This is tragic Why is this?
Read these quotes from real-life young adults:
Here we see excuses. Young people often don’t own homes, and they don’t pay property taxes. So, they are less aware than older people how government affects their everyday lives. It is our job as parents to teach them that sacrificing a small amount of time to register and vote is important.
3. Instill knowledge in your children
Young Americans also don’t vote because they feel they don’t know enough. Read these quotes from real-life young adults:
Many young Americans don’t feel they know enough. They don’t know the issues. They don’t know about the candidates and parties. They don’t know how the Electoral College works. They don’t know enough to understand and, therefore, participate in the debates going on around them. While not knowing enough is not an excuse for not voting, we as homeschool parents can ensure they are equipped with knowledge, the foundation of enlightened citizenship that the ancient Greeks believed was so important.
Knowledge is a key ingredient for citizenship and voting. Democracy works best when the people are informed and have the knowledge to participate in political debate. It is important to know the rules that govern our elected leaders. It is important to know the principles and values on which our governing system is based. It is important they know the stakes in policy debates.
Many people and things, such as friends and the internet, can instill knowledge. But it is really our job as parents to do this.
At Silverdale Press, we want to equip homeschool parents to prepare their children to become voters. Our Presidential Election Unit Study 2020 for homeschools and co-ops gives you everything you need to instill within your children the knowledge and values of citizenship. Click here to buy now or download our free lesson on the primaries.
The stakes are important.