Talk about going down the rabbit hole! Today I had Jury Duty. That great institution where we drive into the metropolis, to sit in a room with a couple hundred strangers and await our fate. We hold our breaths as they call out a range of numbers, feeling both relieved it’s not ours, and commiserate those that get called. As my #1 son is about to take American Government as dual credit, and I was researching reading material to add to his experience, I figured this was the best opportunity to really dive into Civics, American Government and our Judicial system.
First, every citizen has the right and responsibility to serve as a juror in our courts. It’s not the most convenient, to be taken away from our work and family to serve, but as voters, it is definitely our responsibility to provide our fellow citizens a trial by a jury of their peers.
So as a homeschool mom, what does it mean for my family? In the state of Texas, the law requires we teach Civics in our homeschool. In general, when asked, I usually recommend teaching our American History to start. In most curricula, a study of our history will include a cursory mention of our founding documents and our government. In the younger ages, this is crucial to understanding certain vocabulary so that it is not so foreign as they progress through their education.
To assist us, there are a couple of resources for the younger ages, and available curricula. (For Full Disclosure, by clicking on links, I may receive compensation either through affiliate marketing, or purchases through my business site, HERDistribution.com. These have been marked with #ad to be identifiable.)
- For downloadables, my favorite place is Currclick.com (#ad link searching “civics”). KnowlegeBox and A Journey Through Learning, and a variety of others have placed their ebooks on Currclick for purchase and printing. The list can be narrowed by age group, publisher, and sorted by price.
- For history, Notgrass has become my favorite publisher by far. The quality and design of their texts is fantastic, and their literature bundle choices are excellent.
- For middle grades, Uncle Sam and You (#ad) is written specifically to introduce students to American government and citizenship. The material is divided into units, with lesson reviews, activities and reading suggestions. I recommend for the 5th/6th grade with supervision and the student workbook. I recommend independent study for the 7th/8th grade student.
- *NEW* for elementary grades, Our Star Spangled Story (purchase from Notgrass) is now available for pre-order to be released in August.
- The Land of Fair Play from Christian Liberty Press is an excellent (economical) resource that teaches Civics. The CLP website includes this text in their 8th grade set. However, with supervision, this would be a fair text for middle grades, and could be completed in one semester. Combined with field trips and activities, this text could be used for two semesters.
For high school, the civics and American government curricula should be in-depth. With dual credit, it’s also an opportunity to provide a conservative discussion on the history and actions of our government and judicial system.
- Again, Notgrass would be my top choice for an extensive study on American Government. The unit study design of Exploring American Government (#ad) is perfect for any at-home study, and can be used independently by the student. The set is designed to be completed in one semester, followed by the Exploring Economics (#ad) in the next semester.
- Sonlight is also another favorite. As some of you may know, my #1 son is an avid reader, so I have used the Sonlight list to supplement his education. In 2017, we completed the Modern World History 300 series. The 600 series represents with American Government/Civics study for Sonlight. Over the years, the reading list has changed. When they do this, I have to carefully consider which books we want to include with our studies, or if we’re going to use the new Instructor’s Guide. At this level, the student should be completing the work independently, so you need to consider your student’s learning style to determine if you need the formal schedule, or if a basic numbering system may work.
- Another great system of books is from Uncle Eric Book from Bluestocking Press. I’ve inserted a picture for reference, but you can start as instructed with the Uncle Eric Model.
Once the model is understood, read Are You a Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? This book explains political philosophies relative to Uncle Eric’s Model – and makes a strong case for consistency to that model, no exception. ~Bluestockingpress.com
This is the question I receive most often. As I am in the finalize stage of planning, I am poring over book choices for my senior #1 Son. As he will be taking American Government as dual credit at the local community college, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide some more conservative reading choices. Another aspect I need to consider for this next semester, is that he has multiple classes, and will need a dedicated schedule to keep him on track. Sonlight is still the best option for scheduling, but the current lists are not my favorite.
If you’re unsure where to start, message me. I will be happy to help. So while I decide for my student, I will include pictures and links for your perusal! Enjoy! (These are Amazon Ads, so just know if you click through and make purchases, they help to support my book habit! And I thank you for that!)
The following list has 8 titles, if you cannot see them all, please message me! As I work in a homeschool bookstore, we also have many of these titles. Please message me if you would like to check inventory! I am here to help!
And thanks for visiting!