Saturday, September 1, 2012

American Government: Founding Fathers & Electoral Process

This year I'm designing a class for E13 on American Government featuring the Founding Fathers along with some founding documents and the electoral process. It will count as his high school American Civics credit. My vision includes reading about the Founding Fathers and to become familiar with the men and the times they lived in- their political leanings and how their influence helped to form our nation and our government.

Since it's a Presidential election year, we'll also have the chance to learn about the electoral process and to see our democracy at work. I'm looking forward to some great discussions throughout the year as we read about early Presidents and their influence on our nation. Though school starts on Tuesday, I'm still working out the details of the course. However, I can name most of the resources we are going to use this year.

I ventured into the history section at our last book sale and found lots of outstanding living books about early presidents- sure Lincoln is in there, but the book looked fantastic! Bonus- I went on 10 cent day so all of these cost me a dime each!

The Passions of Andrew Jackson was hard to see in the last picture-I think we found some great biographies. I will have to go through that section again in October.

This is a long one, but I have the Kindle version and we'll be reading through it. It addresses the long time thought that George Washington is merely a deist. 
I think Founding Brothers is my favorite- it takes six stories of the time to showcase the character of each of these statesmen and asserts they were the "Revolutionary Generation". I've been pre-reading and I'll have fun sharing some of what I've read as we start the study and I blog about how things are going.

Some other resources on tap:
  • Amanda Bennetts' Election/American Government unit studies- I also took advantage of the recent sale on Patriotic units so we'll get to enjoy a few of those
  • KONOS- I'll be touching on some items from the second volume, the unit on Wisdom to study the electoral process. She also has a lot of great books and resources listed.
  • C-SPAN Classroom- last spring I ordered up some materials and got a giant wall map of the electoral college.
  • The Learning Network- which links classrooms to the New York Times. I'm sure there will be plenty of current events this year to keep us busy. Take a look through this blog because it has a lot of election resources and it's really my favorite place for my kids to read about current events.
  • Heritage History-We've been reading about early Americans on our Heritage History Classical Library on Early America. Heritage History has taken the books in the public domain and sorted them into categories and placed them on a CD in formats for the computer, the Nook, and the Kindle. It's been really nice to read these on the go- we use the Kindle format. If you click the image below, you can take advantage of an offer to get some of the Heritage History titles.
Heritage History Homeschool Curriculum
By the end of this course on American Government, E13 should be familiar with how our government was designed and how it works. He'll have experienced an election year with its campaign, election, and inauguration. And he'll have gotten to know the Revolutionary Generation through living books about the men and women themselves.

Along the way, E13 will be writing, discussing, researching, and of course reading. I am hopeful that the books will provide a starting place for additional reading and discovery on the topic of early America. 

To quote Charlotte Mason, "Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.

5 comments:

Megan Sullivan said...

oh, please tell me you will read the constitution itself! I am an attorney (well, I went to law school, passed the bar, and then had my third child and decided to homeschool!). Your blog has always been an incredible inspiration to me, I would be happy to help you design overview of constitutional law and the judicial branch to complement your studies this year. You can email me at megan_ruth (at) Comcast.net

Heather said...

Of course! The constitution is THE founding document I'd like us to read. I would LOVE your help Megan! Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

Heather

OrdainedPraise said...

My daughter is a Junior in high school and just read Founding Brothers. She said that I should read it because she knows I will like it. When her class is done, I'm going to be reading it!

Rachel Quigley said...

Another great resource is the Heritage Foundation online. They have some great resources, along with some lectures on our founding fathers and they have a free online course on the constitution that I am planning on having my kids take as well.

Heather said...

Thanks Rachel! Thanks for visiting!