we've been over this before, haven't we?)
I thought there just might be a very remote possibility that some of you need the quick-and-dirty version yourself? The I-just-want-my-kids-to-have-some-basic-knowledge-but-please-don't-make-me-create-a-raised-relief-map-of-the-electoral-college version?
Don't despair! We're only weeks out but you still have plenty of time to hit the main concepts with your kids. And (soldiers rejoice!) you can do it without cutting or pasting a single thing. No crafts, no cooking, no supermom projects of any kind. Best of all, you can do it even if you have very little American civics knowledge yourself.
Here's what you need to do the job:
- Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts by Syl Sobel (for Kindle)
- How the U.S. Government Works by Syl Sobel (for Kindle)
I read the first book aloud in one sitting while my kids colored and played with legos on a rainy afternoon. We'd stop when there was an interesting tidbit or fact and discuss it. I split the U.S Government book into two sittings (lots of information there!) and utilized the white board a bit to copy some of the diagrams and flesh out an idea or two. You can read both books in two hours or less. They do an excellent job of handling the subject matter in a light conversational tone.
If you really want to go the extra mile, you can check out Sobel's other related books:
Scholastic's Election Page and get your kids to play The Electoral Challenge game down there on the left side of the screen. My kids played it for an afternoon and are now experts, give-or-take. It's fun!
I can't really vouch for the the rest of the Scholastic website; there are other games and a few short videos that look like they may be worthwhile. Like (seemingly) everything else, I do detect a smidgen of bias, so you know... use your own judgement.
I also had my kids watch Schoolhouse Rock's version of I'm Just a Bill, just for fun:
That's it! Arm yourself with a couple of good books, plunk down on the couch with some hot cider and your kids, and banish your I-can't-believe-my-kids-don't-know-what-a-senator-does guilt. Sometimes I think we homeschooling moms make things more complicated than they need to be. The election is only a few weeks away- it's time to hit the easy button.