Have you been wondering how to teach government and economics in highschool?
Homeschooling through Highschool doesn’t have to be a daunting thing! I like to include my highschooler in our planning and our favorite thing to plan this year was our Government/Civics Credit and our Economics Credit. Both of these classes are a semester long. I am going to share with you what we did this year which was a lot of fun because we pieced together a few different things to create our credits. I will also share some free resources I found while planning our subjects!
We used Exploring Government by Notgrass History as our main text for this class.
This is a one-semester high school course that provides a half-year credit in government. Lessons cover Federal, state, and local government and also contemporary issues in government. Special emphasis is placed on the Biblical basis for government and on the U.S. Constitution. The set comes with the Exploring Government student book and the We Hold These Truths which is a book of documents, speeches and essays.
This is a great curriculum and you do not have to add anything else to make it a complete 1/2 credit for your student. This curriculum is open and go and completely independent for the student, but it is a textbook. Since we are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers and my husband loves history and government we decided to add a little more extra books to our studies!
I decided to add these Uncle Eric books for our son to read during the semester: (They are 5-10% off at Amazon with FREE Prime Shipping!)
Whatever Happened to Justice? $16.16
Are you Liberal?Conservative?Or Confused? $12.30
Ancient Rome: How it Affects You Today $10.40
We chose to use just the readers since he was already doing a textbook curriculum. If you were wanting to use all of the books as a complete curriculum you can purchase the accompanying Bluestocking Guides which are workbooks with many additional questions. These books are wonderful! They are very informative and read in a conversational style. My son and my husband chose to read these books together and discussed what they thought of the chapters each week. This was a great bonding time for them and lead to some great discussions about our country and government today.
Here are some FREE resources and websites I found that we also liked to reference during our Government Study:
The Bill of Rights Institute educates young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society. There site has so much great content and they have an entire section of FREE lesson plans for educators. There are political cartoons, primary source documents, and questions to help your students understand constitutional issues.
Center for Civic Education is a non profit organization with 3 main goals to give students: (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict. There are free lesson plans, podcasts, daily quizzes and much more!
What So Proudly We Hail has free curriculum downloads. They demonstrate how story, speech, and song can be used to enhance civic education and how a pedagogical approach that stresses learning through inquiry can make primary sources come alive for students of all ages. They use literature, stories, speeches and songs to bring American History and Government alive!
Ben’s Guide to the US Government is a website created to inform students, parents, and educators about our nation’s Federal government, history, and political structure. There is a Learning Adventures section specifically geared towards students ages 14 and up.
I did not think that Economics would be fun to study. This was my son’s favorite subject! My husband joined in on his studies and they really enjoyed watching the videos and reading up on Economics and discussing it based on today’s current state of government. Very eye opening and thought provoking!
I wanted to do something a little bit different this time and not go the standard textbook route for studying economics.
This is a Christian video course! It not only explains how economics works, it shows how economic freedom is directly related to religious freedom; it explores the differences between socialism, interventionism, and free markets; and it explains how stewardship is at the heart of a healthy economic system.
The videos are fun and engaging and very informative. It also comes with a study guide with more information to read out loud and questions to answer after each video.
You can download FOUR FREE Lessons to try out before you buy!
We loved the Uncle Eric Books so much during our Government studies that we decided to use these books to go along with Economics and one of their Bluestocking Guides:
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
A Bluestocking Guide to Economics
Economics A Free Market Reader
The Money Mystery
In addition to the video series and books we talked about managing our money wisely, opening a checking and savings account, why credit cards are bad and creating a budget using a cash envelope system! Economics is a great way to learn life long financial skills.
Here are some great websites to use while studying Economics:
Share My Lesson has FREE Economics Lesson Plans for grades 9-12. There are so many to choose from!
Teens Got Cents is a personal finance blog for teens written by a homeschool teen! I love the down to earth ways she speaks of managing your finances and her fun sense of humor when she explains about her experiences buying her first car. If your teen is interested in being smart financially then they will want to check this blog out! I wish there was something like this when I was a teenager.
You will want to check out her post on The Envelope System for Teens to incorporate into a personal finances study.
I hope this helped you to see how easy and flexible it can be to come up with ways to teach Civics, Economics and Government in Highschool!
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Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate!) She is a an eclectic,Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!