Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Teachable moments

One of the great things about homeschooling is that we have so many opportunities for those "teachable moments".

I had a good one today when I took my youngest two (ages 8 and 6) along with me to vote in a special election for County Executive. They had lots of questions:

"Are you voting for President again?"
"What's a county executive?"
"Why did the lady ask for your name and where we live?"
"How do you vote?"

So, we were able to discuss:

  • How each geopolitical entity (city, county, state, country) has its own type of chief executive (mayor, county executive, governor, president)
  • That Presidents are elected for a four-year term.
  • That we have a secret ballot, and why, and how ("See, I don't put my name on the ballot.")
  • That we can only vote once ("No cheating! Everybody gets just one vote.")
  • A bit of current events ("The people in Iraq voted on a constitution last weekend.")
  • A very brief primer on "What's a Constitution?"

  • ... and so on.

    Now this isn't upper level civics, by any means, but it was a chance to introduce big concepts for little people to think about.

    Of course, they also learned that voting is important, because they went along with me and saw that I thought it was a very important duty of citizenship.

    Maybe that was the best thing of all for them to learn.

    1 comment:

    Nancy C. Brown said...

    I agree, Mary Eileen, because it's real learning. You can take fake ballots and try to do something in a classroom, but when it is real, it is real, and everyone knows it.
    Plus you were patient and answered their questions. That's what makes a good homeschooler.