Wednesday, October 29, 2008

teach the vote

i remember like it was yesterday the first time i voted. on the short drive to the polling place my stepdad taught me the very basics of government and politics, careful not to impart any of his opinions. i knew without him telling me how he was voting, and i didn't decide my vote based on his vote. the whole process was so much fun. i find freedom and liberty to be thrilling. voting is such a little act physically (point, click, fill in the box) but such a HUGE moral and civic responsibility.

every election year i revisit that thrill. this year it was even more thrilling because of the teachable moment it brings for Big Girl (and eventually Bubba.)

i've taken the election year as an opportunity to teach a mini-unit on America and such.

here's how: we have been praying for our nation and saying the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. i'm singing America songs throughout the day, hoping Big Girl will catch on to the lyrics without putting me thru American Idolish judgement :)

we are reading "America- a Patriotic Primer" by Lynne Cheney.
we are doing patriotic preschooler projects from The Mailbox.

and we took Big Girl (and Bubba) to vote with us last night.
explaining the who's, when's, why's and what's of voting to Big Girl was easier than i thought. we pretended our home was America. and everyone who lives in the house is an American. but someone has to be in charge, like the King and Queen of England. (she knows about the King and Queen from a different mini-unit on princesses) and the Americans get to choose their favorite person to be in the rules they would enforce in America. we discussed the "issues" of all family members (aka Americans). Brindi (the dog) is in favor of all-meat diets and going potty outside. ("eeew!") Bubba would enforce everyone take several naps a day, bouncy seats for everyone, and eat only milk. everyone in the household had a campaign. after giving it much thought, Big Girl decided to vote for Daddy. duh.
so that's how we're teaching about the election.
what about you? how is your family celebrating election year together?