This is a great year to be studying American Civics! The Republican Presidential race is wide open. The Democratic Presidential contenders are making history. However you look at it, this is one of the most interesting presidential races we have ever seen. And if your teen is like my teen, he/she is interested in the campaign and full of questions. We are seeing a ratcheting up of campaigning here in Florida as our primary is coming up next week, Tuesday, January 29.
One Homeschool Chat parent last Friday asked for some websites that she could incorporated in their studies this year. Already she and her daughter have joined one of the local presidential campaigns, which is a great way to get a first-hand look at politics in action.
Here are some sites that would be useful for a Civics Unit Study.
NationsStates was a favorite of ours several years ago and I was glad to see that it was still up and running. NationStates is a simulation game where you build a nation and run that nation according to your own political beliefs. Do you want to be a benevolent dictator? Or maybe create a totally democatratic nation. The choice is yours! The novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry inspired this game. I wanted to read this book when we played the game previously and now I have added it to my wish list on PaperbackSwap. Check out NationStates. I will bet you have as much fun as we did creating your own nation!
Congress for Kids
Interactive experience designed to help you learn about the foundation of our federal government and how its actions affect you.
Post from Jurisdynamics blog. Constitutional curiosities: a 21-question scavenger hunt. This is definitely for older students. If you or your teen likes scavenger hunts and/or research, this looks fun.
Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
If maps are your thing, or your child is very visually-oriented, this is a cool site!
The BBHQ Great American Civics Quiz
Even though the site is “Baby Boomers Headquarters” the quiz is great for anyone.
PBS The Democracy Project
Be President for a Day, Step inside the Voting Booth.
HistoryCentral.com’s United States Presidential Elections. Learn about every Presidential Election. They are currently the 2008 election and the site is updated daily. So a great way to keep track of whom is winning where.
Project Vote Smart
Find your local representative, learn his voting record. Be an informed voter.
If you would like links to the official parties and other government websites, visit my article Using Computers as You Homeschool. While this was written a few years ago, detailing how my children used computers and the Internet in their homeschooling (unschooling), the links are all still great links and you might even like the article!