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What do you use to teach civics and/or economics in K-8?


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So far this year, we have used the "citizenship" section of "What do you stand for? kids" and I meant to go through the "Everything Kids' Money Book" but haven't yet. We also learned a little about voting during the election time and I tried to teach them the pledge of allegiance. :) We also learned about the three branches of government earlier this year. What I'm basically saying is I have been making it up on my own, but a curriculum would be nice!

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Our scouting handbooks, mostly. The BSA merit badge books work well for logic stage (usually ninety-some pages, in spite of them being called "pamphlets"). Off the top of my head the citizenship trio and American Heritage badges would suit those topics. Anyone can buy those books, member or not, and many libraries carry them. For the Cub Scout level the material is in pieces in their various handbooks, or the Citizen belt loop. My boys and girls alike often do the activities in the BSA and AHG materials as a family (AHG materials are not secular).

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I consider civics and economics important topics, though I do more on the civics side. I allocate a 30-45 minute lesson once per week to civics/government, basic economics, or state history.


Most mornings we start school by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing one or two patriot songs. The kids take turns leading this, which includes holding the flag, leading the Pledge, and choosing the songs. Whatever one thinks about the Pledge, I consider it standard knowledge for a child to learn how to say it. Besides, it is a fun and cheerful way to begin the morning.


Helpful resources I have used:


My America and My World (A Beka), grade 1 (for young kids). I haven't looked at any of these readers higher than grade 1, though they may also be useful.


O Say Can You See? (Keenan). Great for elementary civics.


Why America is Free, A History of the Founding of the American Republic (Good for upper elementary, especially in explaining the Constitution)


We do a lot of civics memory work, such as memorize excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I also have the kids memorize three facts about each one. We have learned the major wars of the U.S. and most of the presidents. We will start putting the wars, dates, and presidents together to give the kids a good outline of American history.


The knowledge about the founding documents is extremely useful information for life since it is often applicable for current events, particularly when talking about recent Supreme Court cases.


Don't forget that Constitution Day is in September and there are many things going on around then (contests, etc.) to help kids learn about the Constitution. You can also use various holidays as your opportunity to teach civics (Memorial Day, Independence Day, etc.).


Just last week I ordered Studies Weekly (per someone's recommendation on here). It appears to contain a good amount of articles on government and civics.


HSLDA has an article about teaching civics from preschool through middle school with a slew of resources listed:



Concerning economics, those resources are harder to find.

This year I am hoping the Studies Weekly will cover some basic economics topics.


I have used economics lessons from the website below, but they take a little prep work.


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