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I've observed two approaches to the scheduling of govt. 

Taken concurrently with US History 

Or

Senior year with a semester each of Govt and Econ

Is one more advantageous? Does the timing really matter? My 9th grader is finishing up ancients and instead of moving onto world history like I had originally planned,  we've decided to do US history. We are homeschooling independently in California and while I don't have any intention of enrolling her in a charter or brick and mortar school, I was told that some schools require that govt/econ be taken senior year. I don't know how true that is, but am throwing it out there in case it needs to be a consideration.

Any thoughts?

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I have tried to time it with a presidential election year, since that seems to raise interest with my students.  

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In public schools, I think it's generally done in either the junior or senior year.  In our public high school, it was done the same year as economics.  (So one semester for each subject.)

I think in homeschool though, it could be done anytime in high school, and I think doing it during an election year is a good idea.

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We're planning to do the semester of gov/semester of econ as a freshman.  We just did a 3-year history sequence in middle school and I don't see any need to immediately start over.  Our co-op also offers some of the high school classes every other year, and this year is the gov/econ year. We're actually not doing the classes at co-op - we'll do gov at home and econ online with the co-op teacher - but if it was easy I didn't see any reason to take it off-year from co-op because it lets me keep my options open in the future.  If co-op offers world history and gov/econ alternating, then keeping the same schedule gives me the option of choosing world history at co-op if I want to.  My current tentative plan is to do World  and US history during his sophomore/junior years (not sure the order or whether I'll do them at home or at co-op - we love the co-op teacher and he may want to take them with friends) and then senior year do a geography/trends in history class that involves reading books like Salt to look at how small things change the world.  But, kid may see the books that I've been accumulating for the Salt course and decide to read them, at which point I'll either shape them into a credit when that happens or just consider that free reading and pick something else for senior year.  I'm not too attached to any plan - we could choose to do the classes at home, at co-op, or dual enrollment so it will depend on what makes sense when the time comes.  If 'barely leaving your house for weeks on end' becomes a recurring thing, there are a couple of non-traditional homegrown classes that might get done at our house!  

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My rising 10 th grader will do Government this coming year, with American History and a presidential election. Econ some time later. Haven't figured that out yet.

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As always, best to find out what is required specifically for CA homeschool high school. Anyone else's experiences will be irrelevant if CA has regulations which require specific subjects be taught in specific years.

However, in case you don't have to follow a particular rotation of subjects in certain years...

Yes, we did the 2 subjects of Gov't. and Amer. Hist. simultaneously, and each helped build into the other. We did Amer. Hist. + Gov't in the same year when DSs were 10th and 11th grades, and spread out the 0.5 credit of Gov't over 1 year, so that some of the topics in the Gov't continued to match up well with topics in the 1.0 credit of Amer. Hist. The Federalism topics in Gov't resonate with what's going on in Colonial/Early America, and the judicial branch topics of Gov't (esp. the key Supreme Court cases) really resonate well with events in U.S. History throughout the 1800s-1900s. Also, how the Executive branch of Gov't. has changed over time (and why) resonates well with events in Amer. Hist., esp. in the 1900s and into the 2000s.

We spread out the 0.5 credit of Econ over 1 year when DSs were grades 11 & 12.

Edited by Lori D.

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6 hours ago, Lori D. said:

The Federalism topics in Gov't resonate with what's going on in Colonial/Early America, and the judicial branch topics of Gov't (esp. the key Supreme Court cases) really resonate well with events in U.S. History throughout the 1800s-1900s. Also, how the Executive branch of Gov't. has changed over time (and why) resonates well with events in Amer. Hist., esp. in the 1900s and into the 2000s.

Lori, what resources did you use for government class?   

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1 hour ago, klmama said:

...what resources did you use for government class?   


We used: YMCA Youth & Gov't + parts of a standard textbook. We also watched a few movies that went with Gov't topics, and read excerpts from a few other resources. We used the Great Source textbook, which doesn't even exist anymore, lol. But pretty much any high school textbook will cover the following topics that are usually covered in a typical 0.5 credit high school Gov't course.

Below are some documentaries and feature films that might liven up the study of Gov't. And don't forget the Crash Course U.S. Gov't and Politics series of short videos.
 

TYPES OF GOVERNMENT
   documentaries

   feature films/TV dramas
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) -- totalitarian dystopian government; film of George Orwell's book
I, Claudius -- TV series on the lives and rule of the first 4 Roman emperors
The Crown -- Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II's rule and personal life
The Mouse That Roared (1959) -- comedy; monarchy of a tiny kingdom vs. U.S. democracy 
Doctor Strangelove (1964) -- black comedy; politics

Seven Days in May (1964) -- Cuban missle crisis; politics; Soviet communism vs. US democracy
_______________________

ORIGINS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

   documentaries
Peanuts animated series: Birth of the Constitution

   feature films/TV dramas
1776 (1972 film) - musical; disagreements in the Continental Congress
John Adams (2008) -- TV mini series

Liberty's Kids animated series: #3 United We Stand; #8 The Second Continental Congress; #26 Honor & Compromise; #40 We The People (all are about the Continental Congress)
_______________________

THE CONSTITION

   documentaries
The Constitution Project series


_______________________

FIRST AMENDMENT LIBERTIES

_______________________

FEDERALISM

  documentaries
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #3 Federalism: U.S. vs. States


_______________________

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: CONGRESS

  documentaries
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #6 Legislatures: Laying Down the Law

  feature films/TV dramas
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

_______________________

THE JUDICIAL BRANCH -- county/state/federal court systems

  documentaries
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #9 The Courts: Our Rule of Law

The Supreme Court -- PBS documentary; mutli-dvd collection, interesting background
With All Deliberate Speed -- documentary of Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling


  feature films/TV dramas
12 Angry Men (1957 film) -- film of the classic play; a jury deliberates
Gideon's Trumpet (1980 film) -- another Fonda classic
Inherit the Wind (1960 film) -- Scopes Monkey Trial; use with book Summer for the Gods (Lawson) for background/more historically accurate overview
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962 film) OR the novel by Harper Lee -- unfair trial of a black man in the 1930s South

Judgement at Nuremburg (1961) -- not US gov't but fascinating
_______________________

PRIVACY RIGHTS and RIGHTS OF DUE PROCESS

   feature films/TV dramas
The Ox Box Incident (1943)
_______________________

LANDMARK SUPREME COURT CASES

  documentaries
American Experience episode: "Simple Justice" -- fight to end segregation, leading to Brown vs. Board of Education

_______________________

EXECUTIVE BRANCH: THE PRESIDENCY

  documentaries
Peanuts animated series: The Smithsonian and the Presidency
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #7: The Modern Presidency: Tools of Power

  feature films/TV dramas
Lincoln (2012)
Frost/Nixon (2008)

_______________________

THE BUREAUCRACY

   documentaries
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #8: Bureaucracy: A Controversial Necessity


_______________________

POLITICAL PARTIES

   documentaries
Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #12: Political Parties: Mobilizing Agents


_______________________

ELECTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS

   feature films/TV dramas

The Candidate (running for office)

_______________________

INTEREST GROUPS

   documentaries

Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #14: Interest Groups: Organizing to Influence
_______________________

THE MEDIA

   documentaries

 Annenberg Learner: Democracy in America series: #10: Understanding Media: The Inside Story

_______________________

POLICY MAKING 

_______________________

CIVIL LIBERTIES and CIVIL RIGHTS

   documentaries
Eyes on the Prize PBS series -- African American civil rights

We Shall Remain PBS series -- Native American history and civil rights
American Experience episodes:
   
"Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice" -- 19th century leader in the fight against racism and sexism
   
"One Woman, One Vote" -- women's suffrage movement, resulting in 19th Amendment
   
"Los Mineros" -- Mexican American miners whose labor battles abolished the two-tier wage system
   
"Kennedy vs. Wallace: Crisis Up Close" -- confrontation over keeping University of Alabama segregated
   
"Freedom Riders"
   "Freedom on My Mind" -- early 1960s Mississippi voter registration struggles


   feature films/TV dramas

Iron Jawed Angels (2004) -- Women's suffrage
Selma (2014) -- MLK & rights
Milk (2008) -- LGBT rights

Edited by Lori D.
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My dd wants to do the Khan Academy "AP Government" course. She follows current events and politics and hopes to do something like 4H Congress or YMCA Youth in Government. She's already very familiar with the Constitution and early American history related to government. She may have already watched the Crash Course videos.

So even though I've given her lots of other options, she likes Khan Academy. Go figure.

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I had left US history and government until senior year for my oldest. She completed both as AP courses. For my middle kid I had just planned to do the same since it worked well the first time but he wanted to participate in Boys State. Fortunately he follows current events and is a bit of a history buff so it turned out ok, but that is when I learned that for some external scholarships, leadership events, etc. there is an expectation that students will have had US history and gov during sophomore or junior year. I would place economics where it fits best for you. If you intend to do AP level government you might want it as a full year course. If I were doing one semester of government and one semester of economics alongside US history I would do government first semester and econ second. I think studying government parallel to the history of the Constitution and formation/early years of the Supreme Court is logical and they support each other, while studying economics against the backdrop of industrialization, the Great Depression, and 20th/21st century is more relevant.

Academically and in terms of successful college applications it really doesn't matter which year in high school this material is covered, due to the expectations mentioned above my last kid will be taking these courses in junior year. I tend to structure it as a full US based humanities package-government, history, and literature but that is just a personal preference. (We cover Europe, World, and the Ancient World during courses in the other years for those topics.)

Edited by JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst
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Some schools cover it in 12th grade when students are 18 and able to vote. My students will likely graduate before 18 so they took it when it worked well in the schedule. One did it as a semester course. One took it as a summer course at home to free up the schedule. 

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My rising 11th grade son will study government next year as a semester class. I may have him do econ as a semester as well, but I may wait until 12th for that. 

Hillsdale College offers free online courses with one on the U.S. Constitution in particular: https://online.hillsdale.edu/

You also may want to look at the Great Courses for government topics. Your library may have several of them like my library does.

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On 5/8/2020 at 6:07 AM, Juliegmom said:

We are homeschooling independently in California and while I don't have any intention of enrolling her in a charter or brick and mortar school, I was told that some schools require that govt/econ be taken senior year. I don't know how true that is, but am throwing it out there in case it needs to be a consideration.

Don’t think so. My DS15’s AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics scores (taken in 2019, 9th grade) were accepted by the community college he dual enroll in. We intend to do Govt in Fall as a tie in with presidential elections.

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My 10th graders are taking a year long US Government and Politics class locally.

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I would have loved to cover it at the same time as US History, but I think we are going to have to squeeze it in when we can, probably next year. 

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Which to take first, Gov or US History, is a bit of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" question. However, I will offer this - it's a high-stakes presidential election year. S17 just finished AP Gov, and the teacher was able to incorporate a lot about our election process into the class. She was inspiring! So much so that half the class, including my son, ended up working for campaigns during the primary. They all became poll workers. They had permission from the administration to skip school every time a campaign came to the area. It was pretty cool.

If you started with Gov in the fall, you could also do that.

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My 9th grader will take a 0.5 credit government course next year alongside the first half of American history.  I haven't planned for my 11th grader yet.  She'll take it either next year or in 12th.  She'll also take American history at some point during the next two years.

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