I allow my kiddos to pick the subjects that we study and learn about but there are exceptions to this rule and the Constitution is one them. The U.S. Constitution organizes our government and gives each citizen the promise of certain rights that can never be taken away. No child should leave school and not know about these basic freedoms and the checks and balances of power that keep them secure. If we don’t know what our rights are, we can never hope to protect them.
“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” John Adams
One of my all time favorite resources for teaching the Constitution is a film called In Search of Liberty. Check out their website by clicking here. First, you need to know that the film is a little bit cheesy. A very authentic looking Ben Franklin living in modern times takes a family on weekend adventures in a motorhome to discover the Constitution. Ok, it is more than just a little bit cheesy. Ben also drives a time traveling Corvette. Okay, it is super cheesy but that is what makes it fun learning. My favorite moment is when the 4th amendment is presented with an illegal search of the family’s home done by what appears to be a cross between Agent Smith from the Matrix, Will Smith’s character in Men in Black and a Secret Service Agent. Don’t worry because Ben has mad Jedi skills and subdues the unwanted guests with a card trick. The movie ends with a trip to a carnival for a ride through the House of Horrors where the voice of Nancy Pelosi is projected from the mouth of a floating evil witch. The movie was pretty much non-partisan up to this point – falling out of my chair was a combination of being caught off guard and from laughing myself silly. As a matter of fact, we all laughed so much at the witch we had to rewind and replay the pirate and other characters in the House of Horrors – I will leave their identities a mystery. In summary, no homeschool kid should pass 8th grade without watching this film. It is a real hoot but does a great job of teaching the Constitution basics. What are some of your favorite resources?