U.S. Government- High School

I used this for High School even though I used the Middle School version of this free curriculum  America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty.

We are a relatively politically active family. We’re in Iowa. We are first in the nation and we, as a family, recognize the significance of that. We’ve attended the Straw Poll as a family for years. Kids have been to political rallies, met candidates, walked many miles with literature for candidates. As age allowed they have attended our County, District and State Conventions as junior delegates and now as a delegate. And discussions around the kitchen table about candidates, our government and our economy are a regular occurrence. Now  is time for an overall view of the whole government  with a plan to do an in depth study of the U.S. Constitution (because I feel it is that important. I feel this course covers a high school government requirement on its own). We plan to dive deep, however and include  civics and economics courses as well.

I chose this free curriculum from America’s Heritage Foundation. I printed all three versions and put them in 3-ring binders. I chose to use the Middle School version for three reasons: 1) I had misplaced the High School version when I sat down to write this one! (no really. DD had set it aside to study up for Girls State and I couldn’t find it anywhere 😉 )  (2) when I found it I didn’t feel the upper level had enough more to offer to justify changing it. and (3) I intended to do this twice (or more) after all the more they learn it, the more they learn it right?  I was satisfied it would  cover all of the major factors of U.S. Government and a worthy study but also a good foundation for an in depth U.S. Constitution Study.

**I make no guarantees of any credits or level of materials. No common core or any other standards beside my own.

We studied this for one semester. We did this as a high school Government class. I schedule a 4 day week. We often have farm work days, field trips, sick days and all kinds of life get in the way. Scheduling 4 days gives us the flexibility to have a make-up day and stay on track each week. We almost always school five days a week but Friday’s are reserved for notebooking and following rabbit trails and interests as well as catch up if needed.

America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty

(KGBR) The Kids Guide to the Bill of Rights by Kathleen Krull  ** note on this book: Personally I find this book to go against my views- it lays out how the amendments have changed in perception- changed its meaning-  over time and justifies that. I do not agree with the justification, personally, but I find this books lays out the history of it all well. I encouraged my kids to use reasoning skills as they read to decide whether or not they thought it justified.

Wonderful activities from :  www.layersoflearning.com, www.startsateight.com, www.thehomeschoolmom.com and www.pragmaticmom.com

  • note on Binder Activities: We all have lazy tendencies, right? It’s not just my kids? I don’t make banana bread anymore, evidently it is too much work to unwrap, slice and eat the bread. I make muffins and they disappear with 24 hours if not 1 hour. So when I put activities into their daily assignment list- I just print them out. If they are reading, and working through studies it seem to be too much work to open up a laptop, wait for it to turn on, find a link/type in a link….if I’ve scheduled it- I just print it. I put it in a three-ring binder- hence the listing of binder activity ;). This works for us. Maybe you are better about using less paper, taking up less space, using online resources but we are not.

week 1:

1: read preface p 9-11

2: p 12-15

3: p 16-19

4: activity (part of AH)

5: notebooking

week 2:

1: Read the activity. (this is a game developed for the classroom. impossible to play with just a few kids) we don’t have enough people so use tokens, coins, doll house people- try to stage out this game to learn the ideas in it.

2: copy the cards and establish a set up of the activity

3: play the game (as best you can) and see it work

4: talk or journal about it, read the songs, what are your conclusions?

5: notebooking

week 3:

1: Read about the signers and consequences

2: binder worksheet  (again developed for a classroom but they filled out a sheet of their choice and got the gist of it.)

3: catch up (We have watched the musical “1776” It is great fun. It also has many crude and inappropriate (sexual) jokes and tends to dwell on it in a section. my kids are used to me ‘editing’ as we watch and will sometimes even alert me to things they think should be edited. I suggest you view it first!)

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 4:

1: Read the Declaration of Independence (main body)

2:  read the grievances

3:  worksheet

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 5:

1: read and then rewrite p 76- 78 in the simplest terms i.e. article x section y sets up the senate

2: p 79-80 read and rewrite in the simplest terms use worksheet to help

3: p 81-88

4: p 89-94

5: notebooking

week 6:

1: read (or listen)  Rush Limbaugh’s history of thanksgiving (this is the contents of “Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford” but simply put)

2: p 98

3: p 99

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 7:

1: read p 104

2: binder activity- 2nd amendment activity

3: binder- 1st amendment

4:  10th amendments and Amendment game

5: notebooking

week 8:

1: Binder – Common Law

2: KGBR ch 1

3: ch 2

4: ch 3

5: notebooking

week 9:

1: ch 4

2: ch 5

3: ch 6

4: ch 7

5: notebooking

week 10:

1: ch 8

2: ch 9

3: ch 10

4: ch 11

5: notebooking

week 11:

1: ch 12

2: ch 13

3: ch 14

4: ch 15

5: notebooking

week 12:

1: p 116-117

2: p 118-119

3: p 120-121

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 13:

1: P 127-128

2: P 129-130

3: P 131-132

4: P 133

5: notebooking

week 14

1: In God We Trust p 151

2: worksheet

3:  binder activity Money

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 15:

1: Star Spangled Banner

2: Read Gettysburg

3: Gettysburg worksheet

4: catch up

5: notebooking

week 16:

1: Stature of Liberty

2: worksheet

3: Pledge

4: worksheet

5: notebooking

week 17:

1: Binder- bill becomes a law and/or  Schoolhouse Rock video- how a bill becomes a law

2: Binder- Branches

3: Binder- branches worksheet with pix *I did spend the time to look up our representatives and size pictures of each of them to fit in this worksheet. I think the time spent was worth it.

4: Binder –local, state, federal

5: notebooking

week 18:

1: American Courts Part 1 – Binder

2: American Courts Part 2– Binder

3: finish up!

Wonderful activities from :  www.layersoflearning.com, www.startsateight.com, www.thehomeschoolmom.com and www.pragmaticmom.com





6 thoughts on “U.S. Government- High School

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