The main thing I remember about my US government course in high school was hating it and the general ridiculousness of some of my classmates. I decided not to take an AP government class, and I regretted it. First, my teacher REQUIRED everyone to memorize word for word his definition for democracy. I refused to because that’s not learning anything, it’s just vomiting up someone else’s opinion. Then in a mock session of congress, one of my classmates introduced a bill outlawing war and basically suggesting we all join hands and sing kumbaya. Of course, the other government teacher was worse, it was an open secret you could score an A by wearing a short skirt and sitting in the front row. That doesn’t speak too well for my high school, does it? I knew I wanted to pick a good homeschool US government course for my kids, since they’d be voting fairly soon, but I hadn’t found something I was excited by, until NOW. So we put our history lessons on pause and started on this US government course.
(This post is sponsored by Boundary Stone, I was given a free course, and then purchased two more so all three kids could complete this course).
Everyone has to take a US government course at some point
It’s a requirement for high school, and at least my major required it also in college. A homeschool Us Government course is one of the few requirements for homeschooling in Texas (a civics course of some sort).
From what I’ve seen of our current government, everyone gets out of high school and promptly forgets most of their government class.
This has been a great review for me as the kids have been learning.
This is a self-paced course, and they could complete it completely without my input aside from grading the study guide.
The big benefit for anyone working from home: This is self-paced and auto-graded
I wanted to talk this through with the kids. We’re in the middle of an election year, and in case you aren’t aware, the world has gone crazy.
I’m typing on August 2, currently, there is rioting in several cities over Black Lives Matter. There are protests over the measures for the Coronavirus, either it’s going too far, or not far enough. There are political ads popping up everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
But, the reality is, if I was busy and wasn’t able to work through this material, they could do it completely on their own.
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If you want to see for yourself what their classes look like before you spend money, then try out their budgeting mini-course. This is an incredibly important skill for everyone to try, so why not learn a little bit about how their classes work, AND teach your kids something they NEED to know. Or try the government sample lessons, that gives you an even better feel for the course.
My kids like the videos
There are two components to Boundary Stone’s Government class. First is the online portion. Each day’s lesson is completed online.
You watch a video, most days, there was that one day with 5 videos. That made for a long government lesson that day. Usually speaking the videos are 10-20 minutes long.
VERY IMPORTANT, you have to watch the video in the tab online, Boundary Stone has figured out how to make sure your child has watched the video, and your child won’t be able to mark the lesson complete until the video is watched.
They pull their videos from all over YouTube. A couple of law schools, History Channel, Prager U, Ben Shapiro, are the names I recognized. There were a couple of other groups that I didn’t recognize offhand, but had some great material.
I like the hands-off accountability
The only other class my kids have taken that I didn’t have to grade was Teaching Textbooks. This has the same thing. I can go into the teacher’s dashboard and see how much of the class my kids have completed, and I can download their graders for the day.
I really like that.
I know, they’ve had a chance to review definitions with electronic flashcards, answer some review questions, maybe try some fill in the blank materials.
My daughter likes being able to retake quizzes
My daughter is a perfectionist. I’m not, so this is an unfamiliar thing to me, but she likes being able to retake her government quiz again if she didn’t get the grade she wants.
In theory, you can retake quizzes until you get the grade you want, but our experience has been you max out at 3 times.
I kind of like that because that keeps her from obsessing over getting a 100%.
I like how this US government class stretches them
Most homeschool texts are designed to not be “textbooky” and are designed to be fairly user friendly. This is an older classic textbook. It’s not designed the same way they’re used to books being designed, and they don’t like that.
For the first week, I heard almost every day how absolutely terrible this textbook was because it wasn’t designed the way they wanted. Every time I would say, “When you get to college, you will have to use whatever horrible textbook your professor gives you. You will not get a choice. Sometimes you will love the textbook, but more often than not you will not like it. You need to be able to learn from whatever material your professor gives you.”
After a few days the complaining died down, and they adapted. They figured out how to work with a different style. They realized, “Oh no! We might need to actually take notes.”
Get your own copy of this great homeschool US government curriculum
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I’m toying with the idea of picking up their Economics class for my kids to take later on with the coupon.
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natalie planetsmartypants says
I find it sad and dangerous for the future of this country that many people (including the current president apparently) don’t know and don’t care how American government works and even what democracy is really about. A’s school requires this class for graduation – she is likely to take AP version next year. This is actually the only AP level in social studies she is interested in taking – otherwise, she just does not care much for that…