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This post was sponsored by Home School in the Woods who gave my family a free copy of the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak so my kids could study the American Elections and compensated me for my time to create this post. All opinions are mine and I was not required to give a positive review.
It’s a leap year! That means it’s the year we Americans elect a new president. If you’ve been wanting to introduce civics or government to your study, Home School in the Woods has created a new lapbook all about the American elections to help guide your studies.
Why Study American Elections
We’ve covered the American Elections in the past as the kids and I studied American history. However I’ve been wanting to cover the elections in and of themselves with my teenagers this year.
One reason is that the ongoing election season brings civics to life. The children see elections in the news. They hear the pundits speak, listen to their father and I talk, and even discuss the elections with us. Studying the elections now brings the elections out of the theoretical and into the practical.
Another reason I desperately wanted to study American Elections this year is to review the entire process and history one last time with my older teens. One teenager is 18 and the other is turning 17. We’ve covered the process in the past, but let’s face it. We’ve all drilled our children one year, just to find they forgot everything a year or two down the road.
Also history covered the election process as it developed over the years rather than an intensive focus on the entire system. While it’s fascinating to see the historical perspective, the process gets drawn out and forgotten amid the study of wars, people, and events.
So despite the suggested age range for the American Elections Lapbook being 3rd – 8th grade, I insisted my two high school teenagers join my 7th grader and I. To be honest, I added the American Elections Lapbook to our morning time one day a week.
Home School in the Woods American Elections Lapbook
Once you’ve opened your CD-rom or downloaded the file, you open the folder to find several files: images, mp3s, PDFs, autorun, and Start. Start connects you with the internet and guides you through the unit study. It guides you through the entire project.
The instructions give you all the information you need to start. You’re given an introduction the the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak, a list of projects, supplies needed to complete the lapbook, permission to reproduce the materials for your individual family, and a list of suggestions for other resources.
There’s also a guide to printing up the booklet, another guide for completing the projects, and a third set of instructions for completing the lapbook itself. While I read the guide on printing up the booklet, I didn’t print it. I did print the introduction, and guides for completing the projects and lapbook. I wanted those close at hand as we worked through the lapbook.
The booklet comes with the option of printing full-size or booklet size. I choose to print mine full-size so I could toss it into my teacher’s binder to read to the teens at morning time. If you prefer the booklet size, you’re given excellent instructions for printing and putting the booklet together
The booklet has all the necessary readings for the lapbook. The 21 projects are divided over the 13 full-size pages, so each set of readings and projects is quite manageable, even for a busy household.
As you scroll down the Start Page, you’ll come to the list of projects. Each project has a title, which is the section of the booklet you’ll read. Underneath the title is the pdf you’ll need to print. Print one for each child studying American Elections. These will eventually come together to form the lapbook.
I chose to go through and print 3 copies of each pdf needed for the entire lapbook and file it in my trusty filing system. We’re working slowly through the lapbook, one project a week.
I’m reading the sections out of the booklet to my teens as they take notes or fill in sections of the projects. However the Start also has links to the appropriate audio files if you’d prefer to listen instead of read.
As you work through the projects, you keep them in a plastic bag or a manila envelope. Once the study is finished, you put the lapbook together.
To be perfectly honest, I prefer to do the lapbook as we go and pray fervently that we have enough room for everything by the end. My kids love to live just as dangerously as I do, so we started putting the lapbooks together from the start.
There’s a huge range of topics covered over the course of building the lapbook. We don’t just jump into the elections themselves, but take a look at the historical perspective.
Once we’ve discussed different forms of government and what makes America unique, we review the three branches of government. Take a look below at all the topics covered!
- Definition of “Election”
- Different Forms of Government
- The American Experiment
- The Three Branches of Government
- Who Do We Vote For?
- Terms of Office
- A “Handful” of Political Parties
- Caucuses & Primaries
- National Conventions
- The Presidential Campaign: Platform
- The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
- The Presidential Campaign: Media – News Source
- The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising – Spreading the Word!
- Raising Money
- Election Day
- The Electoral College
- Inauguration Day
- The electoral Race!
- The “Vocabinet”
If you’re looking to take advantage of the presidential election this year and your children about the United States Election system, check out Home School in the Woods. It’s a delightful and thorough study of American Elections.