How to Teach Your Child About Voting and Elections 

How to Teach Your Child About Voting and Elections sonlight lapbook
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Some of my favorite memories from childhood involve heading to the polling place with my parents, watching them while they cast their ballots, and receiving my very own “I voted” sticker as we left. I continued this tradition with my own children, bringing my citizens-in-training along for voting whenever I could. And what an incredible experience it was last year to get to go along with my oldest son when he voted for the very first time!

But for all those good memories, thinking about election season can also drum up feelings of anxiety as people on the internet (and in person) seem to get ever louder and angrier, while simultaneously saying less of substance and saying even that illogically.

We want to teach our children about voting and the election process, but how?

How to Teach Your Child About Voting and Elections

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Here are a few simple ways to teach your child about the election process:

Learn the vocabulary

Can you define terms like election, suffrage, caucus, primary, convention, campaign, electoral college, or inauguration? These are just a few of the terms covered in the Sonlight U.S. Elections Lap Book kit (see below), but you can also create your own glossary or just discuss terms informally around the dinner table.

sonlight us elections lapbook political parties definitions

Discuss how the election process works

What are our rights and responsibilities as voters? What offices or positions in your local, state, or federal government are elected? Which are appointed? What happens if there’s a run-off? How is the winner chosen for various offices? These answers can vary regionally, so do a little digging to find out the answers for your particular location. 

What are the different forms of government and why does it matter?

Discuss the differences between oligarchy, anarchy, democracy, and a representative form of government. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Why does it matter which one we choose to promote? Discuss how the American democratic process is unique historically and culturally. Learn about other places around the world whose citizens currently do not have the right to freely vote or dissent.

american experiment us elections lapbook sonlight

Teach respectful disagreement

We will quite frequently disagree with family, friends, and strangers on a host of issues large and small. Model and teach how to respectfully disagree within your own home first. Let’s teach our children how to love others with whom we disagree without compromising our beliefs. The Young Peacemaker is an excellent book study to use with your children.

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Discuss issues that matter to your family

What are the most important issues to your family when it comes to choosing a candidate? Be open with your children on the things that matter the most to you. 

Demonstrate how voting works

Perhaps you could create a ballot for dinner choices, dessert, or movie night. Give a ballot to each member of the family and let the winner of the vote determine what the family eats or watches. And take your children with you to your local polling place whenever you can!

Read and Watch to learn More about Civics

There are a host of picture books available to teach your children about the history of our US government, the constitution, and the election process. Simple videos like the Electoral College video from Schoolhouse Rock can be a fun way to introduce big ideas while classic films like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” give reminders of the impact a single individual can make. And my free Civics curriculum plan for high schoolers is a perfect way to dive more deeply into original sources and philosophical works.

Cultivate Peace in Your Home

I’ll never forget going into my room and sobbing as a child when I heard the result of a particular election. I had heard adults on the radio and in real life issuing dire warnings for months on how everything would rise or fall based on the results of this election, and as a kid I didn’t have perspective to realize the world had not actually just ended. But I still constantly hear adults speaking of politics and election results in such fearful ways. Remind your children (and yourself) that Christ is King. Remember that our security is not found in the winner of any election but in the God who rules the wind and the waves.

Hands-On Activities to Learn About Elections in Your Homeschool: U.S. Elections Lap Book from Sonlight

The U.S. Elections Lap Book Kit from Sonlight provides a hands-on way to teach your children the election process in America. This open-and-go box has everything you need to learn about 21 fundamental election topics. Notebooking or lap booking is a perfect option for kids who love illustration, hands-on activities, and research.  

us elections lapbook sonlight

This kit is designed to appeal to a wide range of ages, from elementary to high school. I think it would be such a fun project to work on as an entire family, perhaps during Morning Time or even in the evening with Dad. It is a consumable kit, so unless you’re ok with having children sharing and taking turns, you’ll want to get a different kit for each child who wants their own lapbook. This is a perfect supplement for any homeschool U.S. Government or Civics course!

The U.S. Elections Lap Book kit includes all the materials you need:

  • Lap Book Instruction Booklet
  • Lap book Base (File Folder)
  • 1 Sheets of Dura-Lar
  • 1 Piece of Red Felt
  • 1 Liquid Glue
  • 1 Glue Sticks
  • Gold Glitter
  • 1 Roll of Double-Sided Sticky Tape
  • 6 Paper Fastener
  • 2 Pieces of Velcro
  • and all the pre-printed materials necessary to complete the lap book.
3 branches of government us elections lapbook

What topics are covered in the Sonlight U.S. Elections homeschool kit?

  1. Definition of “Election”
  2. Different Forms of Government
  3. The American Experiment
  4. The Three Branches of Government
  5. Suffrage
  6. Who Do We Vote For?
  7. Terms of Office
  8. A “Handful” of Political Parties
  9. Caucuses and Primaries
  10. National Conventions
  11. The Presidential Campaign: Platform
  12. The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
  13. The Presidential Campaign: Media
  14. The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising
  15. Raising Money
  16. Statistics
  17. Election Day
  18. The Electoral College
  19. Inauguration Day
  20. The Electoral Race!
  21. The “Vocabinet”
electoral race sonlight us elections lapbook

Each chapter includes a project to be completed to reinforce the topics being studied. Use the kit as part of your homeschool curriculum, or enjoy it as a fun supplemental activity during the summer. By the end, you’ll have a completed lapbook to reference again and again, and your child will be so proud of their completed book!

Want to start with a free elections unit study? Download this FREE Sonlight Elections Unit Study.

How to Teach Your Child About Voting and Elections sonlight lapbook

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