Review of We The People: Getting To Know Your Constitution by Homeschool Legacy1:01 AM
I have had every good intention of giving my kids a formal instruction on the Constitution (instead of them just hearing about it in my daily ramblings about politics with my husband at the dinner table.) Our opportunity to review an 8-week Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy did just that. We started using the "We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution" book right away upon receiving it with our 5th grader and our 10th grader. It was something that they did very well with together, and I even learned quite a bit, too! (Priced at $21.95 for the hard copy and $17.00 for the digital version.)
First, this product is designed to take 8 weeks to go through, provided you do one lesson a week. There is enough content for a week, easily, and -- if you tend to get a bit off track into other learning opportunities (like we do), you could even extend that out a bit into a good part of a semester. Because there are lots of optional activities, you can really immerse your child in the life and times of the signers of the Constitution and give them weeks of additional, structured learning tasks. For that reason, I see this as perfect for a summer curriculum, if you need a good learning method in something important to keep kids sharp until the next school year. (But it also makes an excellent social studies/history course.)
Many of many of the activities are focused on key learning areas of other subjects, however. Kids will get a good dose of literature, writing, and even art! There are opportunities to visit historical places, both in real life and virtually through online tours. Families will enjoy all of the hands-on lessons that bring history to life in a very vivid way for kids in grades 4-12.
This unit study is Biblically-based, so your children will get a good amount of Bible know-how through the Family Devotional that's included each week. There are also references to God and His plan for our country in the other subject-areas, but nothing is specific to a particular church or theology. I could see this being used in any home that views the Bible as truth, without regard to denomination.
The reading list that's encouraged to be used with this curriculum is one of excellent quality. As a family that embraces "Classical" style learning, and the Charlotte-Mason Method, we were happy to see that many books on the recommended reading lists were already in our home. I will say that you need to review these lists ahead of time, however, as many people will not have them, and finding them may take time. (The best books can be classics, and libraries are slowly abandoning them in favor of newer titles. We were lucky enough to find some of the recommended titles online via used book stores and auction sites.) Even if you don't have the money to spend on extra books, however, there is enough content in this Unit Study to learn from; The Constitution and Declaration of Indepedence are free to read and print out, as well.
We knew from our first lesson that this curriculum was a keeper. After a pretty intense day of Bible Study, scripture memorization, and language research, my two kids were fulfilled and excited to be learning about the documents that shaped our country. The first lesson was concluded with an optional viewing of the movie "National Treasure", which we VERY much enjoyed watching with the kids. It just further helped build the fire that my kids were catching for our rich history and the meaning of these documents. I thought the movie recommendations, games, and "fun nights" were a nice added touch that helped make this study a family-centered event.
Other than reviewing the reading and movie lists and making sure you have titles on hand, there is NO prep work that needs to be done. I would simply skim through the content to make sure I was confident in what we were going to do, as well as had everything on hand to do the activities. (There was one recipe that called for corn meal, and I actually had to go to the store to get it! We were out.) Even in a pinch, you could move some activities around and work on what was just included in the book. There is enough to make a full day or more from the material!
All of the books, including this one, are available as a digital book. While I reviewed a hard copy, I would have no problem using the digital version, as it makes it very easy to print out what we need for the day. I also really like how easy it is to store digital materials. Books tend to get pretty roughed up around here!
One other cool perk is that this unit -- when completed -- counts toward the Boy Scouts of America Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge AND the American Heritage Girls Our Flag & Citizenship and Government requirements.
We the People is just one of several excellent subjects you can buy in this once-a-week unit study format. Some are appropriate for younger grades. Other topics include:
- Birds of a Feather
- Forest for the Trees
- Horsing Around
- Weather on the Move
- Early Settlers
- Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution
- and more!
Not all of these are 8-week courses, so if you have a shorter time to work with, you can always choose a 4-week course.
Read more about these studies from other parents, by clicking on the graphic below!