Political affiliations have become very divisive over the past few years. However, regardless of what party you choose to align with politically, all elections operate the same way. And I believe it is imperative that we teach our children the process and how it can impact their own lives.
When my kids are younger, we simply talk to them about politics organically. During the year of a presidential election, we talk about the candidates and their policies. We talk about what we believe the country needs (or doesn’t) based on the candidate’s campaign platforms and how it fits into our Biblical worldview. We teach them to really read and listen to what is being said rather than assuming they know what a candidate believes.
A few years ago our oldest was studying government. He loved every minute of it and literally read through his lessons in less than four months. Ever since he has been not only kept up with politics, but he’s also become quite invested in them. He enjoys watching the debates, reading about the topics and researching them himself.
And while I don’t believe all of my children will share his same passion, I do believe it is important that they learn all about elections and the voting process. But little kids need to do it in a fun way, which is why I love the idea of holding a Mock Election! This is a perfect exercise to do with just your family or your homeschool group.
Before you can have a mock election, you’ll need voters! Have all your kids/students fill out the Voter Registration Card. This one doesn’t give as much information as a real voter registration, but it’s enough for our mock election exercise. Use these as a way to share with kids what is needed to register to vote when they reach the legal age.
Understanding the Office
Research and understand the office being filled by the mock election. Whether President, Senator, Congressman, Governor, Mayor, Councilman – there is a lot to learn about the different offices. And each office has a duty, which needs to be upheld by the candidate fulfilling the position. Once your children understand the offices, they can choose one (or more) to vote on in your mock election.
Choosing Your Candidate
Using your knowledge from studying the different offices, have students choose or create a candidate that will fulfill the requirements of that office. During this exercise they will use their creativity to create a campaign slogan and posters, possibly even coming up with a logo for their candidate to help them get elected. They can use cartoon characters, stuffed animals, people they know or create someone entirely new!
Hold Your Mock Election
Once candidates have been chosen and slogans have been created, it’s time to campaign. Your children can campaign to family, friends, other homeschoolers or just in your own home. How ever you choose to run the election is up to you. Just be sure everyone knows the rules and participates fairly. Voters can complete their own ballot and even get their very own “I Voted” badge when they turn it in!
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Teach little kids about elections and the voting process in a fun way by holding a Mock Election! This is a perfect exercise to do with your family or a larger homeschool group.
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