A U.S. Constitution and government course for children that has been in the making for over two years was released Sept. 13 by homeschool curriculum company The Good and the Beautiful (TGATB).
The family-style course, titled “US Constitution and Government,” has been created as an open-and-go resource for 4th–8th graders, is suitable for parents to teach on weekends or school breaks, and its timing couldn’t be more relevant, say the curriculum developers.
“[The course] is ready at a time when the founding of our country is being undermined, socialism and communism are openly and unashamedly promoted, and freedom seems to be on the decline,” Heather Hawkins, a lead writer and researcher for the course, told The Epoch Times.
TGATB founder and owner Jenny Phillips believes it is a parent’s responsibility and privilege to teach their children “the amazing story” of the founding of the United States and wants children everywhere to understand “the principles of freedom that have guided this country and made it a light to all the world.”
“Parents shouldn’t rely on schools to do this,” she said.
“With so much misinformation being spread in our world today, we focused on creating a course based on source documents and accurate information,” said Phillips, who employed a large team of writers, expert reviewers and fact-checkers, editors, illustrators, and designers to develop the “groundbreaking” curriculum, now available as a history course set on the company’s website.
The full course set consists of a 32-lesson full-color course book—which explains the text and context of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and all 27 Amendments—short inspirational audio biographies of the Founding Fathers and Mothers, a student journal, and an adventure story, “Mystery on Constitution Island,” written just for the course.
Teaching the ‘Legacy of Freedom’
Though there are existing U.S. government courses written for high schoolers in the homeschool curriculum arena, Hawkins, of TGATB’s Curriculum Development Team, says there’s been a big hole in the market for courses aimed at the middle grades, yet a “proper understanding of the role of government” by this age group is necessary for the safeguarding of freedom and human rights.
“Children in public schools today are often not taught about the legacy of freedom that our founding documents have,” Hawkins said. “They are not taught that our natural rights come from our Creator and that individual liberties are what drive a creative, innovative, and compassionate society that can impart good all around the world.”
The course teaches children not just to know the liberties that “Nature and Nature’s God” has given them, Hawkins said, but to appreciate and to love them. “The continuation of freedom and human rights depends on our recognizing the proper relationship between us and God and between us and government,” she added.
“If people believe they receive their rights from the government, then they will look to the government for all of their needs. If people read and study the founding documents, they will very quickly realize that the prevailing view of government for much of our country’s existence was that our natural rights come from God and the government’s role is to protect those rights.”
A Course for Young Learners
Unique and highly interactive components of the new Constitution and government course, including full-color mini books, games, hands-on activities, audio biographies, and 3D pop-out models, “make a complex topic come to life for young learners,” Hawkins said, adding that it’s very well suited for families to go through together since the ideas covered in the course are applicable to everyone.
“The course highlights and encourages open discussion on many concepts such as bias, truth, equal rights, democracy, tyranny, freedom, and self-government,” she said.
Varied games and fun activities that are engaging for children yet meaningfully teach each concept have been included, ranging from a scavenger hunt to card games to shooting rubber bands. “The Constitution doesn’t have to be dry and boring!” Hawkins explained.
There’s also an optional fun activity book for children of grades K–3 who may be learning along with their older siblings.
“The course is very flexible and can be done just once a week for an entire school year, which makes it perfect for families with children in public or private school,” she said. “If you have about 45 minutes on a weeknight or weekend, you can easily add this into your family’s schedule.”
Hawkins said that though the course is suitable for families of any faith, it highlights the strong Christian values that the United States was founded on and the influence that the Christian faith had on the Founders and on the Constitution.
‘A Dire Need’ and ‘Urgency’
The developers of the course say they hope that the students who study it develop a greater love for the country as well as a steadfast devotion to freedom and an appreciation for how precious our liberties are.
“They risked their livelihoods and their very lives,” Hawkins said, referring to the extreme hardships endured by the Founders in the fight for independence and in the creation of the founding documents of the U.S government, a fact the students will discover and come to appreciate through the course.
“Our children need to learn about such dedication and sacrifice. They need to see that freedom is worth defending and standing up for.”
Referring to the rapid advancement of socialism and communism being pushed around the world right now, and the “disrespect of the past, a rewriting of history, and a loss of freedom,” Hawkins said: “There is not only a dire need to teach our children constitutional principles, but an urgency as well, because as John Adams said, ‘Liberty once lost is lost forever.’”
The Good and the Beautiful’s “US Constitution and Government” course set is now available for purchase on the company’s website here, and for a limited time, the course book is available as a free PDF download. To learn more about the course, watch the videos below.