19 December 2012

Homeschooling: Good citizenship

Texas is one of the best places to live if you want to homeschool your children. Homeschooling families are considered private schools under Texas law, and the state does not regulate private schools so the requirements are minimal. As for curriculum, Texas homeschoolers are required to study reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship.

That last one usually gives people pause. Good citizenship? What do they mean by that?

Well, specifically they mean you should study how our government works, and how a good citizen participates in it. It's part of teaching your kids to grow up to be responsible adults. It's about instilling a sense of civic duty and a greater understanding of the part they play in a representative government. Even if you don't live in Texas it's not a bad idea to cover this in your homeschool.

Now my kids are still a little young for a in-depth class on government, but there's no reason not to start teaching them the basic principles of being a good citizen and a decent person. I was looking for something age-appropriate and I found these cute flashcards:


They've got adorable illustrations, and cover a number of topics that fall under the broader definition of good citizenship, such as:

Take responsibility.
Help people in trouble.
Know the rules and follow them.
Fix problems instead of ignoring them.
Show respect and consideration for others.
Keep your promises.
Clean up your messes.
Make others feel comfortable and welcome.
Don't be wasteful.
Cooperate with others and use teamwork.
Do the right thing, even if no one is watching.
Don't be greedy.
Compliment others on good work.
Don't cheat.
Don't call people names or use rude words.
Listen when people are talking.
Be kind to animals.
Don't stand for injustice.
Talk out your differences.

The same people also make a set of Good Manners flashcards, and in my experience little kids really like the "polite piggies".