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Teaching politics to tots part 2

February 4th, 2004 · No Comments

The other day I described how I am trying to teach my children politics and geography during this presidential election year.

Yesterday I overheard Abigail, as she was putting socks away in her dresser, say to herself: “Kerry wants to be the President.”

And while NPR played in the kitchen, Michaela caught a few words and yelled “Howard Dean!”

So I felt perhaps the kids were learning something.

But this morning, Abigail saw the Seattle Times headline: Clark, Edwards head off clean sweep by Kerry

“Clark?” she asked. “Wasn’t there someone else in the boat with him?”

Someone else? Was she thinking of another candidate?
But the part about in the boat with him? What boat?

I couldn’t figure out what she meant.

Then Michaela chimed in with the answer: “Lewis!”

So now I know I’ve got some more work to do – such as expanding their repertoire of presidential candidates, and giving them a better sense of history and time, so that they wouldn’t expect those Jefferson-era explorers to be running for political office two centuries later!

Later in the morning I took out the morning paper and tried to show them where the states from last nights voting were on our big atlas.

“Here’s Oklahoma”

But Abigail had other ideas. “I’m looking at the flags, Mom”. She was having fun finding the states that went with each flag. So, unschooling homeschooling Mom that I am, I let her enjoy that. There’s always 2008…maybe I should wait…

Or maybe they’d like to think about what the states shapes mean as in this funny cartophilia post with pictures (via Boing Boing )

I can’t say I’m too creative with how I’ve interpreted geography -(the closest I come is to describing Puget Sound as an alphabet letter – I tell people “you know that ‘J’ in Washington – well, that’s where I live, right in the middle of it, on an island”)- but I can imagine kids coming up with all their own descriptions….

Tags: news