Homschool Tidbits: Books to Read This Election Year

June 21, 2024

Welcome to Build Your Library’s Homeschool Tidbits: Episode 71 –Books to Read This Election Year! In this weekly video series, I will delve briefly into a topic related to homeschooling and share some of my knowledge and expertise as a long-time homeschooling mother of four children—three of whom have graduated high school and two who are college graduates!

It’s an election year, and if you are a homeschooling family, you are probably trying to take advantage of this event by studying elections, government, and politics. So, I thought I’d give you some great book recommendations today to help you get the most out of your studies.

Of course, I want to plug our Election unit study. If you are looking for a comprehensive, planned-out study of the election process, this will be a great fit for you. It is a three-week unit study that will help you explain to your children how the government works, political parties, the electoral college, and more. It uses just three books, so adding to your regular homeschool routine is very easy.

But if you want even more book recommendations to help explain the election cycle to your children, I’ve got you covered. Today, I’m going to give you five book recommendations that you can include in your morning basket or just leave around the house for your kids to peruse. These will help your children better understand our government and elections.

To kick it off, I have to recommend one of my favorite resources: The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation by Jonathan Hennessey. I love this book because it’s easy to read and understand and covers the entirety of the Constitution, from the reason it was written to ratification and everything in between. The author explains every clause, article, and amendment, citing historical examples to help you better understand how and why this document is central to our government. This is more for teens and adults, but read slowly and with lots of discussion; I think a child as young as 12 could get a lot out of it.

Next, I want to recommend History Smashers: Women’s Right to Vote by Kate Messner. I’m a huge fan of the History Smashers series, these little books cover a lot of historical topics and they are done extremely well. The author does a great job of exploring history through different perspectives. My youngest and I read this one last year, and she STILL talks about what we learned regularly. This book smashes the myth that just one or two women got the government to pass a law giving women the right to vote. It took thousands of women and many years of fighting and protesting to get the 19th Amendment passed. This book covers a lot of ground, not only will they learn about women’s suffrage, but how the abolition movement got involved, the importance of protesting,  and so much more.

If your children are too young for the US Constitution Graphic Adaptation, I recommend We the People: The United States Constitution Explored and Explained by Aura Lewis and Evan Sargent. It covers all the same information but in a way that middle-grade readers can understand, with lovely and colorful illustrations. Each two-page spread covers a topic, from the branches of government to the 27 amendments to the Constitution, giving you a bite-sized way to add civics lessons to your homeschool routine. This one is great for ages 8 and up!

This next book is perfect to read with your teens – True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News. It’s not specifically election-focused, but I’m including it because learning how to navigate the internet and social media is a skill we need to be educated voters. This book covers a lot of ground, from the history of fake news (spoiler alert, it’s been a problem since Ancient Egypt!) to how to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, to learning how to detect fake news – this book should be required reading for all teens and adults! My youngest and I have been reading a chapter a week all year, and we’ve had great discussions. We’re both learning a lot!

My last recommendation is more of a suggestion because I haven’t read it yet. But I wanted to include it here because once you’ve read the constitution and understand how our government is SUPPOSED to work, you can read You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People by Elizabeth Rusch. This book seeks to help you understand the problems we face in our country and look for ways that we can fix them. I plan to read this one with my daughter in the fall after finishing the Constitution Graphic Adaptation and True or False so we can continue our civics studies and dig even deeper into understanding how our government can and should work.

Explaining elections and voting to our children can be challenging when we all have such strong feelings about them. I hope I’ve given you plenty of options today to help you teach your children about the election process this year!

Coming up next…

I hope you found this Tidbit helpful! Come back next week for more homeschooling inspiration!

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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