Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Election 2012 (followed by giveaway)

on September 9, 2012

With the 2012 Presidential Election just weeks away, I’ve wrestled with how — and whether — to explore the electoral process with Little Bear. On the one hand, she’s just four years old. She’s years away from participating in the electoral process or even beginning to form her own political opinions. On the other hand, I firmly believe that good citizens are made, not simply born, and I want her to recognize and appreciate our unique form of a government from a young age.

As I contemplated the election through a child’s eyes, I asked myself what I hoped my preschooler could learn through the process, and I came up with a list of age-appropriate ¬†goals. At this stage, I want her to learn that …

  • Different countries have different types of governments. Some countries have kings or queens. The United States has a government chosen by the people.
  • The President is the highest elected official in the United States.
  • The President is chosen by the people. He serves the people and is accountable to the people.
  • The Vice-President serves under the President. He will become President if something happens to the President.
  • George Washington was the first President of the United States.
  • Barack Obama is the current President of the United States.
  • The President lives in the White House.
  • As Christians, we have a duty to honor our elected officials (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17), to submit to them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14), and to pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
I’ll probably take time to familiarize her with the two candidates for office, but will not delve into their beliefs and/or politics. I distinctly want to avoid presenting the candidates as “our guy” vs. “the other guy,” along with any “good guy/bad guy” stereotypes. At the ripe old age of four, I don’t think she needs to have a “preferred” candidate. Rather, I think she needs to understand that it’s her duty as both an American and a Christian to honor, obey, and pray for the leaders God allows to hold elected offices.

Planned activities for the weeks leading up to the election include …

  • voting on a dessert. Each person in the family will get one vote, and each person’s vote will carry the same amount of weight.
  • finding Washington D.C. on a map.
  • take a virtual tour of the White House.
  • reading about past presidents. Read short profiles of a different President (Smart About the Presidents) and first lady (Smart About the First Ladies) each school day. Read longer biographies of Washington, Obama, and any other presidents that capture Little Bear’s interest.
  • taking a field trip to the polls. Go with Mommy to vote and see how the electoral process works.
  • watching news coverage of the election. Count red states and blue states. Compare electoral college votes.
  • praying for the newly-elected President.

In light of the upcoming election, our September giveaway is for a copy of Woodrow, The White House Mouse, one of my favorite books for introducing young children to the role of the U.S. President. I’ll also be giving away a copy of the DVD So You Want to Be President… and More Stories to Celebrate American History (Scholastic Storybook Treasures) in October.

2 Responses to “Election 2012 (followed by giveaway)”

  1. […] Loving, and Learning Together « Wacky Wednesday Election 2012 […]

  2. Andrea says:

    Wow! I love your ideas for introducing government in pre-school.
    I really hope I will be able to use your ideas in the future. You would make a great pre-school at home curriculum writer. I’m guessing that might be a goal in all of this!
    Keep up the amazing work!

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