Every citizen has a responsibility to learn about their civic duty. While many public schools teach civic responsibilities as a part of their social studies curriculum, parents who choose to homeschool have a more difficult task. If you’re homeschooling your teens and want them to be conscientious and ethical citizens, here are some ways you can teach them how.
Get Involved in Your Community
The first way to teach your teens about their civic responsibilities is by getting involved in your community. No matter what your teens want to do with their lives, they will have to be active in the community to some extent. By getting your family involved in things like social fundraising programs, community outreach, or park cleanup programs, you can teach them about what responsibilities they have as citizens.
All too often, people only focus on their own wants and needs to the exclusion of community health. When you raise your kids to be more socially minded, they’ll be conscious of other people and more likely to live their lives in an ethical and sustainable manner. Getting involved in your community will not only help your teens become better people, but it can also help open your eyes to perspectives you may not have been aware of previously. Many people adopt the worldview they grew up with and never permit anything to change that. By talking to people around your city, you can help your children learn to understand other people.
Include Documentaries in School Materials
Another way you can teach your teens about their civic responsibility is by including documentaries in your schooling materials. Everyone likes watching movies. While it may not be productive to put on a Disney movie in the middle of a school day, turning something from the History Channel for your teens to watch can give them an idea of the real-world application of your lessons. Additionally, documentaries allow your teens to listen to stories from around the world, breaking them out of their shells and sheltered way of thinking.
Along with benefiting your teens, including documentaries in your schooling program also gives you a bit of a break. Homeschooling can be a full-time job, leaving little time for housework, personal matters, or even just a moment to yourself. When you turn on a documentary or educational video, you get an opportunity to get some of your own tasks done. Whether you have cleaning, outside work, or a nap on your to-do list, documentaries can help you stay stress-free. By including educational movies and videos in your curriculum, your teens will become more socially minded and aware of their civic responsibilities.
Listen to Marginalized Voices
Finally, listening to marginalized voices will help educate your teens about their civic responsibilities. While the United States has come a long way in terms of racial, gender, and economic prejudice, there is still a long way to go. During your schooling process, it’s essential to include lessons from all different groups of people. These voices don’t often get heard, and having your teens listen to them will produce more well-rounded adults that are socially conscious.
Listening to marginalized voices goes beyond just including a token person from your way of thinking in your lesson plans. If you want your children to be socially conscious and fully educated about their civic responsibilities, you must get a broad spectrum of voices and opinions. This difference of thought and beliefs will allow youth to form their own mindset and worldview, ultimately helping them develop a strong moral compass as they seek out the truth.
Overall, you have a dual responsibility as a parent and homeschooler to educate your teens about their civic duty. With these tips, your teen will be socially minded and ethically conscious.