Elections for Kids

My mail-in ballot came last week, and between it and the hourly phone calls of someone telling me how to vote, the kids have been very curious.

Sarah has a great resource-page on teaching elections in your homeschool, so definitely check her out.  We read Syl Sobol’s Presidential Elections book last week, and the kids really enjoyed it.

As we talk about all the issues on the ballot (Colorado has three proposed amendments to the state constitution on the ballot) and the pros and cons of each, I am reminded of a sermon my friend gave on the 9th Commandment, Exodus 20:16: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Of course she said it more eloquently and clearly than I will here, but the gist was: when I simplify my neighbor’s position to the point of ridiculousness to make them look bad, I am giving false testimony about them.  I am lying.  And there’s a whole lot of it going around right now.

The sound bites and distorted ads my children are seeing and hearing are as false as other ads out there.  They hear an ad and ask, “Is that true?”  And we spend twenty minutes sorting through what is fact and what is hyperbole.

While my kids know my opinions about this election (though we’re still sorting through pros and cons of the proposed amendments), I hope they also know why I think the way I do– and that no party has a monopoly on “values.”  If I am going to tell the truth, I am going to have to take the time to understand my neighbor and why he thinks the way he does.  And it’s going to take way more than a 30 second ad to do that.



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