One of our successes this year, at least from my perspective, is Oak Meadow's 8th Grade Civics. Noach is doing this with 3 Boy Scout badges, Citizenship in the Community, Nation and World.
Last week, Week 5, was the Bill of Rights. He wrote an essay on the pros and cons of the First Amendment. Can you think of any topic more timely? We have had some wonderful discussions. The Supreme Court is considering a case involving the obnoxious Fred Phelps and his "church". The speech is hateful but legal. And I for one cannot condone limiting it. (Now I don't feel the same for Koch Industries but that's another post.)
Yesterday there was the case of the young activist stomped on the head/neck at a Rand Paul event. In the past it was common to have protesters at political events but the people who swear they love the Constitution have a problem with tolerating free speech.
This curriculum is rigorous, just ask Noach. He has one long and 2 short essays to write this week on freedom of religion. He is working on a 3 or 4 week paper, begun last week, on the Fred Phelps case. Also he has an ongoing project collecting news articles that illustrate the Bill of Rights. I had to resubscribe to the local newspaper for the year and I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading it daily. I just wish I could justify the expense of the NY Times. Many of the assignments are discussions rather than essays and he will be going to City Council meetings later in the year.
I highly recommend this. And it is especially relevant during an election cycle. PRM