Good Citizenship

If you’ve stumbled across this page and are wondering why it holds such a prominent place on our website – you’ll want to read Texas Homeschool Laws. One of the few requirements for homeschoolers in Texas is Good Citizenship. What the law doesn’t do is define what Good Citizenship is or what specific topics need to be covered.

When we first encountered this, it forced us to really think about how we would define a Good Citizen. It also challenged us to open up about our own “schoolish” programming which generally amounted to making life for our teachers and school administrators easier. It also highlighted how many citizenship “life skills” schools don’t cover well or at all – voting, taxes, legislative process, etc.

Depending on their age and your community involvement, Good Citizenship may consist of things like:

Picking up after ourselves at the park or playground
Returning library books on time
Learning about traffic laws
Visiting Historical Sites
Identifying political leaders (County/City, State, National, Global)
Watching/Reading the news (and talking about media bias)
Voting/Elections/Political Process
Volunteering/Community Service

Remember that many of these are ongoing things and the depth at which they will explore will change based on their age and personal level of interest. Election season brings an opportunity to talk about voting and political leaders on all levels.

We also have the opportunity to expand our children’s world through travel, museums, and community building.

Our focus on the fact that learning takes place constantly and effectively through our life experience means that we can use another set of tools, positive tools, that doesn’t get talked about as much: the tools of community building.

Eva Swidler
Learning About Culture & Community: Unschooling in the Real World

For more ideas on how to cultivate Good Citizenship with your Unschooler:

Good Citizenship posts on the Texas Unschoolers blog

Historical State Parks on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website (you’ll have to filter by “Historical” as there’s no direct link)

40 Ways Kids Can Volunteer: Toddler to Teen by Laura Grace Weldon

Tips for Volunteering with Kids by PBS Kids

Heroes in Training: Unschoolers, Heroes, and Community Service by Unschool Mom2Mom

Honestly, the first thing that came to mind when pondering Good Citizenship was this Schoolhouse Rock video, “I’m Just a Bill”…

I’m Just a Bill from Schoolhouse Rock