|Teaching civics (citizenship and government) is an important part of parenting...that is if we want to raise the next generation of wise, godly voters and public servants. Anyone else tired of hearing the incredibly lame answers given by the "man on the street" when asked very basic civil government questions? (YIKES, and these people are allowed in a voting booth?) And who isn't tired of hearing the latest politician pontificate about his desire to increase government reach and spending?|
As a family, we decided to do something about that...study our state and state government together with our responsibilities to be godly citizens.
We have a beautiful state to explore from ocean beauty and mountain wilderness to farmland wonder to vast timber forest, all within easy driving distance from our metro area. Explore a little further yet, and we have high desert and pioneer trails.
While not technically civics, learning about the diversity of our state's landscape and natural resources with the thriving industries provided by those resources helps us as citizens to appreciate the unique and diverse needs of those who live in our state, and those whom we influence with our voting philosophy.
This page is dedicated to listing those resources we find useful in our studies of Oregon, its history, government, and geography.
Some local resources we can recommend:
Champoeg Historical Site (near Newberg/St. Paul areas) features a unique combination of history, nature, and recreation. This is the site where Oregon's first provisional government was formed by a historical vote on May 2, 1843. This vote is still commemorated each year in the May founder's day at Champoeg which includes historical re-enactments. Historical re-enactments occur through the year, including a Pioneer school.
Christian Heritage Ministries of the Northwest provides tours, speaking engagements, and materials to promote the rich, but little known, Christian Heritage of the Northwest. Several tours are normally scheduled each summer, with group tours available by reservation. Tours includethe memorials and historical sites in the Salem area that commemorate our the cornerstones of the church, education, government, and culture in the Northwest. For further information contact Vaughn Longanecker, 503-709-0779, or email@example.com
OCEANetwork is a Christian homeschool support and informational network, dedicated to protecting the rights of homeschoolers in our state. OCEANetwork provides regular state legislative alerts, an annual convention, and an annual Apple Pie Day event wherein homeschoolers congregate at the capitol to bring an Apple Pie with a word of encouragement to our state legislators. Workshops, a choir on the steps, and tours are available throughout the day, as well as a chance to sign up to meet your representative in person. This event is usually held in the early spring.
TeenPact trains young people to be leaders who will impact the nation and world for Jesus Christ. The Oregon TeenPact is usually held in April of each year (registration begins in early January, and spots fill quickly). Your student has a choice of a week-long program or a one or two-day workshop. TeenPact is held at the capitol building in Salem so that students gain real life experience working with actual Congressmen. Our current TeenPact state contact is Carol Neumann, phone 503-632-3408, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some book resources we've appreciated:
Discovering Oregon by Katherine Matchette is a resource to study Oregon's history. We've not used this particular curriculum, but it looks to be an updated version of our beloved, but out-of-print, Oregon History Student Workbook described below. Discovering Oregon includes six units which cover the history of Oregon from its beginnings up to the twentieth century. Published from Tualatin Oregon, this resource provides worksheets, self-tests, maps and more.
It Happened in Oregon, by James A. Crutchfield, provides "fascinating stories about thirty-one events that helped make Oregon what it is today." Many of the characters included are, well, characters, so a number of the stories are humerous describing notable as well as a few notorious historical figures. This book is secular, but we found it to be well written.
"The Land of Fair Play" published by Christian Liberty Press. While listed by the publisher for 7th grade, we have found this to be a very useful resource for junior high and high school (and debate club). In concise form, it covers the purpose and brief history of government from a Christian perspective, gives detail about our federal and state government systems, then provides research opportunity to investigate your local government and civic activities.
Oregon History Student Workbook by Georgia Pennington Sligar provides unit chapter studies with activities and worksheets. Five units cover the history of Oregon, one unit covers land and animals, one unit covers Oregon facts, and a final unit covers Oregon counties. We took this on our car trips and studied the counties as we went through them. (Buy used at Exodus or curriculum sales.)
Exodus Bookstore provides many more books and curriculum to help your State and government studies.