In elementary school, American school children start learning about the United States government and history.
Teaching kids about their home country is a key element of shaping their cultural identity and sense of self. Whether your child was born in the U.S. or not, learning about her country of residence is important for her education.
And giving kids an understanding of our national history can help them begin to form their own understanding of our country, both its geography and its political structure.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when teaching kids about the U.S.:
Wondering where to start with geography? Work on learning the states and their capitals.
At a young age, kids can develop the ability to identify individual states based on their shape and location. This is a perfect way to teach the geography of the country as a whole.
When a child learns the locations of each state, along with the name of each state capital, he’ll probably retain that information for a long time, especially if you help make the concepts more concrete by talking about states you’ve lived in or traveled to.
As you help your child learn U.S. geography, don’t forget to discuss the differences among regions of the country, including topography and climate.
Elementary school students can start to understand how the government works.
In the early grades at school, students often begin memorizing the names of past U.S. presidents, the various branches and levels of government, etc. Teaching how government works from the local to the national level can seem overwhelming, but learning the names of people and systems helps students begin to understand how it all functions.
Our new posters can help your child remember some of these important facts about the government.
Don’t forget about local resources.
By elementary school, your child is very familiar with her local surroundings and could probably tell you where to drive to reach any number of familiar destinations. Take advantage of her knowledge to teach her more about the area and how to get from one place to another. Then teach her where she lives in relation to the rest of the country and the world.
If you can, visit your local government offices, or point them out when you pass them. Explain how your regional government operates in your town, city, and state, and help your child learn the names of your mayor and governor.
When it’s time to vote, take your child with you if possible so she can experience the election process firsthand.
Learning about the United States can lead to many interesting conversations with your child, as she begins to understand the world around her and how our country functions. We hope you enjoy learning together, and don’t forget to check out our brand-new USA Educational Posters!