American Government, third edition (BJU Press)

American Government, third edition (BJU Press)

BJU Press' American Government is an excellent text for a Government course that should be especially suitable for conservative Protestants. The presentation is interesting, incorporating historical elements as a backdrop for the formation and organization of our own government. There's also a strong scriptural base throughout the course, and I appreciate that it's used appropriately to demonstrate both positive and negative aspects of our government rather than to buttress an "America can do no wrong" position. Worldview "sidebars" added to the third edition also help students to think about government from a Christian worldview.

A thorough course, it covers the founding and history of our government, a discussion of forms of government including a nuanced discussion of "democracy," in-depth study of the Constitution and the three branches of federal government, brief discussions of state and local government, party politics, elections, and foreign policy, including the United Nations. Once chapter that is new to this edition covers state and local government.

The student text features lots of full-color illustrations, but more valuable are the Chapter Reviews. These include terms, content questions, and application questions. The application questions, as in most of BJU Press' high school level texts, are excellent, thought-provoking, and frequently worldview oriented.

Student text pages are reproduced in the teacher's edition, which also has objectives, notes, answers to questions in the student text, and suggested activities in the margins. Instructions for a mock Congress are included, although you will need a group for such an activity. The course might be completed in one semester or spread out over two semesters; schedules for both are in the teacher's edition.

The homeschool kit includes student text, teacher's edition, student activity manual, activity manual teacher's edition, tests, and tests answer key. The activity manual reinforces lessons and provides additional activities, but there is plenty within the textbook so it isn't essential.

While this course is suggested for twelfth grade students, it might be used with younger students who have developed their thinking skills and have a good background in American history. [Note: Economics is covered in a separate textbook.]

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You might want to check out the premade lesson plans from Homeschool Planet that are available for American Government. (These are found under the BJU Press History page at Homeschool Planet.) You can sign up for a 30-day FREE trial.

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