American Government by Immersion
by Joel Grewe, Deputy Director of Generation Joshua
Not so long ago in a house not so far away:
“Dear, just turn off the TV! You know the more you watch FOX the higher your blood pressure is going to get!”
“Grrr! I will, but it just infuriates me so much that…. ” (The new headline just grabbed his attention and he’s back on the outrage.)
This is a typical evening in many a home in America; I have seen it and I have done it. As the stereotypical male my conversation is often less articulate than the previous example. Regardless of my Latin education, debate classes, and rhetoric skills one look at American politics and I am reduced to caveman-level articulation skills.
Thus, it should not be a huge surprise that often when we sit down to teach American Government, and by necessity American Politics, we are frustrated beyond words by our political system (assuming you can call the political mess we have a system).
As parents we know America has a unique system of government, something that is worthwhile, and we know it is a blessing from God that we should steward. The difficulty for us comes when we try to teach Government. Most students learn best when a multiplicity of senses are engaged, but Government is tough to teach in a hands-on manner. This is where Generation Joshua is such a valuable resource for parents. Generation Joshua is a division of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) which is designed to “assist parents to raise up the next generation of Christian leaders and citizens, equipped to positively influence the political processes of today and tomorrow.” We do this several ways. The most basic component is common sense grounding in our government documents. We have courses based on original sources, not a historian’s summary, which challenge your students to understand not just the words on paper, but the historical context that those words come out of and the biblical principles therein (please note: we do the grading for you). This is just the beginning of how we teach.
Generation Joshua provides a platform for hands-on learning about government. The Generation Joshua (GenJ) Clubs program provides monthly local opportunities for like-minded students to engage their community as well as to form the core of our student action teams. GenJ Student Action Teams are formed in partnership with the HSLDA-PAC to provide hundreds of GenJ members with the opportunity to volunteer for vetted, pro-life, pro-family, pro-homeschool candidates in major swing races. Generation Joshua provides the housing, food, and even airline tickets when long distance travel is required. GenJ offers this opportunity to both the students in GenJ as well as their family for no additional cost!
These teams provide amazing opportunities to be involved in major swing races around the nation, and to see the direct implications of their efforts in the resultant makeup of the United States Congress. These teams also give students the opportunity to see what is involved in political campaigning from inside of a campaign.
Generation Joshua also offers an achievement program that focuses on civic engagement by the individual with a noncompetitive college scholarship reward for completion.
Lastly, Generation Joshua offers a series of summer leadership camps called iGovern. The camps are extensive, fast-paced immersion programs designed to teach leadership and American government based on biblical principles. At camp we give students the responsibilities of congressmen and senators for the week and ask them to do everything from writing and balancing the federal budget, to handling developing foreign policy crises and wrestling with what it means to be a Christian in the political arena.
The purpose of Generation Joshua is to be an asset for parents who have politically oriented teens and to be a welcome opportunity for parents who wish their teens were more politically aware.
It is incumbent on homeschoolers not to grow lax in our work to preserve and protect the freedoms we enjoy today. This duty means investing time and money to ensure those freedoms are deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of the next generation. Thankfully, Generation Joshua does not require a large investment. The program is membership based so, aside from the summer leadership camp, members participate in the rest of the program for no extra cost. Generation Joshua offers three types of program memberships and HSLDA members receive discounted prices on each of them.
#1 Individual Membership is $35 for two years per individual student.
#2 Family Two Year Membership is $90 per family; this membership is good for two (2) years and covers all dependent children for two years (up to 19 years of age); parent/guardian memberships included.
#3 Family Ten Year Membership is $400 per family; this membership is good for ten (10) years and covers all dependent children for ten years (up to 19 years of age); parent/guardian memberships included.
For more information on Generation Joshua and how you can be involved, please visit the website at www.generationjoshua.org, call us at 877.338.8803, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Generation Joshua is a unique initiative for the future of America and I hope it will be a useful tool in your homeschool.