Civics is all about citizenship: the study of the obligations and privileges of citizens. In truth, no education should be without a study of civics. In this article we are going to focus on four specific reasons why civics should still be a major focus in young person’s education.
As part of civics, students learn about government and the role that citizens play in the government. In the United States, our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Unlike many nations, we do have a say in who governs us, from the smallest town to the federal level. Without a solid understanding of how our government is supposed to operate, it’s easy for citizens to detach themselves from their responsibility toward government. An incorrect attitude can lead to everything from blaming “the government” for everything that goes to expecting the government to solve all our problems.
In reality, here in the United States we are responsible for our own government. If our leaders fail us, they can eventually be voted out of office. If they break laws, there is legal recourse that can be taken. We are supposed to reflect a rule by the majority, but when only a minority does the voting our government no longer represents the nation as a whole. Of the many things taught in Civics, the importance of voting may be the most vital lesson.
Another important reason why civics should still be studied is to prevent ignorance. When misinformation is combined with ignorance, a nation’s freedoms can quickly be lost. We must know not what our rights are, and what limitations are supposed to be in place in our government in order to preserve those rights. Good citizens also know to look at the big picture: too many times we look to the government to simply pass a law to solve a problem that is too complex for such a simplistic solution. A thorough knowledge of the working of laws and codes can inform us and help us to understand that passing more laws doesn’t solve our problems, but can easily create more.
Civics empowers the citizens of a nation to hold their government responsible for what it does. At the same time, Civics teaches us to take advantage of available recourses when that government fails to do what it should. We are able to recognize when the government is overstepping it assigned boundaries, but, even more, we know what we as a nation can do to prevent that from happening again.
Civics holds us responsible for our government and its leaders. It reminds us that if we don’t vote, our government no longer represents us. The study of civics prevents ignorance and disarms misinformation. It also empowers us to hold our leaders responsible for their behavior and their decisions. Civics teachers us that we are the true leaders of our country, and our failure to vote or take action against poor leaderships is our own fault. Civics helps us preserve the benefits and freedoms of the country we live in.
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.