Thoughtful Thursday Week 44 – Government

Here in the USA presidential campaigning is in full swing. One of the Republican candidates is a member of our denomination and has visited our church in Knoxville before. Of course, we would like to see him win the Republican nomination, but we are still 100 days away from the primary and anything can happen at this point.

Teaching the kids about politics, government and civics is an interesting challenge. Last summer, at a used curriculum sale in Maryville, I invested the impressive amount of $1 in a second grade Abeka textbook for history and geography. We read a few pages per week during our bedtime reading. As usual, we read books for my oldest’s level.

Thoughtful Thursday - Government

Our youngest complains at times that certain books are boring, so we alternate between books she proposes and the older books we read for our oldest. That way, she has no room to complain we do not take her wishes into consideration, while challenging her and serving the needs of our oldest. 

Just as I told you we would, we went to Brookdale Assisted Living in Sevierville to put a smile on the faces of the elderly who sat outside their rooms with buckets of candy. It was an event organized two days before Halloween, and I thought it would be a great idea for service. It was. Both my children enjoyed it and said they wanted to come back and play violin and piano for the residents.

Of course, the elderly were thrilled to see the kids. They asked for their names, told them they were good-looking, and interacted a bit with them. Some forgot they had just doled out candy to them, so they gave them candy twice. The elderly are so touching, I was in tears several times. Visiting hospitals and nursing homes takes a certain kind of courage and I must confess I don’t have it, but I try.

Daddy told the children he would take some of their candy. He called it “daddy tax.” They protested. He explained to them the government takes some of the money he makes at the hotel. You should have seen the kids’ faces as they struggled to take in this new concept.

Their candy was “their” candy because they “worked” for it. But daddy explained we drove them there, which takes gas and money. We bought them costumes. All this boils down to money. The kids needed to pay their “daddy tax” in candy and, thus, cover some of the expenses daddy incurred by allowing them to “conduct business.”

And thus we had a lesson in government, citizenship, and civics. Paying taxes to the government is part of life. In fact, it is such a sure part of life, we have an English expression about it: when something is inevitable, we say it is “as sure as death and taxes.” Children have no concept of money unless somebody teaches them. And paying taxes is a big part of financial concepts.

I am thankful for a husband who comes up with creative ideas as we teach our children in our homeschool.


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