Election Day Is a Civics Lesson in Action

Melissa Kossler Dutton

Many Central Ohio students may be looking forward to Election Day because it’s a day off of school, but that doesn’t mean they should go a day without learning. Election Day is a great opportunity for a civics lesson. Every state allows parents to take their children with them to the polls. Educators agree it is a wonderful way to explain the value of democracy and the responsibility of being a U.S. citizen.

Before hitting the voting booth, spend some time preparing your child for the experience, Girl Scouts recommends. Go over the issues and the candidates so your child knows what types of decisions voters need to make. Let them know that there may be a line, and remind them not to promote a particular candidate while waiting. Girl Scouts also emphasizes the importance of following up after the election. 

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Do more than just share the results with your child. Talk about how many people in your city and state voted, and discuss whether the outcome was close. The discussions will illustrate how critical it is that people participate in the election process.

Elections also are a good way to teach children how people can agree to respectfully disagree, recommends child-care provider KinderCare. It’s an opportunity to explain that even if your candidate doesn’t win, government will move forward. Teaching children the concept that even if we don’t agree on everything, we can still work together to solve problems has lots of applications at home and at school.