This year, I’m a civics teacher this year. One of the joys of homeschooling seems to be getting new job titles regularly. Not a promotion, per se, but a change of scenery. This is my first stint in the civics area, and I started down a fairly safe track, following someone else’s suggested curriculum and schedule. It didn’t take long for my non-conformist son to start questioning that decision. He wanted to tailor the assignments to his strengths.
He’s got a point, right? After all, among the myriad reasons we flee the conformity of an institutional education is to teach our kids to think for themselves and to be able to nurture their individuality. We could do both at the same time. (There’s a fine line between individuality and total goofball-ality, but that’s another discussion.) His assignment: research and describe current threats to five of our constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Standard essay material. So somewhere between the tortured moaning stacks of research books and the long hours of scratching words on and then off the page, Cameron stumbled across a brilliant idea. One of the political books he was scouring included a chapter on political cartoon.
Lightbulb moment! Wouldn’t that be so much better than an essay to communicate his newfound knowledge? He may have a future in politics, because he managed to convince me. (And we all know what an objective, nonbiased judge his mother is…) He spent as much time in thought and development with his five cartoons as I ever spent on an essay. But now the light of passion shone in his eyes. Now, the material had a purpose he could relate to.
The cartoon above represents threats to our personal freedom/safety. As a pencil sketch, it didn’t scan as sharply as I’d hoped.
He’s available for hire if you need a political cartoonist. Rates are reasonable. He plans to be syndicated and nationwide soon. Cox and Forkum, step aside.