If we ride gracefully away from the election battlefield to view the
election from a higher hilltop, we may realize what an opportunity any
presidential election presents for the young women in our lives.

It’s an exciting time, one that provokes a lot of questions about who is
voting for whom and why.  Elementary and middle-school kids will
likely side with their parents, while high school students might be
developing strong opinions of their own. 

Girls as young as first or second grade can learn something significant
about the election process through history, and about the voting
process during an election year.  Older children start to grasp the
fabric of the important issues at hand.

How can our girls learn more about the election and the candidates on
the Internet?

One computer teacher in the infamous town of Sleepy Hollow, New
York, decided that the existing kid-friendly election sites were tailored
for older kids – very busy, lots of visuals, and not so easy to navigate. 
Terry Hongell decided to create Electing a President, a website that is
targeted for about the second-grade level.

She achieved her goal, in my opinion.  This site has clear, specific
areas you and your kids can click on for more information, such as
Words to Help You (glossary), All About Electing a President (election
history), 270 to Win (electoral college/process), and Vote for President (kids
can vote!  It’s virtually tied right now between Obama and McCain). 
My eight-year-old was so excited that she could finally place her vote
and see it “count!”

For older kids, my favorite site so far is called Scholastic Election 2008.
Scholastic has taken a news-style approach to the election coverage.
Articles allow kids to meet the candidates, explore the issues, and
follow the campaign trail.  Most of the articles are written by kids.

This site also offers a parent’s guide to the presidential elections,
where you and I can answer kids’ questions about the campaign and
find activities and resources to spark lively discussion.
Visit one of these sites and give your girls the chance to take a mini-
course about civics and government, explore election-related activities,
and express themselves through a vote.  They’ll feel much more
connected to the election than they would by watching the
mudslinging on T.V.

Mama J (Diane Fromme) is a writer, parent, and stepparent located in
Northern Colorado.  For more information on her stepparenting book,
go to



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply