Sunday, April 6, 2008


I had a respresentative of TeenPact call me a few months ago & wanted to send me brochures to hand out at my homeschooling group. I agreed & didn't think much more about it. Then my oldest son started questioning me about how we elect a president and all that government can sometimes entail. We began a free unit study on the election process & I thought more about TeenPact.

TeenPact is typically for teens & runs for four days. It's a way to teach them how the legislative process works & all of this is done at the state capital. What I really liked was how it has a Christian worldview. They also do a one-day class for 8-12 year olds.

Since B is 11, I decided to sign him up. He was very excited until I told him we would have to go clothes shopping as there is a dress code. All boys need to wear dress pants, dress shoes, dress shirt & tie (many even wore suits or dress coats). We had pants but that was about it! A new homeschooling mom to the area had an extra pair of shoes so we were able to use those. On Thursday we hit Wal-Mart & picked up a dress shirt & tie. B really wanted a "real" tie but all I could find that would fit him were clip-ons. It worked and he decided it wasn't all that bad to be dressed up either once he tried everything on.

The state capital is about an hour to an hour & a half drive away - depending on weather & traffic. I also needed to swing by my sister's house (she lives an hour from Augusta) to drop off my two younger children. She had agreed to watch them for me for the day. This meant I got a jump start on my early morning routine. ::sigh::

I was up at 4:45 Friday morning. Why so early? I had planned to sleep until 5-5:30 but I had a low blood sugar so I had to get up & eat. I decided there was no point going back to bed so that is when my day started.

The point of the one-day class was to familiarize the students with how a bill is made all the way from being assigned to committees, being debated upon & voting on them. I have to say - if there is a TeenPact in your state & you can go - DO! It was a fantastic time & B really had a lot of fun.

When it was all said & done I asked him to rate it on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) & he said, "It was 5000!" A little bit later he wanted to make "an amendment" to that & said it was five million!!! Needless to say, he had a good time.

I found out almost near the end of the day that the staffers - the ones teaching the younger students - were teenagers! I had thought them all to be in their very early teens. However, the boy leading the group was 18 and there were even two 16 year-olds on staff. The leader did a great job of getting his point across with enough humor & fun to keep the attention of all the kids there - most of whom were little boys.

The day began with prayer & then all the children were divided in to committees (with candy names no less - B was on the "Skittles committee"). Then we went on a prayer walk. Our group went to a spot above the governor's office & prayed for him & then down the hall to above the senate chamber & prayed for them. Each group prayed for different people at the capital.

Then after a talk (and skit) about how a bill becomes law, the children presented their bills (this was pre-class homework) & they were assigned to committees. The bills ranged from serious all the way to funny (all children will get dessert if they eat their lunch & dinner).

B presents his bill on the prevention of animal cruelty.
Before we broke for lunch we also broke back in to committee & debated the bills we were assigned. We only got through three of the bills we were given & only one passed. It had something to do with ice-cream - I think. It was one of the funnier ones though.
After lunch the staff ran a talk on public speaking. Again, the kids had a great time & the staffers did wonderful! The leader would talk about a different aspect of public speaking such as making eye contact, using your hands appropriately, and things along that line. Then he would choose seven volunteers from the audience (and had no lack of them!!) to practice the skill.
B was chosen during the round on making eye contact. Every child in the audience had to raise their hand. As the speaker spoke on their assigned topic (how would you like to be able to fly), they had to make eye contact for two seconds with each person. Each person would put down their hand once eye contact was made. The child only had 30 seconds to talk.
B was last - he's watching the others go first here.

B's turn. I remember him speaking about going supersonic & faster than the speed of light - I think.

Then the time to debate the bills and see which ones would pass began. I was very proud of B. He was in no way intimidated by getting up in front of everyone to talk. He is up front at this point simply because he proposed an amendment to the bill being discussed. He was fielding questions while "in the well" & did very well.

Overall this was a great day. I am wishing I had taken more photos of the state house itself though! They sent us on a scavenger hunt that took us throughout the capital building & I was so busy helping B I never pulled out my camera. ::sigh:: Next year!


  1. Landon did the TeenPact one-day when he was 8. Greg took him. He took a pic of Landon presenting his bill. You could barely see his head poking over the top of the podium. LOL! He also loved it. We have not had a chance to do the 4-day yet. We need to make time as Landon could definitely be a politician in the future!

  2. Wow, what a great experience. There is no way any of my guys would get up in front of all those other kids...well, maybe Bess.

  3. We've had a group of kids from our co-op do TeenPact each spring. From what I hear it's been an awesome experience.

  4. I see you did the one day version for younger kids. They also have another program that I think is nearly a week long for the older kids and that is what most of the people in our co-op have gone to... and it's great for giving them hours toward a high school gov't credit.

  5. Soooo, I'm a year late, but that's kind of the story of my life. Great post, Lisa. We have a girl from church who travels around leading TeenPacts, particularly when a state is shorthanded. I chatted with her Mom briefly about it several weeks ago, and reading your post is prompting me to (finally!) go find the website. Thanks!!


Oh thank goodness! I'm not here all alone. Thanks for leaving me a comment. It helps that I'm not always talking to myself. Right? Hello?