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2016 Election Class
2016 Election Class
Crime Scene Camps

What this class is:  This class will cover everything about U.S. Presidential elections.  We will also add details about differences with other types of elections.  In April, May, and June, we will discuss the primary and caucus processes, delegates, superdelegates, endorsements, campaigning, methods of dividing up delegates in each state, how candidates choose vice presidential running mates, past methods of electing presidents, changes to our laws and Constitution specifically aimed at elections, voting rights, conventions, and other issues that are appropriate in the first half of the election cycle.

Over the summer (July and August), we will have 2 optional online sessions each month (unless everyone wants to keep going, and then we can just adjust accordingly).  These two months will focus on the realities of where the two major parties are in terms of selecting their nominees, the importance of the conventions, the possibility of a contested convention, the concept of “delegate revolt,” and more.  We will have a dedicated chat room where students will be able to add links or information that they find interesting or important during this time.

In late August or early September (depending on the families’ schedules), we will start back up with a regular meeting schedule.  We will focus on the campaign for the presidency, learn about debates and how outsiders rate each person’s performance, discuss the pros and cons of a two party system, examine other systems of governance, examine political ads, look at recent elections to glean hints at why each candidate is doing certain things, and more.

Students will be encouraged to examine the statements of candidates at all points on the political spectrum, create projects (such as surveys on specific issues), and attend some type of political speech/rally/meeting.

What this class is NOT:  This class is not going to be a weekly debate between people who support different candidates.  Since it is intended as a very full learning experience about our election processes, I want to steer clear of this sort of thing.  Having said that, there will be very specific times (i.e. after a televised debate), when students will be encouraged to share their opinions on what they heard and saw.  

This year, I will be offering a special class called U.S. Elections.  Since this is an election year, this is obviously a good time to do this class.  There will be two versions of the class, and I will discuss the details of how they will meet separately to hopefully avoid confusion.  In terms of content, all materials provided by me, the number of discussions, and so on will be the same. There will simply be a different format for some meetings between the two classes.  I am also offering these class for two groups: tweens and teens.  

Information about my background and ability to prepare and teach this course:  As some who visit this site may know, I have been running programs and classes for kids since 2005, and I have been teaching college courses longer than that.  I have a law degree from a top U.S. law school and practiced law for over 11 years.  During my time in law school, I was a research associate for a leading international and comparative law professor, and I was heavily involved in legal philosophy, including the legal/philosophical underpinnings of democracy.  For instance, I was the only student selected to present a paper at an international legal philosophy conference, with the rest being professors.

After law school, in addition to my practice, I was invited by the University of Illinois to act as a Constitutional Law expert on panel discussions.  I received my Master of Arts in History from Illinois with a concentration in legal history.  During my college years, my minor was political science.  

But, most importantly, those who know me will say that I’m just a big kid and I love working with kids in all types of classes.  In 2008, I created a huge website devoted to election law and history for homeschoolers, and I am absolutely kicking myself for not keeping that up.

Capital District Class:  For those who sign up for the Capital District class (either location), there will be monthly meetings in April, May, and June.  I will provide readings, links, and I will have either a separate section on this website or an entirely new website devoted to this class.  During the weeks when we don’t have in person sessions, there will be online meetings. Then, I will have optional summer meetings (both in person and online).  In the early fall, we will pick back up with the normal schedule and go through and beyond election day.

Schedule:  Scheduling can always be tricky with homeschoolers, and it is no different with me. For the April-June in person classes, I am going to have to hold those on Fridays (unless the families prefer Saturdays or any evenings) because my wife a professor and faculty chair who is preparing to go on sabbatical, so she’s in crazy mode.  Once July rolls around and she starts her sabbatical, my schedule opens up completely throughout the end of the course.  The online meeting times will be set (the same time each week) in consultation with the families.  I am fine with having two different times to make sure that everyone can make it.

I am planning on having two locations for these classes: Saratoga Springs in the mornings and down in Colonie in the afternoon.  Each in person session will run approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.

Hybrid Capital District Class For Those Who Can’t Make It On Fridays:  The same weeks that we do in person classes, I will be doing online sessions with the same content for my online only students.  During the spring portion of the class, if someone can’t make it on Fridays, then they can attend online.  During the Fall, we can either change from Fridays or add a second day for in person classes.

Online Class:  This class will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 1 pm Eastern Time starting the week of April 4.  If this time does not work for the families who wish to register, we can alter this time to any day other than Fridays.  We will meet weekly in the middle or latter part of June, depending on families’ summer plans.  We will then have 1-2 online sessions per month in July and August that will be optional.  There will be a chat room dedicated to this class, where students can share links, thoughts, information, questions, etc.  In late August or early September, we will pick back up with our regular meetings.

I can promise that this will be an engaging, educational class.  I’m really excited about it myself.  My 14 year old son will be taking it, and I am going to cover everything necessary and foster discussions and questions so that the students learn more about how our system works.

Cost of the class:  This class will run for six months, with two optional months in between the two halves.  The students will have somewhere in the range of 25-30 hours of time with me (either in person or online), and they will get materials and access to a dedicated site for them to post their work/ideas/etc.  So, this class will be slightly more than one of my normal online classes, but not by much.  The cost will be $130 for the entire course.  

However, as I usually do, I will offer of discount for people sign up during the week the course is posted.  This means that anyone who signs up this week (by March 27), will get the reduced registration fee of $105.  On Monday, March 28, the registration fee will return to $130.  

There are also discounts if kids from the same family take the course (even if they are in different age groups).  The discounted fee will be $90 through March 27.

To register for the class, please use the tabs below.  You can use the same tab for the Capital District, Hybrid, or Online versions.  You should (SHOULD) be prompted during checkout which option you are choosing.  For some reason, not everyone gets this question.  If you don’t get it, don’t worry.  As soon as the notification comes to me, I will be e-mailing out a full set of questions (which type of class, student’s name, age, etc.).  

Registration for one student below:


Registration for one child for the 2016 U.S. Elections Class that runs from April through November 2016.

Election Class

$105.00

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Price:

Registration for one additional student in the same family below:


Registration for one additional child in the same family for the 2016 U.S. Elections Class that runs from April through November 2016.

Election Class+

$90.00

Item:

Price: