Constitution or Citizenship Day - September 17th

Mr. Hughes wrote many Citizenship books for U.S. students, but I wouldn't call them  "living".

Constitution Day, aka Citizenship Day,  is celebrated on September 17th which is the day in 1787 that the U.S. Constitution was signed.  Honestly, I didn't know there was a Constitution Day before I began teaching citizenship to teens at our CM high school group, The Hive.  We will be spending much longer than a day talking about our Constitution.  One of my vintage school books calls the Constitution, "the fireside companion of the American citizen."  I wonder how many Americans have actually read it? And by the fireside?

"At ten years old, the children begin to learn what Citizenship means by reading Arnold Forster's The Citizen Reader." - PNEU meeting at Annual Conference, 1920 (Charming book but on England's government and rather dated.)
Citizenship for high schoolers in a Mason school encompassed many things - original documents, Plato, Ourselves, biography, history, Plutarch, even some textbookish tomes!  It involved economics, morals, current events, and  community issues.  When fully examined, Mason's syllabus shows that citizenship isn't a one-time class for credit nor a unit study but something that addressed the whole child over his entire school career.

Here are some resources you might find interesting for Constitution Day:

I really like "The First Book" series, but  Fisher's woodcuts in this one make the Founding Fathers rather zombie-like. Good, but drier than Fritz.

For the younger set, but a nice introduction for all ages!

I'm reading and loving this.
Excellent resource featuring 113 primary source documents.

Hillsdale College has made their Constitution 101 course available online - for free! 

What living books do you know of that deal with the Constitution?  I would love to hear your suggestions.

From joy to joy,

Here are more posts about Charlotte Mason and the subject of citizenship - 


  1. I'm so glad you posted this! I was asking what is citizenship a few days ago on the AO forum. Way back in 2010, I'd read the other posts you'd done about citizenship but had forgotten where I'd seem them. Thank you for the links to those as well.
    I've seen a couple of the books you've listed here but many I haven't. Unfortunately, I can't give you any books on this subject; that's what I come here for. ;)

    1. You are too funny! Since I wrote the Citizenship piece for the CLUSA project, I have much more to say about this. Hopefully, I can get that paper available soon.

  2. We read The Story Of Our Constitution by Eva March Trappan last year and enjoyed it. It is out of print, but is available as an ebook from Google Books and probably other places too.

    1. Amber,
      Perfect! I like Eva's writing very much! Thank you! This looks like a perfect upper elementary/middle school level book on the subject. Here's the link - https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=4TLiAAAAMAAJ&rdid=book-4TLiAAAAMAAJ&rdot=1

      From joy to joy,

  3. Oops, make that Eva March Tappan! I would add a link to the free ebook, but my iPad isn't letting me do that.

  4. have you looked at Paul Johnson's The History of the American People: chapters on The Constitutional CONVENTION; the Ratification Debate; Citizenship, Sufferage, and the Tyranny of the Majority; the Role of Religion in the Constitution ~ just a small part of the book. The Electoral College by George Grant is good on the process of election. The document itself must be read. Have they studied the Articles of Confederation and those Presidents before the Constitution?

  5. WHAT do you think of God and Government by Gary De Mar? By the way, just got a book by Eleanor Farjeon : Edward Thomas: the last four years. ABSOLUTE favorite book: The Little Bookroom.

  6. "something that addressed the whole child over his entire school career"

    yes. this is it. i was trying to put my thoughts into words, and couldn't.
    the whole child.
    his entire school career.

    citizenship is one part of the formation of useful persons. those who are most useful in society, specifically, i suppose.
    not useful in the utilitarian sense, more in the helpful sense, if you know what i'm getting at...
    examples of the good, right, noble and honorable... magnanimous.
    those who would lift a nation.
    and yet, not necessarily by being outspoken or involved in the public arena.
    just sporting those qualities that make a good citizen, at whatever station in life.

  7. My oldest child is studying the Constitution and Bill of Rights now. We don't have a fireside for her to read next to, however. :) Maybe we'll light some candles during our discussion (she'll wonder where I got that idea!).
    Thanks for participating in the CM Carnival!