Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew

As a homeschool family, sometimes you have to accept the fact that your children may not get all the experiences they would in public school… like… mock trial for example. Oh wait… they still CAN have that experience as a homeschooler! We recently got to review Homeschool Court Student Worktext, Teacher Manual and Case Summary materials from Homeschool Court. Written for grades 4-8 (but adaptable for high school students), students learn about the American Judicial System through this program that ends with a Mock Trial.

My son was actually part of a Mock Trial team through a co op when he was in middle school. I remember thinking I could never have enough knowledge or confidence to lead something like that. Homeschool Court really helps with all of that!

The program is definitely teacher intensive. The teacher’s manual is thorough and guides the instructor through the program, equipping them to facilitate a great experience. The nine chapters of the teacher’s manual and student worktext include:

  1. The Basics
  2. Biblical Foundation and Application
  3. Who’s Who in the Court System?
  4. Our Judicial System
  5. Types of Cases
  6. Steps in a Trial or an Appellate Case
  7. Persuasive Arguments
  8. Preparing for the Mock Trial
  9. The Mock Trial

I have one (soon to be two) high schooler in my home. Completing a mock trial with my one high schooler could be entertaining. Once, in a play, he was the Big Bad Wolf and he was on trial. He played his own defense attorney. When he interrogated himself, it was hilarious. However, in this situation, I would prefer to do this Mock Trial experience in a co op setting. It is still possible to do this curriculum with just one or two students. Instead of a full Mock Trial, they would submit an essay, paper, or debate at the end.

The curriculum is very interactive. It is presented in a question and answer format. The text is in small, digestable pieces and easy to take in. I, personally, get super overwhelmed with a lot of words on a page and no break. This is not the case with the materials from Homeschool Court.

In addition to the Teacher’s Manual and the Student Worktext are three student case summaries. One is a civil trial for a dog bite at a dog show. Another case summary is a trial that argues the authenticity of a will. The last summary is an appeals case that argues whether a school prayer is constitutional. All three contain instructions for planning a strategy, writing persuasive arguments, and presenting the case before a jury in a mock trial. 

The curriculum is amazing for getting conversation going in the home. This is the kind of thing that sticks with you… you know? It’s the thing that when Dad asks, “What did you learn about today?” you answer with enthusiasm and a dinner table conversation is sparked. In our current insane culture, teaching our children about the basics of how our country is supposed to run is crucial. Homeschool Court gives an in depth look at the judicial system and a tangible way to show proficiency when it is all said and done.

If you are looking for a way to introduce your student to the basics of our legal system, this curriculum is a great place to start!

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