Page updated December 2021
In this course, we go line-by-line through the entire Constitution and all the amendments.
Think you don’t need this class? Take the 10-question quiz here.
This course is designed for students from 12 to 120 years old, and we’re particularly interested in reaching out to four different groups:
- Teens & Parents–To start ongoing family discussions about the Constitution.
- Those wanting/preparing to take the Oath for Military, Law Enforcement, or public office.
- Those who took the oath long ago and are now thinking more about the Constitution.
- Everybody else!
The 13-hour course is designed to be interactive, with a few activities interspersed to keep it fresh. We’ll start with the very basic questions: What is a constitution, and why do we need one? We’ll discuss the Rule of Law and why that’s better than either mob rule or dictator rule. Then we’ll break down the Constitution into its various parts and see what they say.
This is a non-partisan course aimed at discerning the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. And the main goal is to get the participants thinking about it and discussing it–and thus, more likely to go look things up in the Constitution from here forward, rather than merely to assume. This is not some information-dumping class, where the teacher tells you everything and then quizzes you on it. No, this is a discussion class aimed at getting you thinking about the Constitution and the main issues that surround it.
WHO WILL DO WELL?
The whole point of this class is to process the Constitution internally–to think about it–to discuss it–to reflect on the ideas that it’s built on. The document itself is the result of ideas. To take a just-the-facts approach to it, then, is to miss the wisdom of it. The student who has been fed a steady diet of facts, but has not been taught to consider ideas, and who is accustomed to copioius worksheets and memorization drills, may have a particularly hard time in this class, as the teacher does not follow that approach. Students are expected to discuss, and should expect to be regularly called upon for that purpose. To come to this class not ready to discuss is like going to baseball practice not ready to take the field, or to show up without a baseball glove. Thinking and discussing is what we do in this class. It is a two-way process. Students who have not learned to be two-way people, but only want to receive data dumps from the teacher, will not do well in this course. While it’s likelier that an older student will tend to be a two-way person, it’s not guaranteed. And I have known ten-year-olds who would do very well in this course. I have set the minimum age at 12, though there are certainly some over 12 who simply aren’t ready to discuss ideas.
ABOUT THE TEACHER
Jack Pelham is the Executive Director of We, Montana! and teaches most of the courses in our Homeschool Program. He’s a professional writer and teacher, and is the author of the novel, The Extraordinary Visit of Benjamin True (The State of the Union as no one else would tell it). He also authored the nonfiction online book, Character Not Included: What America must fix before she can fix anything else. He also published the primer video podcast, Reality-Based Thinking: Rethinking the World with Jack Pelham and the audio podcast, Rethinking the Bible with Jack Pelham. He has published over 700 memes containing short thoughts on good thinking.
Mondays, 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
The one-semester class runs September 13, 2021 through December 6, 2021.
You’ll want to bring a notebook and a folder for various handouts, along with two or more pens. (You’ll be seated at tables.)
The following policies must be read and understood to enroll in this class. This is a lot of stuff because it takes a lot of details to run an excellent organization for everybody. Please invest the time to study all this. You will be asked at registration to give your word that you have done it.
Code of Conduct
Performance & Rehearsal Attendance Policy
Special Needs Policy
Spring 2022 Performance Schedule
This course meets, as do all our courses, in the We, Montana! Great Room in South Billings.
WAITING IN CLASS
We strongly discourage parents and others waiting in the classroom during this seminar, as that’s basically taking the course for free. Please plan to wait elsewhere.
$70 per student