Even if the state we live in didn’t require us to teach economics, we would. It is THAT important. I’m not teaching it the way the public school would, but rather from a Christian worldview – one that is responsible, charitable, and stewardship-minded.
It is imperative we give our kids a solid CHRISTIAN foundation in economics. This doesn’t just affect our cash flow and stance on debt, it affects how and when we give of our time and resources, policies we support, and how we view governmental systems and agencies. This is important stuff!
Because most of us are not stock brokers or Economics professors, we will probably need a little help. So, let me give you a run down of how we teach Economics.
1. Start with Economics for Everybody. (There is an old audio-only version of this series. It is not as engaging and informative as the series produced by Compass Classroom. Please, do not mistake the two.)
Let me explain WHY we start here. This is the foundational piece. We need to give our kids a solid foundation in how economics really works from a Christian worldview. Economics for Everybody does that.
The series features R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s teaching complimented by video illustrations that help connect the concepts for you and your child. (YES, I highly recommend you watch these WITH your child – you WILL learn something!)
To give you an idea of how this works, take a look at this trailer for the series:
The reason this kind of teaching works so well is because it brings in both auditory learning AND visual learning together. Children (and adults!) learn best if they experience concepts in more than way. Using the Economics for Everybody series will give your child the best chance at actually learning and retaining the information.
In fact, ALL of my children sat and watched the class! That is how engaging and well-done this course is. However, for those of you wondering about age recommendations for this course, it is geared toward middle school, high school, and adults. And yes, you can have you middle schooler take this class and count it toward their high school credit – ahhhh, the freedom of homeschooling!
There are a two ways you can use this course:
1. Full Economics Credit – If you want your child to get a FULL credit in Economics – no fuss, nothing extra to buy – you can do that by purchasing the Homeschool Set.
The Homeschool Set includes 2 DVDs, the Study Guide, and the Basic Economics textbook by Dr. Clarence Carson and Dr. Paul A. Cleveland. (You can download the entire Scope & Sequence on the Economics Homeschool Set page.)
2. Half Credit in Economics – this is what we chose to do. The reason for this had nothing to do with not liking the textbook (in fact, I’ve never even seen the text), but because I already had some other resources I wanted to share with my kids…more on that in a moment.
If you are doing the half-credit, you will need to purchase either the DVD set or the Downloads (which you can also stream – WAHOO!)
After you have given your kids a solid foundation in Christian Economics, you can move on to…
2. Bring in resources that compliment the fundamental concepts your student has already learned. We are big fans of Whatever Happened to Penny Candy.
This book on its own is not enough to teach economics, but it is a good book, and I think everyone should read it. I read it to my kids several years ago, and they still remember many of the concepts. Now that my oldest has finished the Economics for Everybody course, I’m going to set everyone down and reread this book aloud.
I am sure there are other great resources out there that could be used to compliment, but this is the one we had on hand, and we really enjoy it.
3. Stretch their knowledge and application. This is where it gets fun! Pull out newspapers, watch the news, discuss giving to the poor and giving to the Church. Economics for Everybody gave you the concepts, now flesh them out! Listen in on financial radio shows and talk over the advice being given. Have your teens consider their own guidelines for saving, giving, and exhibiting fiscal responsibility. Everyone in your family will be challenged!