A very good friend of mine and I were discussing economics for the high school homeschooler the other day. We studied economics last semester and liked what we did. And when I say “we”, for once I mean that the kids liked it too. I think my oldest enjoyed it the most. We ended up having some lengthy discussions. Discussions that I ended because I couldn’t talk about it anymore, so I told him to save it for his college professors. Super homeschool mom moment!
I told my friend that I would email her the link. If you know me very well, you know that it takes me FOREVER to email anyone anything. It is a very bad habit of mine, and I mean nothing by it. I always seem to remember as I am trying to fall asleep.
We used the Uncle Eric book, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, along with the Bluestocking Press study guide to go along with it. I think this is a nice, little book with some good information. The study guide has some good readings in it. However, I just didn’t think that it was enough for a half credit course. And so I did what any tired homeschool mom would do and checked Google. A 10 minutes search brought forth an interesting title.
I found a course, Lessons for the Young Economist, over at the Ludwig von Mises institute. It is free. I like free. Free is my favorite price. As an extra bonus, it has a teacher’s manual to go along with it. It includes tests, but there were no answers for the test. If it did include them, I missed them. This forced me to read the chapters, and, if you know me at all, you know this did not make me happy. (Another super homeschool mom moment!) However, in the long run it was better. You know, long discussions and all.
I think both of these books balanced each other very well. Penny Candy focused on money and inflation, and the Mises book focused on different economies such as socialist, capitalist, and mixed economies. There was also a full discussion on supply and demand. There was an advanced topic on the business cycle which I found very easy, unfortunately, too easy, to compare to today’s current economic situation.
We also played a stock market game at Marketwatch.com. You have to register, but it is free. (My favorite price!) You can make a private game and give the kids a certain amount of money to invest in the market. We played the game for the semester. It was all right. It gave the kids an idea about buying and selling stocks, but they lost interest quickly. If they learned anything, they learned it is best to diversify. Freckle Face owned 20 different companies and won the game. My husband owned 2 companies and came in last. So, there you go.
I think economics is important for the high school student. Everyone should have a basic idea of economics, and high school may be the only time they get a course in economics. After early grouching, my kids liked it.
Here is the link for Lessons for the Young Economist. The link to the teacher’s guide is on the same page. Hope this helps anyone looking for something that is easy and thorough.