Sadly, the formal study of economics is left out of most of the curricula I’ve run across in my 11+ years of homeschooling. An understanding of economics is EXTREMELY important as our children grow up to care for a family, learn to tithe and give, and become the financial leaders of our country.
Unless we took an economics course specifically in high school, or more likely college, I venture to say most Americans today don’t have more than a surface understanding of managing our own money – much less how the government officials (who are supposed to be accountable to their well-informed citizens) are managing our money in the larger scheme of things.
Is economics something that can only be understood and taught at the high school or college levels? No way! We should begin teaching economics principles as soon as our kids understand the worth of money.
And just how to we go about this? Homeschool Economics!
Economics in the Homeschool
In the earliest years, our family starts with chores, allowance and a saving/spending/giving model; we teach them the hard work and satisfaction of saving for big ticket items; and we make sure there are lots of opportunities for giving with joy. As opportunities present themselves, we introduce economics vocabulary into our conversations.
During the elementary years, we use literature to help us demonstrate some more formal economics concepts in a laid back way. I’ve shared about one of those lessons in this post about productive resources. We also try to plug in at least a few field trips that lend themselves to economics discussions – factories, a bank, a grocery store, farms, having a good conversations with any business owner. Really, just about any trip can be turned into an economics-themed trip – even a trip to a pioneer fort where you discuss trading goods.
In my quest to raise economically smart children, I’ve used many tools and come across others that are waiting in the wings for the right time. I’ve included all of them below. The * indicates those that are tried and true resources.
Elementary / Middle School
Middle / High School
Curriculum / Textbooks:
For Various Ages
Some of My Favorite Children’s Literature for Teaching Economics Principles: