Economics in the Homeschool
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.
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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 do 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 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, and having 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 intelligent children, I’ve used many tools and come across others 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 Economics Resources
The resources for economics in the homeschool include curricula that can be used for entire courses or lessons that you pull out to use here and there.
Teaching Economics Using Children’s Literature *
Striker Jones: Elementary Economics For Elementary Detectives and Teacher’s Companion
Junior’s Adventures: Financial Peace
Literature-Based Lessons from KidsEcon Posters *
EcEdWeb Lessons, many are literature-based *
JMU Center for Economic Education
Children’s Literature List with Key Economics Concepts
Middle / High School Economics Resources
Curriculum / Textbooks:
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? *
Common Sense Business for Kids *
Capitalism For Kids: Growing Up To Be Your Own Boss *
Economics for Everybody DVD Course *
Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University DVD Home Study Kit *
The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America
EcEdWeb Lessons, most of these are very good *
Economics Resources For Various Ages
Living Books About Economics
How do you teach economics in the homeschool?
More on economics!
Thank you for a great resource list! Another oldie, but goodie, is Toothpaste Millionaire.
Ooh, thank you!
So glad to have found your website. I was searching for ways to make economics more fun for my 3rd grader. We have just started homeschooling and are following a school curriculum which includes economics in the social studies textbook. Your resource links for literature about econ are exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!
Yay, Stephanie! I LOVE teaching economics!!