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 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

Curriculum:

Teaching Economics Using Children’s Literature *

Striker Jones: Elementary Economics For Elementary Detectives and Teacher’s Companion

Junior’s Adventures: Financial Peace

Online Lessons:

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

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 *

Economics in a Box

Exploring Economics

Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University DVD Home Study Kit *

Money Matters for Teens

The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America

Starting a Micro Business

Online Lessons:

15-question economics quiz *

EcEdWeb Lessons, most of these are very good *

Currency Exchange Mystery

Playdough Economics *

For Various Ages

Computer Games:

Chocolatier

Lemonade Tycoon *

Some of My Favorite Children’s Literature for Teaching Economics Principles:

Chicken Sunday
The Giving Tree
The Goat in the Rug
Pancakes, Pancakes!
Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory
Charlie Needs a Cloak
My Rows and Piles of Coins
Beatrice's Goat
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid)
A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books)
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Dragonfly Books)
Uncle Jed's Barbershop
The Babe & I
Peppe the Lamplighter
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mama Panya's Pancakes
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
The Toothpaste Millionaire

&

What about you?  How do you teach economics?

More on economics!

   

 

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for a great resource list! Another oldie, but goodie, is Toothpaste Millionaire.

  2. Stephanie says:

    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!!

  3. Yay, Stephanie! I LOVE teaching economics!!

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