Overview: A free market economics homeschool curriculum can be hard to find — if you’re concerned about which type of economics your kid learns, check this one out! Note: I received free curriculum for the purposes of this review and was compensated for my honest opinion.
I almost failed Economics in college. Truly. I could NOT understand the content. The basic idea of supply and demand wasn’t so hard, but once it got past that point, it became mumbo-jumbo to me. It seemed like economic concepts and policies were tricks with smoke and mirrors, and I could not predict or understand them. The memory of struggling through that class still makes me shudder!
But now, older and wiser (at least a little bit, lol), I know why I had such trouble. It was because most economics courses teach Keynesian economics, which, although it is the prevailing view of economics in our day, is not a predictable science but more of a philosophy or theory. And Keynesian economic philosophy believes in government intervention to manipulate the economy. Who, I ask you, is going to be able to predict or easily understand anything that the government does? Not I, said the little red hen. :-)
When I chose a homeschool economics curriculum for my oldest child, I did the best I could. But not surprisingly, she did not enjoy the content. The course was dry, confusing, and uninspiring. Guess what? It explained economics from a Keynesian viewpoint. Most of them do, y’all.
Finally, a free market economics homeschool curriculum!
Recently I was introduced to a homeschool high school economics course that presents the subject with a vastly different approach. The course is produced by the Institute of Faith, Work, and Economics, and it is not only unabashedly Christian but also emphasizes free market economics rather than Keynesian. To me — and I think it will also be to many families — this is a breath of fresh air.
Economics is a course that many colleges require students to have taken in high school; but we don’t want to just check the box, we want our teens to actually understand what they are learning and grow from it. I have no hesitation in recommending Biblical Foundations for the Economic Way of Thinking by IFWE to anyone who wants their teen to learn the principles of economics from a Biblical viewpoint, in a way that is more easily understood and more motivating than most other economics courses out there.
Reasons why I recommend this Free Market Economics Homeschool Curriculum
1) I like the book they are using as the major text for the course. It is called Common Sense Economics, and it fulfills the promise of the title:
“Now, as in the past, two visions are competing for the minds and hearts of Americans. One is of limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility; the other, expanding government, collectivism, and dependency. America was founded on the first, but the second has been in ascendance for at least a century. Under the first vision, the economy will be directed by personal choices coordinated by markets, under the second, by central planning and politics. It makes a big difference.”
Yes, it does. Makes sense to me! And the future of our country depends upon whether it makes sense to our students.
2) I like that there are many other reading assignments, both required and optional. (All of them are found on the IFWE website, so no searching the internet or having to purchase them.) The articles range from “Can Genesis Teach Us Anything About Economics” to “How Does the Market Work” to “Why Profits are Not Exploitative” to “A Biblical Case for Limited Government” and everywhere in between. This is not a cookie-cutter economics course. The student will be exposed to many great minds, and they will learn to think Biblically about economics as a whole and about their place in the economic context of society.
3) I like that the course is set up for the student to complete via independent learning. This is my preferred method for coping with homeschooling high school; it’s the best way to make it doable without making it harder than it needs to be, as well as for preparing teens for college.
For each module, the student completes the reading, then there are a few study questions and an optional family activity. The learning objectives and key ideas are spelled out clearly. There are 17 modules, including one each for the midterm and final exam; so at approximately one module per week, it will work perfectly for a semester-long, 1/2-credit course.
4) I like the fact — and I don’t think it can be emphasized enough — that this course is NOT about Keynesian economics. If you want your student to learn economics via the standard party line, then this is not the course for you. This course will teach your student about taking personal responsibility AND caring for others in ways that are not government-based. It will teach them that a free market, not a manipulative government, is the best foundation for everyone to flourish. It will teach them about economic freedom and its benefits. It is a free market economics homeschool curriculum. Don’t get this course if you don’t want your child to be exposed to these ideas.
5) I like that the course will enrich a teen’s Christian worldview objectively, without resorting to emotional manipulation — what parent doesn’t want that? In an election year such as this one, this course would be a great introduction to many of the topics the candidates are debating about. Rather than relying on the media for information, our teens will learn from sources who hold the Bible as the standard for all principle.
I know this is crazy stuff. Who knew economics could make sense? Check it out for yourself by downloading a sample lesson — and receiving a 30% off coupon — here: Sample of IFWE Free Market Economics Homeschool Curriculum.
And you can buy the course itself here: Biblical Foundations for the Economic Way of Thinking.
Economics does not have to be smoke and mirrors, y’all. It can be learned as a subject that finds its foundations in the Bible and is characterized by common sense and logical thinking. You may just want to learn alongside your child with this free market economics homeschool curriculum from IFWE, so that you both can have a better understanding of the issues of today and the ability to make wiser decisions for the future. Sounds like a plan to me! :-)