Like the other homeschool-friendly curricula published by the Notgrass family, Exploring Economics provides careful integration of biblical study and worldview with broad-based coverage of the topic – this time, economics. Not a study of business or personal finance, this course fulfills the standards of the National Council of Economic Education and is designed to provide thorough coverage of the basics of economics. In addition to an overview of economic terms and concepts, a survey of the economic history of the U.S., comprehensive coverage of economic ideas, and economic issues that confront America today, there are two units that examine God’s economics including a survey of economic ideas in church history and the economic issues that Christians face today. While the course has the stated goal of providing an understanding of what economics is and what it will mean to the student as an adult, it approaches the subject from a perspective of faith in God and a reliance on the Bible as God’s infallible Word to man. While looking at both classic economic definitions as well as changing economic realities, the author obviously holds to a capitalist free-market system.
As in the other Notgrass courses, the Curriculum Package includes the Student Text and a “Reader” – The Stewardship of God’s Riches. The Student Text, which is very readable and understandable (an accomplishment when the subject is economics), includes 75 daily lessons (typically 4-5 pages each) divided into 15 units. Each reading segment is followed by daily assignments that rotate between selections from the Reader, “Econ Labs,” writing assignments, and/or the discussion questions and quizzes from the optional Quiz and Exam book. The Stewardship of God’s Riches is a collection of documents, speeches, and essays that will help the student understand the practical implications of economics. Selections include excerpts from Adam Smith, Walter Williams, Russell Kirk, George W. Bush, and less familiar figures. Econ Labs are a variety of activities designed to help the student apply what he is learning to real-life situations. For instance, talking to someone in business about supply and demand or researching the “economic indicators” described in a lesson. Writing assignments are given weekly and include essays (the three most important changes in the American economy in the last 100 years) or summaries (of a family who has been hurt by a recession). The Quiz and Exam book are considered optional. The Student text includes a set of 10 questions for each lesson, a Quiz for each unit, and an Exam for every five units. Packaged with the Q & E book is an answer key providing all answers for the questions, quizzes, and exams. Discussions for the Econ Labs or writing assignments are not provided but would be helpful in some instances. Questions, Quizzes, and Exams all tend toward reiterating textual information, while the Econ Labs and writing assignments tend toward analytical and evaluative activities.
This is intended to be a one-semester course. This would be typical for high school economics and the number of units/lessons implies this. Although not overly intense, there is plenty of work here and the conscientious student will acquire a good, solid foundation not only of economic theory and practice, but also of relevant biblical principles.
Download a PDF Sample of Exploring Economics
Download a PDF Sample of Quiz & Exams