Disclosure: I received Exploring Economics at a discount from Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
If you shop for clothes or groceries or gasoline, if you buy imported goods, if you start a business, if you read the headlines, if you support and vote for political candidates, economics will affect you. If you are ignorant of the subject, people who have all sorts of agendas can mislead you. The danger of ignorance is real in many areas of life, but it is especially dangerous when it comes to your money. “Introduction to Exploring Economics, Ray Notgrass
The above quote applies to the majority of humans on God’s green Earth, right? It would be safe to say that every high school student could use a course in economics. Exploring Economics from Notgrass History is a one-semester course that provides a one half-year of credit for high school. As with most other courses from Notgrass, there is also an optional English credit included in the course that is designed to enhance and compliment your student’s study of economics. The goal of this curriculum is to help the student understand economics from a Biblical worldview. Topics include how markets work, investing and trade, economic history, labor, economic issues in today’s world as well as God’s economics in church history and today.
Course Components of Exploring Economics
Exploring Economics curriculum package includes:
- Exploring Economics lesson book with 75 lessons and complete lesson plans
- Making Choices, a collection of assigned documents, essays, and speeches
The optional Quiz and Exam pack includes a student review book, quiz and exam book, and answer key. The four literature books assigned, if using this course as an English credit, are not included.
Exploring Economics contains 75 lessons divided among 15 units. I love the layout of the lessons! Each unit has a short introduction, followed by 5 (4-6 page) lessons in each unit, as well as suggested projects relevant to that unit. There are optional student review questions for each of the lessons. Included are questions on the literature titles if you are using that option. The questions for review consists of 10 short answer questions. For each unit there is a quiz on the 5 lessons in that unit. After every 5 units there is an exam that includes the material from the previous 5.
The quizzes and exams are matching, multiple choice, and fill-in-the blank. The answer key has the answers for all questions, quizzes, and exams. One feature I like is that there is a number in parentheses next to each answer that shows you in the text the page number in which the answer if found.
The Projects and Readings
Aside from the user-friendly layout of the text itself, I want to mention the projects and readings from Making Choices. When used in conjunction with the text, these can help your student (and yourself) gain even more knowledge of economics in a hands-on way. Both of these are a valuable part of the course. The projects range from writing essays, to creating posters, conducting interviews, Bible verse memorization, research, even creating skits and videos! I love that there are so many options available for different kinds of learners. All of the suggestions can showcase each student’s creativity in their own, unique way.
Making Choices contains historic documents, speeches, essays, and more to broaden the understanding of economics. I was intrigued with the first essay, I, Pencil which is written in first person from the viewpoint of a pencil. There are many other historical documents from familiar figures in our history, as well as interviews, stories and essays from current figures. It is noted in the introduction of Making Choices that not all the people or ideas are endorsed, but are included to challenge your thinking.
What I thought of Exploring Economics
I have used several products by Notgrass, and have always been beyond satisfied with the content. Exploring Economics looks to be the same. The presentation, Biblical content, and overall quality of the materials are top notch. The text is very readable with its conversational tone, and contains plenty of colorful graphics and illustrations. Lessons are designed to be completed independently, with minimal parental involvement. I’ll let you know ahead of time, that you will also enjoy reading the lessons. What I have done with a recent Notgrass course, is teach it to both my kids at once. They are two grade levels apart, and the curriculum works nicely with small group or independent study.
I will say that although Exploring Economics is designed as a one semester course, there is plenty to work with to make it last longer. And it will likely take longer if you are doing the reviews, projects, and readings. The curriculum is thorough and flexible enough to use how you choose, and still finish with a solid understanding of economics.
You can find Exploring Economics in the Timberdoodle Twelfth-Grade Curriculum Kit, and is also available to purchase separately from the kit on their website.