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Economics and/or Comsumer Ed?

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And my other question for the night...


I bought a great Economics book (actually 2 books... the student text and the TM) from another homeschooler that's a high school level text. But, when I was researching subjects for DS, I found a good Consumer Ed book (haven't bought it but have it in my amazon cart). Do people do both Consumer Ed and Economics? What are the differences between the two? Is it worthwhile to do both or is there a lot of overlap between the subjects?


And, finally, if I remember right, Consumer Ed is considered to be social studies... What about Economics?




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Hi Sue,

What topics does the econ book that you have cover? Some econ courses are pure economics - applying econ theories to the big picture and seeing how groups and individuals deal with economic choices. Some might include chapters on how to be an educated consumer based on economic principles, but that is not generally the focus (at least at the college level). For that, the consumer ed book might be a good addition. It is so important to educate ourselves and our children about financial matters and economic decisions large and small! If your schedule permits, do them both! And, yes, economics is considered a social science (not studies). Economics is fascinating - it is really the study of how we cope with scarcity. Hope you enjoy it!



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Here's how I see the difference:



"The social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services [on a national and/or global scale]... Economics aims to explain how economies work and how economic agents interact... throughout society, in business, finance and government." (Wikipedia)


Economics covers such topics: money supply, goods and services, scarcity, diminishing returns, inflation, entrepreneurship, opportunity costs, production and consumption, the role of government, fiscal policy, unemployment, etc. To get a clearer picture of what topics Economics covers, at Amazon you can check out the table of contents of either "Economics for Dummies" or "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics".



Consumer Ed.

Depending on what program is used, Consumer Ed. is either a unit under a Home Economics credit, OR a full math credit course.


The Home Ec. credit would cover topics such as Consumer Ed., basic home and auto repair and maintainance, cooking, sewing, etc.). The Consumer Ed. portion of the credit usually specifically covers topics such as how to budget, how to shop sales, coupons, filling out a tax return, insurance, home mortgage, etc. OR if the Consumer Ed. is a math credit it is usually called a Consumer Math course, and has the emphasis on math calculations specifically geared around real life situations such loans and interest rates, depreciation, making a budget, insurance, taxes and tax forms, etc.). Notice the big overlap in topics covered by Consumer Ed as a Home Ec. credit or a Math credit -- the slight difference lies in whether you're stressing the consumer info aspect, or the math aspect.



Personal Finance

Somewhat similiar to Consumer Ed., Personal Finance is a specific unit that could be placed either under a Home Economics credit OR an Economics credit. Personal Finance has the emphasis on personal earning / saving / spending / giving habits. Topics under personal finance include: budgeting, saving, investing, retirement savings and options, how to finance college or large purchases, debt/loans, donating to charities, etc.



We are fulfilling our required .5 Economics credit (which our state lists as a required Social Studies course, along with .5 credit Government, and 1 credit each American History and World History) with:

- Dave Ramsey Personal Finance (DVD lessons & workbook -- about 1 hour/week for 12-14 weeks) -- FANTASTICALLY PRACTICAL!

- Teaching Company Economics (DVD lectures -- 36 lectures, each 30 minutes long) -- we will practice taking notes, and I will give them a short quiz after each lecture

- Whatever Happened to Penny Candy (Maybury) -- a middle school level book, but a great intro to economic terms such as inflation, depression, etc.



We also require our DSs do a full year Consumer Math course, to put into practice all the real-life math they will need, practicing with real-life situations they will need to understand/deal with. (Since neither DS is looking at a math/science career, their high school math progression is: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Consumer Math.)



Hope that is of help! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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