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Secular and quick/easy US Government? Same for Economics?


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Any suggestions for a get-it-done US Gov and Econ for a kid who is dealing with too much right now as it is and just needs to get a basic understanding and have something to put on her transcript?  Text (short/easy) is ok; so is video or audio.  Secular is necessary.  Something cohesive and easy to implement is probably better at this point than a list of unrelated book titles that could be pulled together into a self-made course.  Willing to throw some money at the problem though not a ridiculous amount.  Something that could be done together, maybe even with a smile or two, might be nice as things are kind of hard at the moment.  We'd be so grateful for any ideas!

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I'm looking for Econ for next semester. I'd love something already put together for me because I will probably assign too much if left to my own devices.

 

For Govenment, I bought a used copy of Ethel Wood's Amrrerican Government text for about $10 and am using it in my Gov't coop class this semester. (Since it is a class, I am having kids do projects from the TM, but you could just read and discuss. Crash Course Government videos are good extras, I've found.)

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I just discovered Crash Course Government on Youtube.  It's 50 videos, each around 8 minutes long.  We're using it to finish up a stalled government course.  They have an Economics Crash Course, too, that is 35 videos long.  They're pretty enjoyable.

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Any suggestions for a get-it-done US Gov and Econ for a kid who is dealing with too much right now as it is and just needs to get a basic understanding and have something to put on her transcript?  Text (short/easy) is ok; so is video or audio.  Secular is necessary.  Something cohesive and easy to implement is probably better at this point than a list of unrelated book titles that could be pulled together into a self-made course.  Willing to throw some money at the problem though not a ridiculous amount.  Something that could be done together, maybe even with a smile or two, might be nice as things are kind of hard at the moment.  We'd be so grateful for any ideas!

 

 

I just discovered Crash Course Government on Youtube.  It's 50 videos, each around 8 minutes long.  We're using it to finish up a stalled government course.  They have an Economics Crash Course, too, that is 35 videos long.  They're pretty enjoyable.

 

 

I second the Crash Course Government & Politics series, especially if you need smiles.  Also check out Tom Richey's and Keith Hughes' channels on youtube.  Both are high school teachers who cover AP history & govt courses.  We prefer Tom Richey, but Hughes has a TON of videos.  This past spring, the two teachers teamed up for a live 2-hour AP Govt review, which we watched just for fun as a closer to my course. 

 

I also required DS to take the U.S. Constitution test, our state Constitution test, and a citizenship test - all available online.  He also wrote a persuasive paper supporting a candidate and did some quick n' dirty research about other forms of government.

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Ds is dragging through the Idiots guide to us govt. says it's super boring. Is so busy with all his other classes it just gets skipped. He did do election stuff.

I think I'll suggest the Crash Course videos.

 

(Just looking to check the box here too)

 

He has a ps text for Econ next semester, but I gotta say it looks boring too. He may just DE that.

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We're using a 3-prong approach, so it may be more than you want:

1) Watch the macroecon videos from the Crash Course series

2) Read "Macroeconomics in Context" textbook---they give several sample course outlines depending on your goals. We're using the chapters that cover the basic economic and macroeconomic concepts as well as a chapter that primarily deals with poverty/social justice/economic inequality. There's a free online study guide with self-tests and the publishers gave me access to the free instructor materials, including a test bank and answers to questions in the text. I'm having her read the chapters and then we discuss the questions. I have to admit this is not her favorite book.

3) She'll then do the edX macroeconomics CLEP prep 4 week course and try the CLEP.

 

We started in late October and she is scheduled to take the test in late December.

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We're doing an econ and government course this year (~3/4 econ and 1/4 government due to background in government and none in econ).  The Great Courses audios are pretty good if you can get over a number of grammar errors, esp. in a few of the earlier lectures (at least most or all are corrected in the transcript).  Timothy Taylor does a very good job of explaining how the material is very relevant and does a commendable job of covering economics without incorporating hidden left or right political biases.  I think he makes the material pretty interesting for a high school student or college freshman.  Lectures 3 and 5 are probably better covered via a textbook, but it's certainly possible to cover with the accompanying guidebook.

 

We're also using McConnell et al Economics textbook (19th edition); we're covering the chapters which are identified in the inside cover as Essentials of Economics, which is also sold separately.  Those chapters and/or the Great Courses lectures cover the basics of microeconomics and macroeconomics to the extent I would consider as the bare minimum I'd consider graduating my DS from high school -- as IMO the minimum acceptable to be a minimally-educated voter.

We're also including some weekly readings from The Economist magazine.

 

Beyond these basics a bit, and probably more than you want to do, but we'll include Bernstein's Birth of Plenty for a simple economics history with relevance to today and some readings from Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers since we're doing a WTM-like Great Books approach to literature to accompany our parallel world history (I got the idea from a syllabus of a high school AP econ course and some things I did in high school).  FYI, finally, we'll do a simple economic analysis or two.

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Okay.  You all really are the best!  You have given me renewed hope.  I hadn't ever heard of the Crash Course videos and look forward to checking them out.  I will also look into the other resources mentioned here.  I think we can do this....

I love how you can get help for almost anything on these forums, and it's okay to say "we need something easy" when things aren't going great and you'll get lots of respectful ideas.  Grateful thanks to everyone!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just another thanks for all the advice, and especially the Crash Course video suggestions.  Those videos were just exactly what we needed to get un-stalled, and indeed it has brought us more than a few smiles, which was really needed.  Along with a few other things, this is going to get us through a lightweight but reasonable year of econ/gov't.  Much appreciated.

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