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Terabith

So....do we HAVE to do economics?

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We've kinda accidentally stumbled into homeschooling high school, suddenly, in the middle of the semester in tenth grade.  Frankly, other than English, precalc, and Spanish, we're probably not going to get any other subjects done this semester.  She's thinking about taking a couple classes at the community college in the fall.  One class will definitely be geology, and the other maybe college writing?  Not sure yet.  But that leaves us with a year without a social studies.  

She took Pre-AP world history last year at the public high school, which was basically up through middle ages.  She was taking AP Human Geography until a week ago, but that's not going to happen.  Next year the original plan was AP US history at the public high school, but with it being an election year, I could see it being a much more interesting time to take US government at the community college.  Do US history her senior year instead.  But...I took economics at the community college a couple years ago.  It is super, SUPER boring.  My kid doesn't have any interest in econ, either micro or macro.  At all.  And she loves geography.  Could she take world geography instead and just not do economics?  I know that leaves her with only 3 social studies credits, and that's probably not ideal.  She's probably only going to have 3.5 years of science on her record, too, although the course she took in 8th grade "counted" for high school here in Virginia, as well.  And 2.5 of those years will be dual enrollment.  She might do a summer science class along the way; she enjoys science way more than social studies.  

It's not what we originally planned, but it's better than the nervous breakdown we were headed towards at public high school.  I'm just wondering how serious an issue not having economics will be for colleges.  I didn't have it in high school, but it wasn't even offered at my high school, back in the dark ages, in South Dakota.

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I don't see why you'd have to. I can't remember if any colleges required it, but I'm not thinking so. I think there might have been one that really wanted a semester of Government/Civics on top of 1 U.S. & one World History credit (each). Most didn't specify what the Social Studies credits needed to be or they said one US/ one World.

If you have any idea of the colleges you can afford & your kid is interested in (or check the local state U if you don't know either of the former), just check out their admission requirements.

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I looked into this very thing and it seems it's really not a requirement for colleges.  They don't seem to care one iota.

However, some states require it to graduate high school, or some states "recommend" it for their "college tracked" students.  California REQUIRES one semester of economics for high school graduation along with one semester of US government....

So I guess I'd just look at your state requirements, to make sure your kid lines up with whatever they require...

Edited by Calming Tea
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50 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

I looked into this very thing and it seems it's really not a requirement for colleges.  They don't seem to care one iota.

However, some states require it to graduate high school, or some states "recommend" it for their "college tracked" students.  California REQUIRES one semester of economics for high school graduation along with one semester of US government....

So I guess I'd just look at your state requirements, to make sure your kid lines up with whatever they require...

Pretty sure it's not a state requirement.  The standard high school program is a year long government course, a year of US history, and a year of world history or geography.  Our government would be a semester vrs a year, but at a college vrs a high school.  High school does have a personal financial literacy course, which seems like a reasonable thing to do, but I don't know that it needs to be super formal.

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Neither of my kids had economics, and we have not come across any school that had economics as a specific requirement. I have only ever seen "x credits in social science" requirements, never a mention of specific classes.

Edited by regentrude
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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

Pretty sure it's not a state requirement.  The standard high school program is a year long government course, a year of US history, and a year of world history or geography.  Our government would be a semester vrs a year, but at a college vrs a high school.  High school does have a personal financial literacy course, which seems like a reasonable thing to do, but I don't know that it needs to be super formal.

I don’t know if it is a federal or state requirement, but both my DD’s CC and the one her friend attends across the state line have an online module for financial literacy that is required for students taking loans, and available to all. I had DD do that and counted those hours, plus some work at home, and felt very comfortable listing it as a box checking, light half credit. 

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I’ll be the voice of dissent that maybe you don’t *have* to have it,  but she should have it. Here are my two points of why- 1)  I don’t understand how people can be responsible voters in this country (or any other) without a sound foundation in economics. 2) I also think girls tend to be the ones given more of a pass on this stuff as it’s often seen as boring and unimportant, which is unfortunate. Then everyone wonders why women aren’t financially ahead of, or on par with men when it comes to investing. A lot of really intelligent women are completely intimidated by it, and I think part of why is that it’s not valued as a matter of course that EVERYONE needs to know. But everyone does need to know it because it impacts every single person. 
 

So even if you don’t do a textbook class, please do teach her the fundamentals. And teach her about the markets and investing. Even if it’s in a really casual way. 
 

 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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I've never seen a requirement for economics or any social studies class except American history (and that was only at Caltech).

I would think that any class labeled as a social science course would work for your daughter.  Generally geography is labeled as such, unless you're talking about physical geography.  If she is already taking geology, I would think that physical geography might be be a bit redundant.

Other social science courses to consider: psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history, political science, cultural studies, etc.

Edited by EKS
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In most places (but not all, so you have to check your local schools), one semester of college is equivalent to a year long high school course, so you'll be fine with semesters of government, geography (or any other social science) and American history.

I like econ, but Intro to Micro and Macro isn't really what you need to be financially literate. Instead, I'd do a financial life skills class. My own favorite book for understanding the power of investing and holding long term is A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel. It manages to be a fun read while doing a good job of explaining how investing works. I also really like The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko. It's not as much fun to read as A Random Walk but it does an excellent job of explaining how to build wealth.

Edited by chiguirre
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I will say with my oldest we did a light econ/finances study with free online resources as home.  Not everything needs to be AP/DE/super rigorous.  

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We read Economics for Dummies, and made sure to discuss a lot of this in natural family conversations. 

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50 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I will say with my oldest we did a light econ/finances study with free online resources as home.  Not everything needs to be AP/DE/super rigorous.  

 

This is my plan. Unless our co-op offers it

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Yeah, we'll definitely cover financial literacy.  Practical finance/ economics, etc.  That is a high school graduation requirement, and I think it's a good one.  We'll work through some informal resources and stuff.  But that's very different than economic theory.  And like I said, I took Macroeconomics like two years ago at the community college, and it was so darn boring.  I'm sure the teachers vary a bit, but man....  Pretty deadly.  

Not at all wedded to geography.  Sociology would be really good.  My dad is actually a sociologist, and I got into a Ph.D program in sociology at Johns Hopkins but turned it down because my husband didn't get in there.  And actually tempted to do US history at home rather than outsourcing.  It's a subject I really like, and it would be an opportunity to make it high on input, lower on output at a time she'll be dealing with college applications and scholarship applications and all that drama.  

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3 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I will say with my oldest we did a light econ/finances study with free online resources as home.  Not everything needs to be AP/DE/super rigorous.  

This is what we did. I gave him a half credit for working through Khan Academy stuff and listening to a Great Courses lecture series (and we listened to a lot of Planet Money, too)

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6 minutes ago, kokotg said:

This is what we did. I gave him a half credit for working through Khan Academy stuff and listening to a Great Courses lecture series (and we listened to a lot of Planet Money, too)

This is almost exactly what we did I think!  Down to the 1/2 credit.  🙂

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We did Economics by us taking turns reading aloud and discussing Capital by Piketty (he did no papers or tests, just discussion). It put economics in the context of world wide inequality, which was really interesting, especially because we did it together. Any terms we did not know, we looked up then, so there was actually a point to getting economic concepts rather than just a test. 

Edited by lewelma
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11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I’ll be the voice of dissent that maybe you don’t *have* to have it,  but she should have it. Here are my two points of why- 1)  I don’t understand how people can be responsible voters in this country (or any other) without a sound foundation in economics. 2) I also think girls tend to be the ones given more of a pass on this stuff as it’s often seen as boring and unimportant, which is unfortunate. Then everyone wonders why women aren’t financially ahead of, or on par with men when it comes to investing. A lot of really intelligent women are completely intimidated by it, and I think part of why is that it’s not valued as a matter of course that EVERYONE needs to know. But everyone does need to know it because it impacts every single person. 
 

So even if you don’t do a textbook class, please do teach her the fundamentals. And teach her about the markets and investing. Even if it’s in a really casual way. 
 

 

While I generally agree that everyone would benefit from economics courses, I think waiting until college is fine if the community college class is not well taught. She might even get a great Econ prof in college and end up liking it. My Intro to Macroeconomics class my freshman year was one of the best of my college career.

Edited by Frances
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My oldest ds did a course de that was like a mix of economics and sociology. I think it was called “Understanding Economic Issues”. He really enjoyed it. He got the basic economic principles but the context was really interesting. 
 

But no, I think the expectation to have economics is more cultural than official. People just think it is required or that it is generally expected but I have never seen it required. 

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11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I’ll be the voice of dissent that maybe you don’t *have* to have it,  but she should have it.

I agree with this.  I think that it should be a requirement for everyone (and I'm saying this as a person who had never had a formal course).

Not related to theOP, but I also think that the WTM four year history cycle does an injustice to the rest of the social sciences.  

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45 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

My oldest ds did a course de that was like a mix of economics and sociology. I think it was called “Understanding Economic Issues”. He really enjoyed it. He got the basic economic principles but the context was really interesting. 
 

But no, I think the expectation to have economics is more cultural than official. People just think it is required or that it is generally expected but I have never seen it required. 

Do you know where he took the course or what book/curriculum he used? My dd would love something like this

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5 minutes ago, Chelli said:

Do you know where he took the course or what book/curriculum he used? My dd would love something like this

He took the course at Lee University. It was five years ago so I don’t remember the text. I just looked to see what the current text on the bookstore site is and it is not listed yet for spring. I’ll try to remember to check back in a bit. 

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I took a course called Wealth and Power back in the dark ages that was basically International Political Economy.  It was taught by a fantastic professor.  I'm not saying that economics can't be valuable.  There's just so many things that are valuable; we can't do them all, and I'm trying to figure out how to prioritize.  

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Graduation requirements by state:
https://c0arw235.caspio.com/dp/b7f930000e16e10a822c47b3baa2

I was curious so I counted... if I tallied correctly, 16 states have .5 credits in econ as a specific requirement. Several others require econ as part of a more integrated civics class. One state gave it as an option - econ or personal finance. It was an integrated civics course requirement when I was a kid in NC - and it seems like it still is. I wonder if they still call it ELP (Econ, legal, and political systems). So basically about a third of states have it as a explicit credit requirement. Several others have it as an integrated requirement in another class.

I certainly have not made it a requirement for my kids, though one of them is taking it this year and will likely do a second course next year. I can see the arguments for it as a requirement, but I'm also in the "there are so many good things you can do" camp.

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On 10/25/2019 at 8:51 AM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I’ll be the voice of dissent that maybe you don’t *have* to have it,  but she should have it. Here are my two points of why- 1)  I don’t understand how people can be responsible voters in this country (or any other) without a sound foundation in economics. 2) I also think girls tend to be the ones given more of a pass on this stuff as it’s often seen as boring and unimportant, which is unfortunate. Then everyone wonders why women aren’t financially ahead of, or on par with men when it comes to investing. A lot of really intelligent women are completely intimidated by it, and I think part of why is that it’s not valued as a matter of course that EVERYONE needs to know. But everyone does need to know it because it impacts every single person. 
 

So even if you don’t do a textbook class, please do teach her the fundamentals. And teach her about the markets and investing. Even if it’s in a really casual way. 
 

 

I agree. I never had a formal economics course and I often used to feel very in over my head when it came to discussing economic policy. 

The single most valuable course I did with my 2 oldest was Economics 3rd edition by The Great Courses by Tim Taylor. He is engaging and makes the issues seem relevant and interesting and most of all, understandable. We didn't do any outside reading, just watched the lectures and took notes, discussed, and wrote a paper on a topic of interest, but I got a great education from it and so did my boys! I plan to use it for all my kids going forward.

I think it's so so so important in terms of having an informed voter, especially if this is not a course they would be likely to take in college. 

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3 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

I agree. I never had a formal economics course and I often used to feel very in over my head when it came to discussing economic policy. 

While I agree that both personal finance & knowledge of economic systems is important for being an adult in the world today, I don't think it has to be a formal course. I never had a formal economics course either, but picked up knowledge over my growing & maturing years through reading & finding out on my own. (And, really, those Great Courses are actually geared toward adults trying to learn new things & expand their knowledge, right?)

And, I know if I have a kid who doesn't want to learn something that making them go through the motions for a formal class will just result in them dumping what little they know as soon as the class is done. So I'd rather they have interest if it is a high school class that isn't a required core course. The core classes are non-negotiable so their electives (which is what I would say Econ is) should allow them to explore interests, not be more requirements from me. IMO. 

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On 10/25/2019 at 10:29 AM, EKS said:

I've never seen a requirement for economics or any social studies class except American history (and that was only at Caltech).

I would think that any class labeled as a social science course would work for your daughter.  Generally geography is labeled as such, unless you're talking about physical geography.  If she is already taking geology, I would think that physical geography might be be a bit redundant.

Other social science courses to consider: psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history, political science, cultural studies, etc.

Some states like GA require 3 social studies to include- world history, us history, govt and economics. Govt and economics are usually half a credit 

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Actually, it occurs to me now that since she has done nine weeks of AP Human Geography (with an A for the quarter), if we do something for nine weeks, I can give her a semester's geography credit.  I see a great course on cultural geography.  I don't think she's in any condition for major output, and I clearly don't have any planning time, but I can probably find some resources to pull some stuff together and give her a semester's worth of credit, so we don't waste the nine weeks of work she did in school.  

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On 10/24/2019 at 10:35 PM, Terabith said:

Pretty sure it's not a state requirement.  The standard high school program is a year long government course, a year of US history, and a year of world history or geography.  Our government would be a semester vrs a year, but at a college vrs a high school.  High school does have a personal financial literacy course, which seems like a reasonable thing to do, but I don't know that it needs to be super formal.

 

Ah. When I was in High School Government was 1 semester and paired with Economics the other semester

 

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I have heard good reports about the Funda-Funda one semester class. Engaging, no textbooks. 

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Of course, she refuses to watch the Great Courses geography.  Not doing anythign with it.  No projects, no writing.  Not even any discussion.  Just sit through the lecture.  So....guessing that's a bust.  

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She likes to read books she chooses. Books I choose are not going to be read.  My husband says, “So she doesn’t graduate and lives in our basement playing video games all day.  Oh well.”

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Kids start voting at 18, so I do think some understanding of economics is helpful.  People need to evaluate ideas and consider whether they'll actually work. 

For my DD who also needs gentle, discussion-based approach we're using EconMovies, and doing an Investing Simulator.  We'll also watch candidate debates, follow the news and discuss their ideas for rethinking and improving the US economy.  There are both good and bad ideas galore worthy of discussion.  This election couldn't have come at a better time 🙂

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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