Let’s be honest. Except for a small minority of students, the required economics half credit for high school is one of those “get it done” classes. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, there are plenty of things I do day to day that I don’t whole-heartedly enjoy. I simply get them done.
But I’m also a huge proponent of variety and trying to enjoy required courses wherever possible. Sometimes we have uninformed prejudices that keep us from plunging into a topic with our full attention. Yes, economics can be abstract, math-y, and political. But it is also very practical. And I wanted Emma to have a good footing in this topic without any extra burden on me, her non-economically minded mom.
That’s why I (affiliate link) enlisted Lynn Schott to teach Emma her required economics class. Lynn is passionate about US government, history, and even economics. Who better to teach the topic than someone who actually gets excited about it? That’s something I really can’t muster up, so I’m happy to outsource this!
What Economics 101 Includes
Econ 101 is delivered via live, online classes. Each weekly session lasts about 90 minutes and is held in the Adobe connect platform via CurrClick. My daughter never had any technical issues with the software or understanding how to use it.
Outside of class, the students have weekly work:
- reading assignments & comprehension questions (AKA quizzes) from the textbook, (purchased separately) Lessons for the Young Economist
- current event summaries/reactions
Their answers are uploaded online, and if you purchase the grading option for the class, Lynn will grade your teen’s work.
Moreover, Lynn assigns more in-depth projects such as a personal finance report, a grocery shopping project and a stock market project.
I was very impressed with the scope and depth of the course material, and I noticed Emma using new words related to economics and picking out relevant tidbits from the nightly news. It was obvious that the class was sinking in.
Emma’s Opinion of Econ 101
She would not say that she loved it. But she does love Mrs. Schott and got to meet her at the Cincinnati Great Homeschool Convention face to face. The fact that she loves her teacher is enough for me. She doesn’t have to be crazy for economics itself.
However, Emma does admit that the class projects were engaging and taught her a lot. Overall she considers the class challenging. She does well with a lecture format where a teacher explains the material (versus only reading the material), and she appreciated the accountability of deadlines to keep her on track.
My Take on Econ 101
I loved Econ 101 from Founders Academy! I didn’t have to do anything other than enroll her, pay the money, order the book, and sometimes nudge Emma out of bed for her class.
Yes, I’m at that level of homeschooling where I don’t really have to do a whole lot. It’s pretty nice!
But there were very tangible benefits to Econ 101 besides not adding to my own to do list.
1. The variety of an online class
Emma does some classes at a local co-op, some online, and others independently with books or computer curriculum. This was yet another facet of learning that I wanted her to experience.
2. The structure of an outside authority
We homeschoolers aren’t the best at holding our kids to deadlines, but Lynn was great at it! Emma ended up with zeros for missed assignments and had to message her teacher for instructions about making up that missed work. (She did make it up, by the way!)
3. The frustration of boring parts or confusing assignments
Some classes were more interesting than others, and that’s okay. That’s real life. And I’m glad she had to endure the less interesting parts to complete the half credit.
Sometimes Emma didn’t understand project requirements, and I always directed her back to asking Lynn for clarification instead of asking me. I wasn’t trying to be mean by not being helpful, but I wanted to set the precedent for going straight to the source when you have a question. I told her multiple times the secret to college success: ask for help immediately! Your professors want you to succeed, but you can’t wait until the end to ask for help. In fact, professors really like the kids who are pro-active about their learning and their grades.
I think that Econ 101 gave her valuable study skills and professor skills that she couldn’t have gained by studying economics on her own. These skills will directly translate to college.
Budget Stretching Tip
Sign up for Lynn’s newsletter (look in the sidebar). She sends subscribers special discounts that no one else gets. In the case of the Econ 101 class, the discount will cover the cost of the book. Oh, and if you have multiple children who need her classes, she offers a discounted sibling add-on rate. Look on CurrClick for the specifics.
We certainly has some hits and misses for ninth grade curriculum choices, and Econ 101 was a real hit. I strongly recommend the courses from Founders Academy.
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