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Well, I have spent the last month reading through an economics text. 🙂 I smile, because it’s not anything I would ever do “just for fun.”
But I was very intrigued by this book by Catherine Jaime called Simply Put: A Study In Economics
and am pleased to review it today.
Catherine has 12 children of her own that she has homeschooled. Ten are graduated; she has 2 more in their high school years. After teaching economics for years, she decided to write her own book on the subject.
Here is what she says, “Economics gets a bad rap among so many, and yet as a long-time student and teacher of economics, I often wonder why. Maybe it’s because most economic textbooks are so boring. In fact, I started this book after I looked unsuccessfully for an economics textbook that I could recommend for high schoolers. I found few options that didn’t put me to sleep – and I like the topic! Thus began my desire to write an alternative economics textbook. Here it is, after more than two years, my contribution to teaching economics. I hope you and your students will soon find it as interesting a topic as I do.”
Simply Put: A Study of Economics is meant to used as the spine for a high school Economics credit (one semester). You’ll find almost everything you need just in this text and the accompanying teacher guide. Catherine says that it’s all you need, but I would recommend adding in some of the resources she suggests watching and reading: different websites, DVDs, and books to help reinforce the subject.
What I Love:
- There are 36 lessons, and each lesson is 1-2 pages long and not difficult to read
- If you want to use them, there are review questions at the end of each lesson
- There is a mid-term and final exam in the book (and answers to those in the teacher’s guide)
- The teacher’s guide also includes two activities which would be great for the students to do.
- I learned A TON reading this book. It’s written on a level that is accessible to most of us; it will be understood by most high schoolers.
- It’s written from a conservative viewpoint, and helps us understand why imports are important for the economy and unions are hurtful to it–plus so much more!
- Helpful footnotes give definitions and further resources to study
- She includes great quotes from economists such as Adam Smith and Frederick Bastiat.
- She explains how what we hear in the media usually isn’t the full story.
- Included is the Pilgrim’s story of when they tried socialism and how it didn’t work
- A glossary is included with the most important terms to learn.
What I Didn’t Like So Much:
- I would love to have some kind of project or activity to do for each lesson, so we can really internalize what we learned
- The charts and graphs are not the highest quality
- I feel that some subjects are just barely touched on and don’t go enough in depth on (such as mercantilism and laissez faire).
Activity included in the Teacher Book:
The game pictured below is called “Free Trade in Action” and can be played with 8-30 students. It’s helps the kids understand what Free Trade does for us.
“It appears safe to say that unions served a valuable purpose when they first came along and protected workers from long hours and dangerous workplaces. But they have gone far beyond that place today.”
“Something ‘free’ from the government never really is; anything given away as ‘entitlement’ has to first be taken from someone else.”
“Sometimes we seem to forget that the Declaration of Independence talks about the right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness‘ — not ‘life, liberty, and happiness.’ Government’s role should never be to make us happy.”
I plan to use Simply Put: A Study of Economics for my kids’ high school economics course. It would be fun to do in a co-op or with a group, but we can use it for independent study as well.
Where to Buy:
Find the paperback book of Simply Put: A Study In Economics Student Book at Amazon.
You can take a “Peek Inside” there, too.
Or Get it in Ebook format (both the student and teacher books) for only $6.99 at CurrClick!