Homeschool Economics

With the Advanced Placement Economics class, economics is taught more in high schools today than it was in the past. This means that many parents who are homeschooling may not actually have ever had a class in this area. Because many approach this subject feeling that they need extra background, this article will help you get started. One thing you should definitely do is find out about any curriculum guidance your state may supply for this course. You can find your state’s department of education site listed here at the United States Department of Education site:

The National Standards and Homeschool Economics

The national standards for homeschool economics couches the standards briefly as topics or subjects, and then extends the explanation. Here are the twenty topics:

Standard 1: Scarcity

Standard 2: Marginal Cost/Benefit

Standard 3: Allocation of Goods and Services

Standard 4: Role of Incentives

Standard 5: Gain from Trade

Standard 6: Specialization and Trade

Standard 7: Markets – Price and Quantity Determination

Standard 8: Role of Price in Market System

Standard 9: Role of Competition

Standard 10: Role of Economic Institutions

Standard 11: Role of Money

Standard 12: Role of Interest Rates

Standard 13: Role of Resources in Determining Income

Standard 14: Profit and the Entrepreneur

Standard 15: Growth

Standard 16: Role of Government

Standard 17: Using Cost/Benefit Analysis to Evaluate Government Programs

Standard 18: Macroeconomy-Income/Employment, Prices

Standard 19: Unemployment and Inflation

Standard 20: Monetary and Fiscal Policy

The more you already know about economics, the more this will mean to you. But if  there are a number of these topics that you don’t feel you comfortably understand, you may wish to educate yourself before teaching your child. Another approach you can entertain is having your child take this particular course either through a local school, as on online course, or find a tutor.

References for Homeschool Economics

Since economics is generally offered as an Advanced Placement course, the College Board website is a good resource: Here you can find the course descriptions for Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, a topic outline of the field, and information about the exam. In addition, the College Board store offers an AP Economics Teacher’s Guide, as well as a printed copy of the course description. You can also find reference material at the Council for Economics Education website:

Other references might include classics of economics, such as Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom, Thorstein B. Veblen’sThe Theory of the Leisure Class, Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, works by John Maynard Keynes, etc.

Supplies for Homeschool Economics

Supplies for homeschool economics might include a calculator and subscriptions or access to business papers and journals, such as the Wall Street Journal, national and local business magazines, etc.

Web Resources for Homeschool Economics

With it’s minute-by-minute reporting, the Internet is an interesting place to watch markets and economic news. You may find these sites useful:

The Wall Street Journal:

Crain’s New York Business:

Business Week:

Federal Reserve Board:

In addition, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware project offers a number of resources in the area of economics, including undergraduate course material that might be adapted to your homeschool:

Projects for Homeschool Economics

Children’s understanding of economics usually begins with an understanding of money, which is often fostered by an allowance for which they plan. This is more a fact of life for many people, than a “project.” Projects include:

  • coming to understand the household budget
  • learning how income tax forms are completed
  • doing the family grocery shopping, given parameters and a limit
  • planning a family vacation within a certain cost
  • helping shop for important family purchases
  • investing or pretending to invest a small sum of money in stocks and following their progress

Field Trips for Homeschool Economics

Homeschool field trip possibilities may be a bit more limited in economics than in art, but here are a few ideas:

  • visit the Federal Reserve Board (for real and/or virtual tours, go to – for more information)
  • arrange for a tour of several local banks to compare and contrast their offerings and operations
  • shadow an accountant
  • arrange to visit H&R Block or another tax preparation company