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When are we ever going to use this stuff?

How many times do parents hear that from their teenagers?  Watching the news last night, I was struck by how difficult it is to understand our current economic crisis.  I found myself wishing that I had paid more attention when my son Alex would ramble on and on about economics.  Some of the words sounded familiar (velocity, fiat money, etc.) but I don't know what any of those words actually mean.

I guess you now know the truth - I didn't teach Alex ANYTHING about economics.  He taught himself.  Without any help from me, that's for sure!

But back to the original questions, "When are we ever going to use this stuff?"  My message to parents is to make their homeschool a "College Prep" high school.  Your children will either be going to college and they'll need the college preparation....

Or they will NOT go to college, and they will need the education in order to be a well-educated citizens.  Never has that been more important than this week.  We need a citizenry that has a basic understanding of economics.  Beyond that, we need LEGISLATORS that have a basic understanding of economics.  They may not have taken economics in college, and I truly hope they at least had some economics in high school.

Let's make sure that our homeschoolers have economics, so in the decades to come we have a well educated public and a well educated Congress.  As for my husband and I....Well, Matt always says, "We are products of our fine public school system!"

While we're at it, have you noticed how many trillions of dollars we are talking about?  Have you noticed that a good grasp of math would help us all understand how many dollars per taxpayer we are really talking about?

When are we going to use this stuff?  Today!

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We have had over 320 people sign up today for my free mini-course on the “5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School.“  If you are enjoying it, I would be extremely grateful if you would share the link with your homeschool group, co-op, Yahoo group or homeschool forum.  We even had someone link it on her blog, which was really cool.  Thank you for your support for getting out the good news about homeschooling high school!
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Comments 2

Guest - Katherine on Thursday, 02 October 2008 01:59

Dear Lee,
This is so true! My daughter was just asking me this question yesterday. She is 8 years old and was trying to convince me that she did not need to learn how to write a paragraph. My 13 year old daughter keeps trying to get out of vocabulary and history. I guess they all have their subjects that they do not want to learn. Economics is a subject we have not tackled yet. We will have to look into it! Thanks so much for your perspective and insight!

Dear Lee, This is so true! My daughter was just asking me this question yesterday. She is 8 years old and was trying to convince me that she did not need to learn how to write a paragraph. My 13 year old daughter keeps trying to get out of vocabulary and history. I guess they all have their subjects that they do not want to learn. Economics is a subject we have not tackled yet. We will have to look into it! Thanks so much for your perspective and insight!
Guest - J W on Friday, 03 October 2008 07:55

Um... yeah... but I don't exactly practice what I preach much... I use a calculator and/or a spreadsheet when I correct math papers... I don't remember the last time I wrote an essay...

On the other hand, we're not exactly slacking off in the application department.

My oldest daughter and I want to give our back yard a make-over to make it low-maintenance and wildlife-friendly. That involves geometry, and a scale drawing involves algebra. Selling our flagstones to pay for any needs and sticking to the budget is a valuable life-skills lesson. Researching native plants and the needs of birds, butterflies, bats, and toads is science. Designing the new "look" of the yard involves art and "suburban planning." Making bird houses, bird feeders, and a bird bath can be art too. Selling the idea to skeptical Daddy - well, that's occupational education (many people earn their living from sales). Then there's the physical labor outdoors - always a good thing, but I can't exactly count it as PE. Maybe it's occupational education.

If I have to convert a recipe, my daughter does the calculations. If the fish medicine calls for 12 drops per gallon, she calculates how many drops for a 5-cup goldfish bowl. She's very familiar with comparison shopping in the grocery store - it's all about the per-unit price! Being able to quickly estimate tips, discounts, and sales tax comes in handy too. A field trip to the horse races yielded a lot of math problems that owners and trainers need to deal with (and we didn't even touch the math involved with betting). There are a lot of real world applications!

The neat thing about home school is you know what tools and information your child already has, so when it comes to real-world learning, you know your child's ability to apply what they've learned.

Um... yeah... but I don't exactly practice what I preach much... I use a calculator and/or a spreadsheet when I correct math papers... I don't remember the last time I wrote an essay... On the other hand, we're not exactly slacking off in the application department. My oldest daughter and I want to give our back yard a make-over to make it low-maintenance and wildlife-friendly. That involves geometry, and a scale drawing involves algebra. Selling our flagstones to pay for any needs and sticking to the budget is a valuable life-skills lesson. Researching native plants and the needs of birds, butterflies, bats, and toads is science. Designing the new "look" of the yard involves art and "suburban planning." Making bird houses, bird feeders, and a bird bath can be art too. Selling the idea to skeptical Daddy - well, that's occupational education (many people earn their living from sales). Then there's the physical labor outdoors - always a good thing, but I can't exactly count it as PE. Maybe it's occupational education. If I have to convert a recipe, my daughter does the calculations. If the fish medicine calls for 12 drops per gallon, she calculates how many drops for a 5-cup goldfish bowl. She's very familiar with comparison shopping in the grocery store - it's all about the per-unit price! Being able to quickly estimate tips, discounts, and sales tax comes in handy too. A field trip to the horse races yielded a lot of math problems that owners and trainers need to deal with (and we didn't even touch the math involved with betting). There are a lot of real world applications! The neat thing about home school is you know what tools and information your child already has, so when it comes to real-world learning, you know your child's ability to apply what they've learned.
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Saturday, 21 September 2019

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