Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teaching Economics ~ Part 2

Looking at the subject of economics we can find that we are either admittedly delinquent in the knowledge of this subject of we think we may be "somewhat" knowledgeable... enough to make us dangerous. :)

I was in the first category when I started teaching economics to a group of homeschooled High School Students. :) To say the least, I was on the very beginning edge of feeling completely inadequate to teach this subject. When my husband found out I was slated to teach economics, he laughed and said.. " Does that mean you have to learn to balance your checkbook?"
~Side note:  I actually KNOW HOW to balance my check book, I just tend to keep a running balance in my 'head' as to what I have and what I can spend. :)  Now, for a former Business Math major, CPA dreaming 19 year old, Bank Teller... this sounds like I have forgone all I was trained to do.  However, rest assured.. economics is more than balancing the checkbook and knowing the accounts work. There is a philosophy, if-you-will, that follows this subject and if you will walk with me I hope to share some of this with you.~

Economics, as I mentioned in my last post, deals with the relationship of people, trade and productivity.

When you look back through History you will see that an economist will study the 'how' of things.  That is economics. How do things happen? The why and when and the where are festered into the subjects which are inherent in our history, geography, philosophy studies... yet when we take time to really consider what true learning is we can see how they all work together.

It reminds me of the verse in Romans 8:28 ~ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. 

A quick reading of Romans 8 will lift your spirit. Such beauty we have right before us to learn and glean from and then we come to verse 31 and it says, " if God be fore us, who can be against us?".  How does this tie in?  Simply this.. Economics is not new, or hard to understand. God is the eternal economist. He has the best economy and all things, at his hand, end up Good. 

When we begin to study Economics it is pivotal to know the terms you will be studying. Know what Economics means and how and why it applies to you.

Have your student start with questions like:

What is economics?
What is macroeconomics?
What is microeconomics?

What is commerce and why are 'commercials' important to the economy?

Become familiar with the terms:

Free Market Economics
Law of Supply and Demand
Gresham's Law
Business Cycle

-There are many  more ideas and terms that you can branch off into while studying the subject of economics, but this is at least a start.

Take time to first review the following questions?

What is Natural Law?
What is Common Law?

  • The Free Market Theory of value states that the value of a good or service is subjective to what is willingly given in exchange for that good or service.

What is necessary for a free market  economy?

Why do economists study the actions of individuals? 
What is more important the individual or the group?

Economics tells the how of history, explaining how the market functions. How production and increase affects and changes the lives of individuals. 

Economics explains how we obtain goods:
  1. There is something we want or need.
  2. We barter what we have to get it: time, effort, or material
  3. We trade with others: goods or services for goods or services
  4. This trade leads to production, on both sides.
  5. There is an increase in money or goods in the economy.
  6. Now Supply and Demand are considered in the equations; prices rise and fall... values change...etc.
Here is a thought that can be applied dialectically and rhetorically:  What is the consequence of ideas?

This process of obtaining things should be balanced by ideas fed by hope for profitable outcomes. 

We are all looking for  profit in some measure. Profit in our checkbooks, in our relationships, in our gardens, in all we do. If you consider this it is a eternal principle found in scripture: we reap what we sow.  God said, to multiply. This concept is not new, it is fundamentally law. A physical law that god created in the beginning. 

The creator, calls us to reason together. To think well and to be good stewards. Teaching our children, disciplining them, in the art of good reason economically will produce a generation of wise and prudent thinkers who can make good choices.

When you look over the past and the choices leaders, governments, and men made economically you will know that there is nothing new under the sun ( Eccl ch. 4.) So we turn back and review to know how to make frugal and provident decisions for the future.

Here are a few ideas on teaching Economics:

  • Take time to study the Austrian and Monetarist Theory of Economics.
  • Look at the difference be free and liberated nations and their economy's versus nations who do not advocate freedom and favor tyrannical oppression and socialism.
  • Study the connection between Natural Law, Liberty, and Morality. 
  • Look up scriptures that pertain to money in the Bible.
  • Study our nation's economic timetable. 
    • Look for recessions and depressions
    • See when our debt was paid or when it was soaring
  • Review the use of money,coins, tokens as a form of payment through history.
  • Research the Gold standard:
    • Should we go back to it?
    • If so, how is that possible.
  • Create a cost-of-living project so your student knows just how much they cost. 
  • Create a journal of financial articles from places like the newspaper, or Investopidea, or The Wall Street Journal, etc.
  • Research the founding of the Federal Reserve and why it is there? What is its purpose and is it beneficial to the American Economy or is it hurting it?
  • Research top economist views like : Milton Friedman, Freidric Hayek, James Buchanan,  and Alan Greenspan. 
  • Define wealth, goods, consumer and producer and know how they relate.
  • To have a government, we need to have taxes... is this a necessary good for society and in a free market economy  how much should the government be involved?
  • How do the leaders sway the people? If there is no regard to honesty hard work in the highest levels of authority, will it be missing from those who follow? How does that affect the economy?

Teaching economics in your Home School can be as easy as just starting with a subject and finding articles and books to read and then propel you forward in your study.

You can find 'school-in-a-box' with books and curriculum meant to teach you step by step.

You can jump into hands on options like playing games like, Pit. Or playing the virtual stock market game on sites like How the Market Works or WeSeed.

Whatever you do, show them how to be diligent with the resources God has given and not just with money.  

For me  I have learned  that what I do carries more weight than what I say,sometimes. The regard I give to the resources I have been entrusted with will shine into the hearts of my children in voluminous tones.   

The last thought, but certainly not least, is:  Teach them to be Thankful.  To be thankful is our greatest benefit. It is in the spirit of gratefulness that our bounty has true value. It is when our hearts are not heaving with the knowledge of the world  but with the WORD where true economics resides. 

When  we are thankful, in an economy which may appear to be broken and depleted, we are filling up the deposits in our heavenly bank which can be drawn upon at all times. God promises to supply all our needs according His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus.  Biblical economics spills forth abundantly into our daily living so that when we heed truth, seek His wisdom and apply a gratitude of heart and hand both in deed and thought, our economic storehouses will be overflowing, abundantly, pressed down and shaken together and running over.

Fun articles for you to share:

Books that are a must for  Serious Economics Study:

Follow PBS Docudrama " Commanding Heights" on YouTube.

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