Economics for Everybody review
Homeschooling resources for teaching your children about money and economics are fairly limited. Afterall, economics is not exactly at the top of most parents’ must-teach list. Our Economics for Everybody review will help you decide if this is the course you need to put it at the top of your list.
Teaching your children to manage money is absolutely necessary if they are to live productive and responsible lives. However, money is only part of the picture. Economics covers how money fits with work, wealth, morality and man’s purpose on earth. It connects how we use money and our life decisions with the cultural (dominion) mandate (Genesis 1:28). It’s what makes the world work, and what parent doesn’t want to teach their kids that?
However, if your eyes glaze over and you get the snores at the mention of economics and the very thought of teaching it makes teaching maths appealing for once, then I recommend you take a good look at Economics for Everybody.
What is Economics for Everybody?
Economics for Everybody teaches economics from a Christian point of view, beginning with the assumption that God as the creator owns everything, and that man was created to be the steward of this creation. It extrapolates the economic laws we use as stewards to fulfil the dominion mandate. It will assist you in discipling your children to live life to the glory of God.
What is the learning style of Economics for Everybody and who is it suited to?
This course is a series of 12 video lectures of approximately 20 minutes each. It comes with a Study Guide that includes learning objectives, scripture readings, lesson outlines, short answer questions, discussion questions and suggestions for further study.
The advantage of video lectures over a book is that several people can learn at the same time and discuss the content together, benefitting from each other’s learning. It’s ideal for homeschool high school, but is also great for adults.
We watched the lectures with our our young adult children and one of their friends. Some had never been taught any economic principles and some had a basic knowledge. The course is designed for individual study, families or small groups, and would be particularly good for a youth or young adults church study group. I’d recommend starting anywhere from age 14 up.
Economics for Everybody has a clear Christian basis and content. However, it is still good for “everyone” in that it teaches sound economic principles that make sense, are easy to see in the world around us and are simple to grasp. If you’re not a Christian family or group, it still has a lot to offer, and is a value-for-money, time-economical option to get a quick and thorough grasp on economics.
What does it teach?
It covers economic philosophies, political philosophies, wealth and poverty, and ties in history to demonstrate how these have produced the world that we live in today.
Lessons 1-5 introduce key economic principles:
1. And God created economics: Stewardship in God’s image
2. The economic problem of sin: Law, liberty and government
3. The path from work to wealth: Production, property and tools
4. The route from scarcity to plenty: Money, markets and trade
5. The role of the entrepreneur: Capital, calculation and profit
Lessons 6 and 7 cover the relationship between theology, philosophy and economics:
6. A tale of two theologies, part 1: From God to politics
7. A tale of two theologies, part 2: Economic philosophies and systems
Lessons 8-12 apply economics to real life:
8. Government intervention: Basic principles and education
9. The two mysteries of monetary policy: Inflation and depressions
10. The welfare and corporate states of America: The costs of redistribution
11. Economics has consequences: The real effects of sin
12. Kingdom economics
Is it relevant to Australia?
Yes, this course is as relevant for Australian homeschool families as it is for anyone. The course gives examples from nations such as the UK, Germany and America. The economic principles are universal and apply to any nation. This course is not your typical US-centric perspective.
What kinds of things did we discuss?
During our study we talked about the richness of the Ten Commandments and how they are not just a set of rules, but have implications and principles with economic consequences. For example, the warning against coveting implies private property. The warning against stealing also implies private property and that each person has a right to keep what they have worked for, and is not available to those who haven’t worked for it. It protects your labour and time in producing something, whether you acquired it by making it yourself or trading what you earned by working.
We talked about the purpose of building wealth as a Christian and how the church should think about wealth and poverty; the importance of inheritance and its role in debt prevention and generational wealth; the gift of work and productivity. We discussed whether we should feel guilty about building wealth, and when it is right and when it is wrong.
Some of us had heard about “free market” economics but didn’t really have a handle on what it really meant. This course nailed that for us and we were able to go on to discuss how interventionism affects a free market. We discussed and compared free market to interventionist and socialist government systems, and noted signs of each in our current society in Australia.
That’s just a sampling of the kinds of things we nutted through as a result of this study. I’m sure you will have many hearty discussions of your own, and have your thinking challenged, enriched and changed as you seek to be stewards of God’s kingdom on earth.
First up, this is an excellent, well rounded course. Depending on the exchange rate at the time you purchase, for just over 4 hours of lectures and a study guide it cost just over $60 AUD. That’s a great-value homeschool resource.
We learned a lot from this course, and will go through it again down the track. The vintage video clips interspersed throughout each lecture provide a visual element that helps you engage and remember the concepts better, while the examples cement the ideas. I would heartily recommend this course to anyone or group that wants to understand economics without having to plough through books.
Author and publisher
Economics for Everybody is written and taught by RC Sproul Jnr and is available from Compass Classroom.
It’s comes in DVD format or as a download. We purchased the download lectures and pdf Study Guide.