Economics- a study of Capitalism for High School

This is a list of great resources on Economics and Capitalism. You could create a semester out of one or a couple of these easy enough. I find that each kid is different and this one likes to read and devour information- then later talk it over and debate. So that is how this is arranged. I encourage you to tailor it to your child too. Use this as I have it (download my schedule below) or use it as a springboard to create what will work for you. I collected more resources than I could schedule in, so alternates are listed too.

Simply Put: A Study in Economics  * I’ve followed for years collecting free downloads. As I was ready to hit ‘checkout’ with this book, I thought to check my files. There it was, filed away on my laptop. I was able to print it out. So, with some searching I imagine you can find this as a free download- unless it was a once upon a time special. anyway, worth a look. There is a student and a teacher edition. I do not believe we used the teacher’s book. It has more hands on activities I may use for my younger high schooler when she is ready- but this one prefers to read, so I assigned the reading in the student edition.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert Murphy 

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury

The Money Mystery by Richard Maybury

A Bluestocking guide to Economics *I intended to use this to supplement Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, but as I began to work out a schedule, I found that it was really an additional study. I think it is quite valuable but we did not have time for everything, so I decided that this ‘side by side’ was the busy work and went on to new material. I do not discount its value though so I have listed it here.(an ALTERNATE) I listed it in the schedule to be used on notebooking days.

The History of Money from  * also collected from

The Family as the basis for Political Existence by Fredrick D Wilhelmsen * also collected from

Biblical Economics Today by Gary North * also collected from

Understanding the Times  *excerpts

another good alternate resource – FREE- I did not add it in simply because I could not fit everything- Economics in one lesson by Henry Hazlitt


here is our 4 day schedule:

economics-blog-single-line schedule

If this is your first experince here, you might be interested in:

how I develop my high schoolers schedules

how I grade

other courses I’ve developed using living books




Grading for out-of-the-box (High) School

Okay (high) school because

  • really this grading system can be used for all grades
  • High school is the only time it REALLY matters
  • because we (as a whole) feel like we need to change to a system that fits a grade book to do high school instead of our usual out-of-the-box system. Am I right? I discuss how I went through this transition and lesson here.

Have you read (maybe used is a better word. It’s more of a reference than a read-through) Senior High: A Home-Designed Form U La

There are a TON of ideas in here to design the school you want. How to use work and activities they are already doing as credit. How to record it. How to design a transcript. LOTS of information. Be careful- it can be overwhelming. Use it to help you solve problems- not as a ‘what you need to do’ (We, as homeschool moms, make this mistake a lot don’t we? )

HOURS? There are charts to record hours to equal a credit. BUT what if you are using a curriculum set? Can you grade on completion of this curriculum if they didn’t meet the hour requirement? Yes! Again, this is meant to help you solve problems. If you use Math-U-See for example you may only spend 20 minutes a day on a math lesson. If you complete (or mostly complete – public schools don’t finish a curriculum!) of the package/book in a school year well, you qualify. No need to track hours. She talks more about this in the book.

Grading: in the book she discusses all of the traditional methods of grading, grading scales, tracking…. and THEN- here is the part I latched onto: How to grade non-traditionally. She has a worksheet that looks like this (taken directly from the book!)

to obtain a “C” Student must:

  • complete 90% of Saxon Math “Algebra 1/2” book
  • earn a minimum of 75% on class work
  • quality/neatness standard of work turned in must be “Average”

to earn a “B” Student must do the above PLUS or EXCEPT:

  • 95% complete
  • minimum of 80% on class work
  • Quality Neatness “good”

to earn an “A” student must do the above plus or except:

  • 100% of book
  • minimum of 90% or better
  • show teacher ‘computing’ page after completing work
  • quality and neatness “excellent”

She shows a TON of examples of this including how to use Baseball as a PE credit, Life skills, Home Ec, Composition….. and a blank sheet for you to create your own. INCREDIBLY VALUABLE  ** this might be a good time to note that I do not own this site or this page, I do not have any affiliate links. These are things I want to share as one homeschool mom to another. I am not making any money on any of this- and I only hope I’ve covered the fact that this is copyrighted by the book above. I do not own this information. I simply recommend the book as a mom and homeschooler.


SO- for me the main idea here is making it my own. I’ve learned that as a delight-directed school- If the child is not doing at least “C” work then we are probably going to dump it for something that works better for us. So there is nothing below a “C”. There simply is no credit at all for it. Obviously you can work it differently- to the way you want to design YOUR school!

I’ve now streamlined my grading system (and there is no end to changing it to work for what you need. this is my current system 😉 ) I now grade:

80% completion of the assigned material, 20% on attitude, neatness and diligence.

pretty subjective , huh? yes. It is. But, here is what I think: ALL grades are subjective! and I’m pretty tough on what I want out of them. The best caution I have here is this- make sure the grades accurately correlate with what they have achieved on ACT/SAT testing. I’ll bet you find that is not a problem- most moms are tougher graders than schools. truly.

I’ve been asked “Don’t you ever want to go back and change the grade” yes. I actually find this is an advantage. I’m a mom. I am moody. Some days I’m so upset they did not take [this book] as seriously as i did, or they did not come to the same conclusion as me on ____ or whatever. I find that with a couple different days looking at it I can feel like I’ve been fair in judging THEIR accomplishments rather than MY expectations.

I have spent a lot of time developing some out-of the box curriculum. I have one child that can and will accomplish a lot, but will not work through textbook or workbooks. A lot of it has to do with variety- so that is what we created:

I’ve written schedules- tailor to each child and recorded it here: Living Books Curricula.

These are adjustable!! My DS can cover a LOT of material in a short amount of time. If I do not keep him busy – well he actually just wanders away and doesn’t do it at all so while my oldest daughter used Friendly Chemistry for a whole year (one lesson a week) My DS was scheduled to complete this and many other books in a year. I think each accomplished a Chemistry credit.

My next DD to do high school chemistry is more likely to go into a science field and a lot more hands on so I will likely base hers heavier on lab work. HOME-DESIGNED. 😉

Make the curriculum work for you. Make the grading system work for you. If you’d like to see more of my High School posts- look here.




Fine Arts? Musicals! movie fun. WRITING!! create your own homeschool

Whether you are catering to your child’s (or your) interests, you can create your own homeschool from anything! Fine arts is a big basket. Find something you enjoy to do with it- after all, that is what it was meant for… Or was it? We found ways to explore musicals (like the Broadway shows- but the ones filmed I can watch in my living room with my kids) and any deeper meaning the authors may have wanted to convey. Maybe that is the true work of an artist– what it communicates. See what you find.

I put this together for a friend’s daughter. I like it. Having put it together for a specific child in mind here were the ideas in my head:

  1. She had fallen in love with the musical “Hamilton” and Mom wanted to maximize on that interest. (smart mom!)
  2. She is VERY strong willed and has a very rebellious nature- the writing prompts, I believe can be a good thinking device for anyone, but I designed these questions for her to ARGUE and reflect her ideas and opinions.
  3. Mom had indicated she needed more motivation to write. I think these could easily be papers assigned, but I think the mom I worked with on this planned to use them as journal prompts.
  4. As a rebellious teen, she had already sought some controversial content (RENT) and Mom wanted to concede that- as long as we explore____ we also explore____. We had discussed offering her a list of options, her having veto power of x number so it was designed to have concessions on both sides.
  5. We originally discussed using these in a historical timeline so they were arranged that way, but ultimately we decided on more of a writing program- but they could easily be used alongside a history curriculum as they are (roughly) arranged by time setting.

I had a ton of fun putting this together because I am a big fan of musicals. I focused more on my favorites for two reasons: 1) I could come up with out of the ordinary questions because I was familiar and 2) i owned them on DVD making it easier for my friend to share with her daughter.

Since I’ve put this together, I’ve learned of other moms that looking for a way to cover some fine arts. This, to me, qualifies. So here is what I have:

*Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat- Does adversity mean that God is not with us? How does Joseph’s faith lead him to God’s plan for his life?

Jesus Christ Superstar – Does Judas behave as a Christian? He follows the rules- he repented, asked for forgiveness, gave back the money- why is he lead to suicide? Do you think Jesus forgave him?

The King and I (1956)- What does Mrs Anna do to honor the King’s culture, what does she refuse to do? How does this help or hinder the King’s objective?

*Les Miserables- Who does the justice system work for in this period in time? What have we learned and failed to learn from this justice system?

*1776- Are our forefathers remembered as demi-gods as Franklin suggests in the movie. Do we have a fair image of the men they were?


*The Phantom of the Opera – How can our own ideas and experiences blind us to reality?

*Oklahoma!- How does courting differ from Oklahoma to now? What is better and worse about them?

*Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- How can having an inventive mind help and hinder a families well-being?

*Guys and Dolls- How do Sky’s and Sarah’s view of the Bible differ? Who, in your opinion has a better understand of life’s rules?

*Chicago- Is this a good or bad portrayal of the power of the Press and its role in our justice system? Do you think it is better or worse than today?

*The Music Man – Do you think traveling salesman are able to maintain a respectable image? Why or why not?

*Fiddler on the Roof- Have you ever considered the effect of changing times’ effect on fathers? How does this portrayal of a father’s decisions prove his love for his children? Is it enough to fit into the changing world?

*The Sound of Music- This family’s decision to escape in the face of the Nazi’s takeover is portrayed as heroic. Is this because of our ability to look back on history and see what would happen? Is it because they were successful? How do you think you would know if you were living in such a perilous time? Do you believe you would take the same risk?

South Pacific

*Hairspray- How did the changing music industry affect the Civil Rights Movement in the US? Did it help, hinder or both?

*West Side Story- Why do you think the story of Romeo and Juliet is such a popular and timeless story? How does this modern version approach the idea?


Other musicals – just a list we discussed. I thought I’d share our brainstorming ideas- however slight they were 😉

Not sure where these fall in a time period:

  • *A Chorus Line
  • Singing in the Rain
  • *Wizard of Oz
  • Cabaret
  • Oliver
  • Annie Get your Gun
  • 7 brides for 7 brothers
  • My Fair Lady
  • *Annie
  • Evita
  • Funny Face
  • Funny Girl
  • Rocky Horror
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Carousel
  • State fair
  • Damn Yankees
  • Gigi
  • *Mary Poppins

NOTES: * were put in for local friends- these are ones I own 😉 I DO NOT guarantee the content of these AT ALL. Use at your own discretion. Some of these I have, indeed, studied with my children. Other I have not! This was designed with a specific audience- not all. Please use your judgement and look up content.




Renaissance Art History Study

I’ve longed to find a good art history course. I cannot seem to find what I am looking for, so I’ve begun to put it together myself. No wonder. this is no easy task 😉 I’ve begun smaller than I thought I would- but then again personally I’m quite bored beginning with Egyptian art. I happen to appreciate painting a great deal more.

I don’t put a huge stock in age level or reading level. I choose books for their interest level. This is my idea of fun and interesting things to read- or tailored to my children’s taste- depending. I think we ALL enjoy an easy read now and then as well as challenges. Above all I hope to foster a love of reading and learning and I choose books I find fascinating just as I hope my children will do all their lives. It is my hope that you will be inspired by this make-your-own-way style and change out books to your own liking 😉

This study is only 9 weeks longs as I intend to use it as part of my year 2 history. We do a four day week schedule with notebooking Fridays.

(there are not affiliate links. I don’t even own this site. I just link to Amazon for your convenience) just sharing my ideas. good luck with yours.

The books:

(Who Was) Leonardo Da Vinci? by Roberta Edwards

(Amaze) Amazing Leonardo DaVinci Inventions you can build yourself by Maxine Anderson

(RA) Renaissance Artist who Inspired the world by Gregory Blanch and Roberta Stathis

(LA) Lives of the Artists by Kathleen Krull

Michelangelo by Elizabeth Ripley  * this is an old library book I found- not a specially chosen book really. not a bad book! but used for convenience too.

(UA) The Usborne Book of Art by Rosie Dickins

week 1:

RA intro p 1-17

p 18

UA p 1-13


week 2:

LA p 10

RA p 26

Who was – first 1/2

who was- finish

week 3

Amaze -Intro

perspectograph  & draw

masks, plastic glass and paint

divine proposition & activity

week 4

jokester & invisible ink

monster shield

useful machines and camera

weather and hydrometer

week 5

monkey wrench, water

watershoes, webbed gloves

plight, ornithopter

helicopter, parachute

week 6


war, safety bridge

trebuchet, tank

catch up

week 7 (Michelangelo)

LA p 16

RA p 36

Michelangelo- excerpts

Michelangelo- excerpts

week 8 (Raphael)

RA p 44

Sofonisba Anguissola- LA p 24

RA p 52

Renaissance Spreads RA p 58

week 9

RA p 66

UA p 14,15

LA Rembrandt p 28

Peter Paul Rubens and Van Eyck- online. * I would rather have good printed resources but I have not come across what I am looking for yet. I do think it important to cover these two, be familiar with their names and famous works. Please let me know of great resources to use toward these ends 🙂













Notebooking Fridays

I schedule a 4 day week. While we generally school 5 days a week- Fridays are reserved for catch-up, delight directed investigation, notebooking, and generally a flex day for those weeks we need to ‘drop’ a day: illness, travel, farm work, one-of-those-days 😉 , field trips….

When I pulled my kids from public school (4th and 6th grade) we began science with NOEO. It scheduled a 4 day week and there are a few notebooking type pages in the front of the syllabus. We made endless copies of these until we discovered notebooks at our state’s homeschool convention from Miller Pad and Paper Company. These eliminated making copies every day, and kept each child’s  pages bound in one book. They loved this. So, they began using the same notebooks for history, creative writing….

noeo notebook

We made endless copies of these until we discovered notebooks at our state’s homeschool convention from Miller Pad and Paper Company. These eliminated making copies every day, and kept each child’s  pages bound in one book. They loved this. So, they began using the same notebooks for history, creative writing….

note sketch miller pad

As a part of our spring meltdown one year, I re-vamped our school (incidentally we had moved on to ‘higher level’ high school curriculum- instead of  the living books studies like NOEO.) I had heard a  lot about delight-directed learning but did not have kids motivated to do that. I switched back to a wide variety of living books studies and decided that they notebooking theory was a good way to investigate.

I googled notebooking pages and read a Notebooking Queen book by Cindy Rushton. (I’m not sure which one and I no longer own it but something like this) I printed a few and put them in a 3-ring binder. General pages like we had been using but different organization.

I’d say this has been successful with my younger kids- but my older ones still prefer the notebooks from Miller. They began with different habits ;).

The 4 day week has been quite a success for us and it looks like this:

Our homeschool day begins with a-loud reading by me. Then math. These are the two things I find most important to do every single day (math and reading).  So, on Fridays we do the same thing, but at the point that they look at new assignments- they are looking at notebooking as the assignment. Sometimes they file things into their record binders, sometimes they create new notebooking pages, sometimes they complete things that have not been finished for whatever reason- but in the end we have less pressure on Friday. We’ve completed learning. We’ve investigated or recorded or caught-up. That is how we do it- until it doesn’t work 😉 then we will try something new.

MENUS and IDEAS- I collected two documents that list ideas for the kids to use in their notebooks. I’m not sure where I got them. I wish I did so that I could give credit. I printed them and put them in a page protector in the front of their notebooks.

Notebooking idea lists

now it’s been a whole year since I’ve put this binder together, and I didn’t put it together with intent on sharing it- just using it- so I’ll do my best to give you an idea of the sources I’ve used. I apologize for what I’m certain I’ll miss.

My NOTEBOOKING binder includes:

I put each page in a plastic page protector and make extra copies of a few. The page protector sheet can be copied, 3 hole punched copies can be used. This makes the notebook re-usable.


Good Luck. PLEASE share your notebooking ideas with me! I’m really quite new to this.



A day in the life of a homeschooler…

It’s a common question! What does your day look like? How do you do it? How long does it take?

I’m going to TRY to outline an ideal homeschool day in my home. This is TOUGH because life happens in my home, how about yours? 😉  We swerve a LOT.

Now- first I have to outline my specific family interruptions: I have kids duel enrolled in the public school- all take band, all high schoolers take an Ag class (it is required as a part of FFA) one is involved in speech and drama, one takes Spanish and we are involved in sports programs. This usually takes 1-2 hours a day per kid class time + sports and clubs. One more thing- we live on a farm. We have animals to feed.  We live on the farm, but not at ‘the farm’ where our equipment and livestock reside. We travel about 2 miles to take care of these chores (and the public school is only 2 1/2 miles the other direction)


I get up about 7 or 7:30. I am sending my husband out the door about then- depending on season and weather.


This is MY time. I am known to dilly dally on the computer 😉  or read. I wake the kids about 8 or 8:30, drag them out to the living room semi-sleepy in their PJ’s and read to them. This is our History program.

(depending on schedules and current livestock needs- some will leave for classes at the school or chores)


I will continue reading with the youngest- teaching reading, language lessons… while others begin their own lessons, breakfast or showers. Usually each kids list begins with math. I think it is THE MOST important one to do every single day (besides reading). Each child has a checklist/schedule and they work through it. I hang around to see if there are questions, begin making rounds to where each child has wandered to and ask ‘what did you think of….’ ‘how many did you miss in math?’ ‘have you started reading…’ also my chance to throw in a load of laundry- however the important part here is staying completely visible! If I head off to do a project? answer the phone? …. whoa. I’ve lost them. :/


My husband generally comes home for lunch between 12:30 and 1 and we eat together, sometimes discussing things we’ve learned this morning.

After lunch we finish up on anything we had set aside and some days our schedule gets busier with band or some other activity.


NOW is when each member of my family is watching for things to align- everyone is here, and everyone is ‘done’ This is our favorite part of the day! ” DONE. Mom, can we watch an episode of [Flash] together?” sometimes we watch entertainment, sometimes we watch things like ‘Brain Games’ or ‘How we got to now’ – something fun AND learning. Sometimes I only have the two youngest and we do a little drawing.

We all count it a good day when we get that down time together! (and some days we STEAL this time from school! you know those days don’t you?)

Somewhere between 3 and 5 we begin a new schedule- evening chores and evening activities and sports. we’ll meet back here again for dinner (usually in the neighborhood of 8pm!!)


-hopefully shuffle kids to bed…..then again, I said in an ideal day 😉


Please tell me what your schedule looks like!

Creating A Homeschool Transcript

Okay so I have only just graduated one, and she only intended to go to community college- and I don’t REALLY know how she will do in the real world. I don’t know the answers. BUT I do feel fairly confident that I can answer for what we’ve done in our school. Her (and the youngers’) accomplishments. I feel confident that I did all I could do for her here and that it was better than our alternatives would have turned out. That’s it. That is all the security I have for you. 😉  Here is my real security- God chose you as your child’s parent and He knows you will do what THIS child needs. You’ll do OK mama. Don’t sweat it. You’ve raised a good kid.

Now, first things first. I don’t use a fancy online, app or program to keep track. I’m pretty simple. I tend to be a procrastinator and I get bogged down with redundancy. So this is how I operate:

I keep record books. I always have. Maybe some fear of ‘someone checking in on us’, maybe for me. maybe because I didn’t know where to go with all of the paperwork….

I’ve decided not to panic about ‘High School’ I’ve been schooling with my kids’ interests all along. I’m going to continue.

I use HSLDA’s transcript template.

At the end of each semester/year as we put our record books together, I’d make a list of each of the classes we’d done. This was also a chance to reflect on any ‘extra’ classes that would count. You know a home ec credit for all of the cooking and housework… you’ve all read Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La right? or you’ve at least heard form others about adding in your time spent on things like this, right? … anyway so I’d make this ‘list’ and I would  grade them. (yes. that is what I do. all grades are subjective. I expect a lot.)

I put it together. We live on a farm. My kids help a lot. They have their own livestock, as well as helping us, and they show them. It’s a lot of hours. I gave them credit.


(0ur area does 2 credits per year, 1 per semester so that is how we worked it)

Then I took it to a friend for help. She has two at a state university with many scholarships. Her advice is this- keep in simple. One page. Nothing stands out- raises any flags. short, sweet, simple. I followed her advice. Here is what she saw:


all of these are English credits. That may be easy to see now, but I’ll be you too kept more than you should have. We completed each of those classes, but in the end: English I, English II, English III.


still too many credits she says. While they did spend a great deal of time in livestock work- too many credits. This was hard to give up but it didn’t undo their work. remember that!

we combined the consumer math, financial peace and Livestock records into Personal and Business Finance.

we listed all of her theater work on the back and just left the speech and drama she took at public school (note on this: she took the class as the local public school. they did not write ONE speech. They did silly theater pieces- no they were silly!- but she learned to use imovie which became important later, she got involved with the speech competitions using her connections here which were important. She was highly involved in 4H and FFA which helped her more than any speech class we did here or at public school…. and it is one of her gifts. In the end- she is accomplished in speech and drama and even though she didn’t learn it at the public school class- she did learn it and it is recorded here.)

*classes she took at our local public school.

and the ones edited out in purple we opted to just list on the back. (note here- the sign language class was one she did on her own with a curriculum we bought, but she struggled not having anyone to ‘talk’ with and practice it so she taught a couple of friends.- I listed it as American Sign Language Club- she kind of started one right?)

The edited version looks something like this:

transcript 6

on the back of the transcript is where you list accomplishments- things that don’t fit on the front.

transcript back

I opted to list her livestock work as well work. employment: “Cow/Calf producer since 10 years of age” and her job at a local store since 2014…

I apologize it is not a very good image but I think you get the idea. I know too that I didn’t compare for other changes. (I didn’t create these or save these for blogging 😉 )

*EDIT *  I’ve been asked to upload a copy that can be easier to read and zoom. Here is an edited copy. I chose one that was midway through her senior year- noted with *classes not finished* This is what was attached to many of her scholarship applications.  e-hslda-transcript-blog-copy-edited

…laughing…crying….confessing….I struggled with loading her ACT score. I know that many homeschool families (maybe all families) are competitive about the ACT score. She did not score well according to many standards. She scored ENOUGH- is what I think. She qualified for the State University. She didn’t earn a big scholarship. It’s OK. (I’m still telling myself. but you know, I went to public school and I scored one point BELOW her and went to university.)

She NEVER scored well on tests. She doesn’t learn easily. She struggles. We pulled her from public school for EXACTLY this reason. So, I champion her accomplishments. I’m OK with her score. I pray. I know the the Lord is leading her down her own path- not mine.

I decided not to exclude it here. Maybe some of you struggle with this very thing.

If you look at the back of her transcript you will see a snapshot of THIS child and HER GIFTS are not on the ACT. She likes to write and give presentations and act and give speeches…. She did not earn a scholarship based on her academic performance but she did earn scholarships from a variety of small places 4H, FFA, American Legion, the power company, two local farm businesses (she went into Ag business AA and Ag Teaching BS) each kid has their own path. This is my oldest’s path so far.

EDIT** UPDATE** This child has all A’s at community college so far, is active in clubs, picked up an internship, and has not yet paid for any tuition. She continues to apply for (and earn) small scholarships and applies great financial sense to her expenses….. just wanted to let you know. ESPECIALLY those of you struggling with AVERAGE test scoring kids!!

Hope that this is helpful.  I’d love to hear if you have any questions or comments. (kind of helps to know I’m not talking to myself 😉 ) Thanks for reading!!