Class Description: Are you the sort of person who likes to talk about the effects of government policies and what the government should or should not do? You may be a born economist. Macroeconomics is the part of economics that studies government actions and looks mostly at problems of the economy as a whole such as inflation, unemployment, recession, international trade, and long-term growth. We will specifically learn about economics theories of important economists from Adam Smith, to Keynes, to Milton Friedman.
In this class, you will learn how to predict the effects of government actions. For example, “What happens to unemployment rates when the government raises the minimum wage or cuts taxes?”
You will learn the skills necessary for analyzing economics problems: how to use the vocabulary of economists, how to draw “supply” and “demand” curves, how to read economics graphs, how to pull the economy out of recessions or inflationary spirals and how to promote long-term economic growth.
The most fun part of the class is the economics simulation games. Each game will be played twice (each run lasting two weeks), and there will be four games during the year.
- The Business Game:You will either be a burger retailer or a wholesaler. Wholesalers arrange sales to retailers and decide whether or not to build new factories and/or invest in improved technology. Retailers sell to a fictional public and the amount they sell depends upon their market share, price, and advertising. This game teaches the microeconomics of supply and demand through a business simulation.
- Guns or Butter Game:You are the absolute dictator of a country and you need to decide how to spend your money. You can also trade with your allies to take advantage of each country’s comparative advantages. But watch out! If you don’t build enough weapons you could be attacked. This game teaches about the importance of investment, maintaining defensive strength, and comparative advantage in international trade.
- Investment Game:You are both a government and an investor. As a government you use fiscal and monetary policies to try to attract investment. As an investor you try to pick the best countries (from among the other countries) for your new factories. This game teaches some of the relationships between money supply, government spending, taxation, interest rates, and private investment.
- Economic Warfare Game: You will be either the business or the government segment of a country. Businesses are trying to make more money than other businesses and governments are trying to advance their economy while using currency manipulations, spies, and counterspies to gain competitive advantages over other countries. This game requires an understanding of international capital movements and foreign trade, the main factors that affect the relative prices of currencies.
Costs and Requirements:
- Class tuition fee: $625. All homeschooled sophomores, juniors or seniors who pay tuition before the class is full (30 students) will be accepted. There is no application and there are no prerequisites. You simply pay tuition in the online store here at aphomeschoolers.com. After the class reaches 30 students, it will no longer be possible to pay tuition for this class in the store.
- Textbook: Free Online Textbook: Principles of Economics Version 1.0 (or 2.0) by Libby Rittenberg and Timothy Tregarthen (available in html, kindle and pdf formats).
- Lectures: The lectures for the course will be The Great Courses economics lectures (audio or video) by Prof. Timothy Taylor (third edition) Course #550 available from http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=550. The Great Courses will have them on sale before class begins! Audio downloads will be $34.95, Video Downloads will be $49.95 and DVDs will be $69.95.
- Scanner or Digital Camera: Although this is not required, a scanner or digital camera for uploading hand-drawn economics graphs will save you time. (You can make do, although it takes longer, by drawing simple graphs using either Microsoft Word or a computer drawing program such as Paint or Photoshop.)
- Microsoft Word or Open Office: Students often post their essays as Microsoft Word documents, so you will need to download Open Office (which is free) if you don’t have Microsoft Word.
- Internet Access. Internet access is required. High speed access is not needed.
- Time Requirement: This class requires an average of about 90 minutes per weekday from the day after Labor Day until the end of January with one week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks off for Christmas. There will be continuing review assignments in February and March to help students prepare for the AP exam, but daily class work will end at the end of January.
Who can apply: Registrations will only be accepted for homeschooled students who will be in 10th, 11th or 12th grades during the 2019-2020 school year. There are no class prerequisites. All 10th, 11th or 12th grade homeschooled students who pay tuition will be accepted until the class begins or fills up.
How to register: Simply pay tuition using the online store or by sending a check.
Microeconomics Option: Some students will want to take the AP Microeconomics course and exam as well. My AP Microeconomics course starts when the active portion of Macro ends, using the same textbook.
Highly interactive rated 3: Students discuss economics, respond to each others’ essays, and play economics games on the class website. Students are expected to log on to the website every weekday, but there are no class “chats” that would require logging on at any particular time of the day.
Class Schedule. The class will start the last week of August with one week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks for Christmas break. The daily classes and assignments will end at the end of January. You would still need to review in order to prepare for the final exam that parents administer in April and the actual AP Macroeconomics exam in May.
Want to Get a Headstart? I recommend two excellent video series that you can watch before class starts:
- Hillsdale’s free online Economics 101 course: https://online.hillsdale.edu/home/register
- An excellent series by Milton Friedman from PBS TV which applies economics to real world problems: http://www.freetochoose.tv/
Teacher qualifications: I have been teaching AP Macroeconomics at Puebla Christian School since 2012 and was thrilled when Dr. Richman asked me to offer a section online using his course materials. When I was a homeschooled 11th grader, I took AP Macro from Dr. Richman and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I’m excited to be able to teach it for the AP Homeschoolers now. I also wrote an AP Macroeconomics curriculum for a major curriculum publisher and am approved as an exam grader for AP Macroeconomics by the College Board. Since 2004, I have been teaching other AP courses online, including Microeconomics, U.S. History, and U.S. Government. I graduated from Patrick Henry College with a degree in Government Public Policy and Regent University with a Master of Business Administration. My wife Florina and I live in Puebla, Mexico with our two daughters Azrielle (5) and Avianna (2).