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High School Student Life Skills: Choosing a Homeschool Consumer Math Curriculum

written by: Barb Vogelgesang • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 4/5/2012

One of the advantages to home schooling is being able to apply the skills your student is learning to real life. A Consumer Math class is the perfect way to help high school students learn to manage money wisely.

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    Why Teach Consumer Math?

    There is so much we need to give our children to equip them for the future. Homeschool Consumer Math for high school is a great subject to include in your student's lessons because it offers academics and vital life skills. The current state of the economy only emphasizes the need for education in this area.

    According to Crown Financial Ministries "researchers tested the consumer knowledge of 428 high school seniors in eight metropolitan areas. When the results were tabulated, the teenagers’ average score for the entire test was only 42 percent. This doesn’t mean there’s no hope for the future."1 Give your students the tools to balance their budgets, invest wisely, use credit cards and more. A homeschool curriculum in high school that focuses on consumer math can provide these life skills for your student.

    There are a number of good Consumer Math homeschool curriclums available. Your student will benefit from taking a pre-algebra course to prepare them for the computations involved in some of the lessons.

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    Recommended Curriculums

    ABEKA Consumer Mathematics

    ABEKA's Consumer Mathematics text immediately appeals to teenagers because the first unit is on buying a car. Since this is something most teens aspires to do, their interest is captured right away. Other units include budgeting, banking, investing, keeping tax records, and purchasing food, clothing, and a home. It is a very practical approach that uses real life scenarios. The layout is colorful and provides plenty of practice problems for students to sharpen their skills. The entire curriculum includes a text, skills and review exercise workbook, teacher edition, and test and quiz book.

    Alpha Omega Homeschool Consumer Math

    This curriculum is set up in 10 Lifepac units. Each unit should take a student two to three weeks to accomplish. Areas covered in the Lifepacs are:

    • Creative math
    • Fractions
    • Decimals and percents
    • Family finances
    • Construction and building trades
    • Service occupations
    • Transportation,
    • Business services
    • Occupational diagrams

    Each work text includes applicable lessons, self tests and a removable teacher-administered test. It is a great option for students who are always on the go. They can do the lessons while waiting for a dance class or practice, at the doctor's office or while the family is sitting in the van stuck in traffic.

    Money Matters for Teens by Larry Burkett

    Money Matters is not a traditional curriculum but should be considered when looking at teaching aids for consumer math. The book is divided into several units such as stewardship, money, attitude, planning, banking, spending and career. The units are divided into seven lessons. Students are taught that if they don't take control of their money, someone else will. There are two accompaniment workbooks. One is geared for those 11 to 14 year old and the other is aimed at students 15 to 18 years old. The workbooks offer additional age appropriate materials. This series comes from the respected Christian financial counselor Larry Burkett, who is the founder of Crown Financial Ministries.

    Everyday Survival Skills - Hayes School Publishing

    If you are looking for a low-key approach and don't want to use the entire textbook approach, you may want to use this workbook. It is laid out very simply and covers the basics in an easy to understand format. There are exercises on checking and savings accounts, loans, and insurance. There are also "how-tos" for shopping, travel, voting and materials dealing with social security, job applications, and aptitude tests. This workbook includes a teacher's key. A mom with a learning disabled child praised this workbook because it met her needs so nicely and didn't frustrate her son.

    Learning Business Math - Math Tutor Educational Software

    Here is a curriculum for students who enjoy working on the computer as opposed to text or workbooks. There is a review of basic math skills prior to coverage on topics such as income and wages, taxes, checking and savings accounts, cash purchases and comparison shopping. This is an interactive business math tutorial where the student can set the pace that is best for them.

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    Teach Consumer Math With Board Games

    Another way to include consumer math in your student's education can be through the use of fun board games. The following games produced by Wiebe Carlson & Associates are available through homeschool supply vendors and education resource stores.

    Budget Game (grades 4 to 12): This is a fast paced game where players try to pay bills, make investments, remit taxes and keep from losing all their money.

    Discount Game (grades 5 to 12): The over 400 real life challenges in this game teach players to make purchases, compute percentages, keep financial records and reconcile accounts.

    Managing Your Money - (grades 4 to 12): This is a series of games that helps students practice real life consumer skills. It helps to answer the age old question, "Why do I need to learn this?"

    Bank Account Game (grades 5 to 12): In this game, players balance checking accounts, write checks, make deposits, pay taxes, medical and grocery bills, make car payments, and are required to keep accurate records. It includes checks, deposit slips and currency.

    Old favorites like Hasbro's Monopoly and The Game of Life by Milton Bradley are also good choices for fun ways to sharpen student's consumer math skills.

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    Resources

    Don't miss the opportunity to arm your child with the vital skills they need to navigate their finances and avoid the "hole in the pocket syndrome" that is afflicting so many people. A homeschool consumer math course for high school will provide the tools for a financially wise future.

    You can check out the recommended materials at these websites.

    http://www.abeka.com/

    http://www.aop.com/

    http://www.christianbook.com/homeschool

    http://www.mathtutor.com/math-software-homeschool.html

    http://www.rainbowresource.com/index.php

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    References

    1 - Crown Financial Ministries - http://www.crown.org/

    Christian Book Distributors

    ABEKA Books, http://www.abeka.com/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    Alpha Omega Publishers, http://www.aop.com/