Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: Economics for Boys and Girls- Founders Academy

This year was the first year that our children took an on-line course. In particular, it was our first experience with using Currclick. I'd love to share with you about the course with Founder's Academy and Currclick simultaneously as I review it.

At the time of the class our children took, it was valued at $40... per family! What a blessing for a homeschool budget! Plus, you are able to have the class on more than one computer if you need to. This is most helpful if you have multiple children who would be too crowded around one computer or if you have some children who are easily distracted by each other and need to be in separate locations.

Lynn Schott of Founder's Acadamy loves the history and heritage of the founding of our nation. This love emanates from her as she teaches. Would you like to take a peek at one of her classroom sessions?

Economics for Boys and Girls
Lynn Schott of Founder's Academy

Accessing Your Account:

If you have been timid about the idea of an on-line course because you aren't quite sure what to expect and how complicated it could be to use, you will appreciate seeing how easy it really is!

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Currclick is pretty simple to use {a fabulous point for many individuals}. Once we log into our account, we select "My Library" to access the list of classes we are enrolled in.

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Here's our library at this time. Here is where we enter the course. ~Did I mention that you can have separate accounts set up for individual children within the same course? I wanted to keep things simple so I entered our children as a family.

Navigating Course Content:

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Since this is our first time using Currclick, I don't know if all classes they offer are so organized. I appreciated the ease of navigation with all of the helpful links in logical order {which Lynn provides}.

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I found the course description useful; it gave my children an idea ahead of time for what they could expect to learn and I can have it filed in the notebooks.

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Lynn makes it clear that Founders Academy is not a school and her goal is not to replace your role as a parent overseeing your child's education. She leaves the grading and course load up to the parents. 

Furthermore, to make the class even more cost effective for families, she offers links to the public domain book, Economics for Boys and Girls.

As an option, she offers homework for children to work on and to upload. However, there is no pressure put upon families to participate in the homework. It's fun to see what students turn in as Lynn shares homework at the beginning of the class {only if it is turned in early enough}. Many families will love the flexibility this offers!

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You can see above that students can interact via the chat box which the green arrow is pointing to. *For those who are cautious about a student chat forum, Lynn continually emphasizes the importance of students receiving their parent's permission before exchanging any personal information. I love that she keeps this safety protocol in the forefront of the children's minds and respects the role of parents in their children's lives. Thank you SO much, Lynn!!

Now, the chat area is a tool for students to answer Lynn's questions and it works great! However, if you think your child may not be self-governed enough to keep from having *side conversations* on the chat during class, you may want to consider being next to them. Whenever this happened during class, Lynn was excellent about gently and firmly reminding the children to stay on task. If any of the students refused to cooperate with this rule, she cautioned them that she would have to shut off the chat {fortunately this was never necessary}. 

At the beginning of class time, Lynn opened up with an interactive game the students could all participate in; this helped to get their focus going.

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Various students will appreciate the visual aids used with each lesson. 

Another benefit of Lynn's course is that classes are accesible to watch anytime. The only downside to this is that they are prerecorded so your child will not be able to= interact during class time. It really comes down to what you want your child to get out of the course.

What We Think of this Particular Course...

Our older four (Scientist, Artsty Girl, Song Bird, and Explorer) took the course. While the classroom approach on-line was different than how we approach learning at home, they enjoyed many aspects of it: planning, problem solving, and teamwork.

I appreciate how Lynn engages the children to think. I love the practicality and seeing my children reason together. One of their favorite assignments was to plan a hypothetical get together with a limited fictional budget Lynn set for them. Our kids had fun working within this budget to plan for 17 people vs. 5 as assigned in the class. I was impressed with what they came up with! 

This is was what they came up with for our Reformation Day get together with friends:

Fictional Budget: $50
Beverages: water {from the 'fridge and use glasses}
2 Whole baked chickens at $4 each {found on sale}
Baked Potatoes at $5
Rolls at $6
Home baked apple pie at $3
Lady Jane Grey: Forgotten Martyr Film $12
Total: $34
Remaining: $16

Friends Brought:

It definitely gave reinforcement to many aspects which our children learn at home: economics, budgeting, planning and working together. And having them plan it out was something we hadn't done before. That was a lot of fun!

Also, if you teach with Bible Principles/The Principle Approach Method, you will find it easy to tie in the prinicples of God's Principle of Self-Government and God's Principle of Individuality within in this course. {Possibly a couple of others but this is what we focused on in our homeschool.}

Something to Keep in Mind...

One thing that you may want to keep in mind is that if your children do not know how to type, you may need to be available to type their answers for them. 
When I was needed elsewhere, they "hen pecked" their answers. Typing is something we have intentionally waited for. Cool Daddy and I have felt it important for our children to master printing/writing first. It is, however, time for a few of them to begin typing {and I plan on sharing more about that in January}.

 Hop on over to Founders Academy and check out the upcoming courses!


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