Homeschool Recommendations for Consumer MathJul 15th, 2009 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, General Homeschool Posts, Math and Science
There are a number of good Consumer Math programs out there. Let me just outline my favorites and give you a brief overview of each. Hopefully that will give you a good starting point.
Consumer Math Success Kit
This is a workbook format designed to be a supplement to a full Consumer Math program. However, for a student who has a strong sense of math or who enjoys the application element of math, this is a terrific option. The book contains 53 different consumer math topics including banking, borrowing, budgeting, income, taxes, investments, nutrition, savings, travel, bills, vacation planning and more. Each section includes a brief introduction to the topic and at least one solved example. It then provides several practice problems which illustrate the concepts discussed and are arranged from simple to more complex. The last piece of each section is a page of teacher notes providing helpful information on new vocabulary, type of math needed for the problems and a few ideas for teaching.
If you are looking for an independent study of consumer math, this is probably not the book for you. Ideally, you will want to be engaged with your student if you are using this book. To order this one, call 800-685-3357 and request the title, Consumer Math Success Kit. Cost is $29.75
Power Basics Consumer Math
Written in an easy-to-understand and independent study style, this course uses a step-by-step approach to strengthen money-management skills. Broken into four units, Consumer Math includes tips for mastering the ideas, skills, and facts; real life applications for the skills you are mastering; and “Think About It” questions to help students look at money management in new ways.
The units in this course include Dollars and Sense, which reviews basic math skills as they apply to money; Spending Wisely, which teaches students how to create and balance a personal budget, to shop wisely, and how to get the best value for their money; Borrowing Wisely, which teaches about different kinds of loans, how to establish good credit and how to avoid going into debt and finally Banking, Insurance, and Taxes.
My favorite feature in this program is the student workbook, where students engage in real life applications of what they are learning in an organized and relative way.
This program also includes a pre-test, to identify what your student already knows, tests for each unit, and a post test that demonstrates progress.
The full year kit includes a textbook, student workbook, teacher guide and test booklet.
Lifepac Consumer Math
With Lifepac Consumer Math, students will develop essential daily math skills for planning and organizing personal finances. This course begins with a review of basic math skills, then shows students how to examine loans and credit cards, how to purchase goods, how to handle family finances, and other practical math skills. More advanced than Power Basics Consumer Math detailed above, this course provides a stronger focus on critical thinking skills in addition to application activities. It comes as a kit with 10 student worktexts (each with its own quizzes and tests) and a solution/test key. To order/view this course, click here and type ES2315 in the search field.
Business Math A twelve unit study of practical math skills that sets the stage for students to apply learned skills to real life situations in the home and business world. Topics include checkbook reconciliation, budget preparation, calculation of discounts, insurance and more.
This course approaches math with a goal of mastery and includes a fair amount of repetition and review in order to solidify information and includes 12 separate units of study, each of which has its own quizzes and tests built in.
A terrific course if you are looking for an independent study course that provides all of the instruction and practice in a format addressed to the student.
If you are looking for a more basic study of consumer math (appropriate for struggling learners or younger students), you might want to check out Life Skills for Today’s World. This 96 page booklet is one book in a series of five Life Skills books that covers money and consumers. Presented in large text and written at about a 3rd to 4th grade level, the book covers the basics of consumer math and includes topics such as banking services, checking accounts, credit and interest, budgets, bills, shopping smart, insurance and owning a car.
This one would be ideal as a basic overview of consumer math or an introduction for young students. I would not issue a credit for this course.
To order this book, call 800-685-3357 and request the book, Life Skills for Today’s World Money and Consumers. Cost $11.90
I know this is a lot of information to process, but I trust that the basic descriptions will help you determine the best approach for your child.
If you are looking for a fun website providing interactive consumer math activities, check out http://www.learner.org/interactives/dailymath/
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