Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Math-U-See Stewardship

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Math-U-See is our math of choice around here. We have used this pretty much since the beginning of our homeschooling years, from Alpha through Geometry so far. I am excited to review one of their secondary math products, Stewardship: A Biblical Approach to Personal Finance.

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Stewardship teaches the principles of using money in everyday life. The package includes the instructor's manual, student text, test booklet, lesson by lesson DVD, and the Biblical Foundations book. It is also recommended for for anyone with a good understanding of math, though Algebra is helpful, and can be used individually, in a small discussion group, or with adult ministries.
The lessons are divided into four sections.
  1. Personal Finance covers such topics as earning money, taxes, banking, interest, budgeting, credit cards, and more.
  2. Automotive covers the purchasing and operation of an automobile along with information on mechanics and insurance. 
  3. Buying and Maintaining a Home cover real estate, contracting, painting, rent, plumbing, electrical, and more.
  4. Miscellaneous section covers such topics as traveling, printing, postage, and many more topics.
They also offer loan and investment calculators on their website under their E-Learning page.

Caleb used this and did one lesson per week. He followed the schedule that was suggested in the book: Watch the DVD, read the instruction manual, and then do the first two pages. Then to complete the lesson he read the corresponding chapter from the Biblical Foundations devotional and completed the final two pages in the student text. When the worksheets are completed, checked, and discussed them if necessary and then he took the test. He was able to work through it very well on his own and when he was stuck it only took a few minutes with Dad to get it figured out.

Caleb told me he found it interesting and liked learning on how different financial concepts worked. He also said it was a lot easier than Geometry (which he is trying to finish up).

I really like how this program is put together. The financial concepts taught include all the usual things you would expect, but he also covers some rather unique, but practical scenarios as well. Things like buying carpet or plumbing. It even covers shipping using USPS or UPS! I noticed many topics covered that  I never learned about except through trial and error after becoming an adult. The DVD is engaging and interesting.

The math is applying what the student has already learned in algebra, but in a real life situation. There are also plenty of opportunities for the student to ask the parents questions about their own financial habits. Also, this is math that I can do, which makes it a big plus!

I think what completes this course is the Biblical Foundations devotional. This book is filled with financial principles from the Bible and personal life stories. Topics covered in this include being a faithful steward, honoring the Lord with your substance, marriage and money, praying before purchasing, and so many other great topics.

Overall, I found Stewardship to be a very practical, down-to-earth financial curriculum and the addition of Biblical principles is like icing on a cake!

You can also see a short video clip with an overview of the program, a sample lesson from the DVD, the scope and sequence, and a sample lesson from the instructor's manual and student book all on Math-U-See's Stewardship page here.


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