Online for the 2023-2024 School Year
Teacher: Mr. Burns
Note: This class uses all the materials from Dr. Richman's very popular course, including his games, syllabus, and website format.
Costs and Requirements:
- Class tuition fee: Early bird $675 (before July 1st), Regular $725. All homeschooled 9th-12th graders who pay tuition before the class is full will be accepted. There is no application and there are no prerequisites. You simply pay tuition in the online store here at aphomeschoolers.com.
- 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 https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/economics-3rd-edition. To order them at the "Professor's discount" price, call customer care at The Great Courses Company (1-800-832-2412). Mention my name (Daniel Burns) and Reference Code 29. You can then pay by credit card for either DVDs ($69.95), Video Downloads ($49.95) or Audio Downloads ($34.95).
- 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.
- Time Requirement: This class requires an average of about 90 minutes per weekday from late August until late 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: Registration is open for any homeschooled student in 9th-12th grade. There is no application. Simply complete the tuition payment process in 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, write "study buddy questions," and play economics games on the class website. Students are expected to log on to the website every weekday, but not at any particular time of day in order to accommodate different schedules and students living around the world. We will have optional and recorded meetings on zoom at least once per unit.
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 John Maynard 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.
One of my goals for the class is that you become passionate about economics. Economics is a fascinating course of study with many applications to real life and the world around you. Through the games and other interactive assignments, I hope you will come to love the subject and perhaps decide to pursue it further in college.
Results: Since 2020, about 75% of my students have scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, compared to an average of about 2.75 globally.
Class Schedule. The class will start in early September with one week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks for Christmas break. The daily classes and assignments will end in late 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 I am a College Board exam grader for AP Macroeconomics. 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 (MBA). My wife Florina and I live in Puebla, Mexico with our two daughters Azrielle (9) and Avianna (6).