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Top Five!
You can create great Journals, Notebooks and books with teens!!

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What about older kids?  Good question!!  I think this is actually a great age to work with doing notebooks.  Let me share how you can use this method with your older kids based on what we've been doing lately.  My then 14 year old son and I had been reading through 'Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?' written by Richard Maybury.  We are also working through other books on Money Management and Free Market Economics.  The Book Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, however, is our main text book.  It is probably one of the best books to read with your kids on economics.  I never understood deflation, inflation or the economy till I read this book.    Each day we have been reading a chapter in the book.  Then I give my son something to write. I've used Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books or Big Book of Projects for different types of folds and booklet type manipulatives to make. My son then writes about the given subject. It has been very rewarding.  Here is some of what we've done with our study on Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?.

IDEAS for Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?:

Chapter one:  We made a half folded sheet of paper with two lift up flaps - on one flap he wrote "coins"  on the other wrote "tokens"  on the inside of the flap he described what the difference was between the two. 

Chapter Two:  We folded a sheet of colored paper in half length wise - then cut half into 8 lift up tabs.  On the outside he wrote the different words like: "Tanstaafl", "Base Metal", "Double Digit Inflation" etc.  Then under the flap he wrote the meaning.  By the way TANSTAAFL means: There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.   This really helped my son understand how the Welfare system is completely out of control.    Randy also made another Manipulative - a two flap lift up fold that described Subsidies and the Welfare Program.

Chapter Three:  Randy made a Sort of Three page fold (again from Zike's book) and decried Inflation - the top part lifts up for a description of the Law of Supply and Demand but on the front there are drawings of dollar bills with a sort of cycle he developed to explain what Inflation really is.  This helped Randy to visualize what he was learning and really grasp how President Bush's little extra tax back check this past fall was nothing more than injecting the economy with more funds - inflating the economy with more money.

Chapter 4 & 5:  He made a folded piece of colored paper into a three lift up tab manipulative to show the differences between: Silver Certificates, Federal Reserve notes and then what the Legal Tender Law was (This is very interesting).


Chapter 6:  We made a layered booklet type manipulative with three colors of paper.  Under each layer he described Wages, Prices, Spirals and Controls.  This helped him again to understand exactly what is happening in the economy when prices go up or down.  It helped him solidify in his mind that Inflation isn't just a random chance thing that happens to unfortunate people.  Inflation is caused by the government inflating the economy.

Chapter 7:  Randy made a manipulative that is a shutter type fold with four doors that open and on the bottom he labeled "Business Cycle".  Under each door he described: Inflation, Recession, Depression, Deflation.


Chapter 8:  Randy just wrote out on simple notebook paper what Velocity was and how it works.

The last few chapters we read through and he wrote out different things like a quote of Thomas Jefferson's on Government debt (too bad our government didn't value that thought today). He also wrote out the US Constitution article 1 section 10 (wonder how come we don't abide by this article today? - I think that is a worthy question for him to our Senator and Congressman) ,  He made a booklet describing Gersham's Law too.    Probably the most unique thing he made was this huge timeline that shows the federal debt at intervals from the early 1600s to today. It also shows when there were recessions and depressions and how much money was circulating in the economy.  It is so incredible.  He obtained this information from the Study Guide to Whatever Happened to Penny Candy.

 This is very hard to see but it the Time Line Randy Made of the American Economy.

If Randy hadn't done all this "stuff", I don't think he would remember it as well.  But now as we are going on to study more and more about the economy and economics he can plug in what he has internalized from this study into everything he reads and it makes sense to him.   What more could I hope for from this study?  My goal was that he would own this information and that it would help him to make wise decisions about money for the rest of his life.   We aren't done with the study yet - we are still exploring and reading more of Richard Maybury's books and learning about the industrial revolution and the Great Depression etc.  I've learned a lot too.  Once we are done we will put all these written pieces and manipulatives into some sort of book.
I've learned so much from Dinah Zike and others about putting together what we've learned and are learning into something tangible and relevant to my children. Something they can go back to again and again.  I cannot recommend more highly this method.  It is not dry and boring.
    I pray that this will become a jumping board for you to see what you can do with any theme or subject that your child may be interested.

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