12th grade living books for Economics and Government

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  • CindyB.


    I have a 12th grade daughter and am looking for some ideas for living books that she can read for economics and government. I have heard about CM for many years but only in the last few months have really started reading about her methods. I have 4 other children with whom I am trying to incorporate the little that I know about CM methods.

    Any help would be appreciated!
    Thank you,


    Hi Cindy,

    I came across this website that has links for all subjects that are available online. The books/subjects look interesting…maybe you can find something there. And, it appears that it is free and can be read from the computer or printed out…which definitely works for me.


    Hope this helps!

    Lori S.

    Sonya Shafer

    We like the Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? book for economics. It’s written in the form of several letters from an uncle to his nephew, so it’s very conversational. It’s understandable for a wide age range. I learned a lot from reading it to my children, so I think it would be interesting for a 12th grader.


    I can second the “Uncle Eric” series by Richard Maybury. You can read the suggested series in one year if you cover about 10 chapters per week. http://www.bluestockingpress.com/bluestocking_faq.htm (Scroll down to “What is the suggested order”) You may want to read his interview on Homeschool Christian to see where he’s coming from: http://www.homeschoolchristian.com/Reviews/Voices/Maybury.html


    Is your daughter planning on going to college?

    If so, I really recommend that you use the Uncle Eric series, and then also additional materials. Uncle Eric is great–my kids all are reading them. BUT it is not a college preparatory material, IMO.

    Here are a few others to consider:

    Economics in One Lesson by Harry Hazlitt

    I, Pencil (free essay at http://www.fee.org )

    Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

    Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One by Thomas Sowell

    There is a course available by John Stossel at abc.com that is EXCELLENT

    Invisible Heart by Roberts, but Amazon won’t let me load the page to help me remember the first name, lol

    OK. I’ll have to handle government later. LOL

    I was a PhD student in political science and economics Before Babies, lol. Didn’t finish my degree, switched over to M.O.M. instead and am glad, but I’m still intensely interested and read a lot. These books are on my kids’ reading lists. I’ll try and post on government later.


    Clarence Carson’s Basic American Government is a very good solid government book. I don’t know if it’s living, but it is thorough and readable.

    Anything about the making of the constition is good–Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen is great.

    You might consider adding something like A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States by Justice Joseph Storey, which has recently been reprinted.

    Hope these ideas help! LMK if you need more ideas. My shelves are stuffed with interesting stuff! LOL But I’m naturally interested in the topic.

    Michelle D


    Thank you so much everyone. This really gives me much to “chew” on. I really want to do more CM with my children and this gets me on the right track.


    I just wanted to add that the Uncle Eric books (at least the two I have) give other suggested readings and even movies sometimes. I don’t know if you could pull together enough to consider it college bound, but I think you’d be surprised how much could be done!

    David Barton of Wallbuilders is another good resource for government.

    And we have the God and Government series by Gary DeMar. Don’t know if they’re living books, but definitely better than textbooks! 😛

    I just finished Uncle Eric’s book on the “Thousand Year War”–in less than a day! I bought it Saturday at a small homeschool convention, and just couldn’t put it down! You’d sure learn your history, geography and economics! (With a little world religion’s history, too!)





    I’ve just had a V8 moment! We have some books by David Barton! I’ll check them out. The Uncle Eric series looks very promising. I’ve only had time to take a quick look at them.




    I agree that the Uncle Eric books are great. All my family loves them! And adults can learn a lot.

    However, having had experience with college students when I was a grad student, I can say unequivocally that I saw the most tears and frustrations from freshman economics students–this causes more stress than biology, freshman English and college algebra put together! Many colleges now require economics for most liberal arts majors, and I spent a LOT of my time teaching basic principles that should have been learned in high school. Uncle Eric is superb for “worldview” and personal economic responsibility, but when your child bops on down to Microeconomics 101 and the teacher blithely hands them a sheet of figures and asks your child to figure out at what point in the factory’s schedule diminishing returns will set in, <vbg> it’d be good to have a base in the nuts and bolts. (this happened to me in freshman economics, and I was the only student in the class out of thirty who had a clue–everyone else was wailing and moaning, lol)

    Thomas Sowell’s two books I mentioned are EXCELLENT. They are easy to read, written by a foremost economist of our day, cover the basics very well, and are illuminating when you look around at our current problems. John Stossel’s program is also excellent and extremely entertaining.

    This is a critically important subject, IMO. Many policy makers today have no idea at all of basic economics. All voters should know basic economic principles!

    In our state recently, we had a new party take over the state legislature. They decided to raise revenue by almost doubling our tax on cigarettes, and planned to use the “extra” money for schools and other things. My dh personally talked to a state senator who just could not understand at all why the revenue from cigarette taxes did NOT double when they doubled the tax. We honestly could not get the basic principles of supply and demand through his head. He had NO IDEA that raising prices would reduce demand–he was SHOCKED. This is all too common today. He said he wished someone had told him what would happen. 🙂

    Soo—by all means read Uncle Eric! But don’t stop there for the college bound.

    Michelle D



    Yes, my daughter is college bound. Thank you for your input. I have checked out Basic Economics by Sowell and think that I will use it, as well as supplement with some of the Uncle Eric series. I am going to look into the John Stossel course that you mentioned as well. It’s so nice to get some help!


    Rachel White

    I know this is a VERY old post and I assume Cindy’s dd has graduated by now! But for others, in addition to all these wonderful recommendations I’d like to direct attention to Liberty Fund Books:http://www.libertyfund.org/

    If you order a paper catalog, it’s easier to wade through the titles in both Economics and History at the high school/adult level. Excellent stuff!



    Hi Michelle, I know this is years later but I am so thankful for your post on government and economics recommendations. Just wondering if you could be a little more detailed on the economic course offered by John Stossel.  He has his own site now and I see 2 dvd’s available for sale on economics, http://stosselintheclassroom.org/economics/.   They are “Making Economics Come Alive” and “The Power of Markets”.  Just wondering if this is what you recommended and if its worth the money.  $20 each or $30 for both.  Thank you! Cara

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