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Math-U-See Stewardship Review by Lisa KjeldgaardSteven P. Demme
(See website for state specific addresses)
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I'm free to spend my children's school hours teaching what my husband and I want them to know and not just what the state deems necessary. A course on Biblical stewardship of money is a great example of something we deem valuable for our teens, and Math-U-See has produced an excellent product to help us with this goal!
The Stewardship program consists of five components: a hardback Instruction Manual (233 pages), a two-disc DVD set, a small paperback book entitled Biblical Foundations, and two paperback student books with perforated pages--one with practice sheets and one with tests.
Mr. Demme begins the DVD portion of the course by quoting Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." There's no question but that this is a program devoted to Biblical principles. Mr. Demme wrote this book to help his four sons examine Scripture related to money and to guide them in practical application of these principles. He acknowledges that not all families will agree with his conclusions, but he truly desires to see parents and teens examine the issues together and come up with guidelines for their family.
The recommended method for using this program is to watch the DVD, read the instruction manual, and complete the first two practice pages. It is then recommended that parents and teens read and discuss the devotion book, Biblical Foundations, before the student completes the final two student text pages for that lesson. These final worksheets review the math topic and provide questions regarding Biblical application. There is a test to finish up each lesson. Mr. Demme acknowledges that not every problem in this program has a right and wrong answer; instead, many problems will be dependant on variables. The obvious goal of this program is to have families discuss the material.
There are four sections to the Stewardship program. The Personal Finance section has 13 lessons covering topics like earning money, investing, budgeting, banking, and phone plans. The Automotive section includes four lessons on purchasing, operating, maintaining, and insuring cars. The Buying and Maintaining a Home section has seven lessons covering things like real estate, construction, plumbing, and insulation. Finally, the Miscellaneous section contains six additional lessons on various topics. A complete list of the program's contents can be downloaded from the Math-U-See website.
This personal finance course requires mastery of the four basic mathematic operations as well as a working knowledge of fractions, decimals, and percents. Over half of the lessons require some knowledge of algebra, so it is recommended that Stewardship be used following Algebra I. Math-U-See states that this curriculum can be used as a one-year math course or in addition to another math program.
The Math-U-See website has an extensive list of corrections that need to be made to the edition of books that I have. If you purchase the program, I suggest you check their website with your edition number before having your child begin the program.
I'm excited to use this course with each of my children when they finish Algebra I. I love the enormous amounts of Scripture in the devotion book, and the topics covered are ones I desire to teach my children about before they leave our home. I can foresee some great conversations and know that the lessons learned will be ones they will draw on throughout their lives. The worksheets are simple enough that I think the course is easily doable alongside my students' regular mathematics course without overwhelming them.