Economics: The Not-So-Dismal Science

2-15 students Economics Economics

This semester-long simulation-based class has each student take the role of an economic advisor to a real country. We spend the semester learning and applying the principles of economics to prepare for an economic summit. The “dismal science” is fun and engaging when you learn it this way!

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Class Schedule(s)

Class Description

Years ago, I went through a training presented by the San Francisco Federal Reserve where they shared lesson plans for a semester-long simulation for a high school economics class. I use this as the inspiration for my class. In the simulation, each student is given the role of an academic advisor to a country that is involved in a trade agreement. They spend the semester researching the country's economy and applying the lessons we are learning in the class. At the end of the semester, we have an Economic Summit where the students are tasked with trading with each other to improve their country's economy. I have found that students actually enjoy the "dismal science" when they are able to apply it.

The book for this course is fairly short, but students will be doing a lot of research online to get current data for their assigned country. Khan Academy lessons will be suggested for going deeper during the week.

I also have students participate in The Stock Market Game, a free online, real-time investing simulation where students invest $100,000 (not real money of course). I use this program to scratch the surface of investing, but it includes additional lessons that I will make available if they would like to go deeper.  Each week we will be charting students’ gains and losses. It is a safe and easy way to play the market. In this class, I use The Stock Market Game to focus on microeconomics.


My daughters took Ms. Christianson's Economics class. Ms. Christianson combines real-life economic education with fun engaging games that keep the students involved and motivated. They call economics the "dismal science". I can testify that Mrs. Christianson's class will disprove this statement. I highly recommend this class to any HS student who is in need of Economics to graduate. -Leslie Berger

All classes are recorded and stored on a private membership website. Only fully enrolled students and their parents have login credentials. Handouts, links, and assignments are shared there for easy access. All parents/guardians must complete a waiver consenting for classes to be recorded.

Additional Information

Class size 2-15 students

Book: Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Computer and printer; instructor will provide files with workbook pages.


None, but US History and World History are recommended.

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About the Instructor

Heidi Christianson

Heidi Christianson has a diverse background in education. She has taught in the university, community college, private school, and charter school environments. She has also been homeschooling her five sons for 20 years. Her quest to personalize her own children’s education has led her on a journey that has included helping found her local commonwealth school (a homeschool community), writing her own curriculum, public speaking (CHN Family Expo, Great Homeschool Convention, Back to Basics Forum), and putting on several conferences (Transformational Education), as well as working as a teacher for a homeschool charter school in California. She is currently a Leadership Education Mentoring Institute trainer and owner of Realizing Genius.

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