Posted by: waterwalkerla | March 1, 2010

Home Economics 102 – Unit 1

Okay…I promised an update on our Home Economics 102 class by March 1, and I have just a few hours left to get it posted before March 1 turns into March 2.  Always pushing the envelope I guess!

As I mentioned when I first posted about this class, Home Economics 102 is focused on budgeting.  Last fall, our Home Economics 101 class was devoted to cooking and cleaning.  It was a lot less structured than our budgeting because when it comes to cooking and cleaning I am a rather unstructured model!

Home Economics 102 is divided into 5 units:

  • Unit 1 – Budgeting For Meal Preparation…OR…Gee, I Guess It Does Add Up If I Make A Whole Box Of Noodles And We Throw Away Half Of Them.
  • Unit 2 – Budgeting For a Week of Meals and Other Household Expenses…OR…Uh-Oh, Do I Have Enough Left Over To Buy Toilet Paper.
  • Unit 3 – Budgeting For a Typical Household Month…OR…Perhaps I Will Adjust Some of These Expenses Because I Would Really Rather Have Heat This Month.
  • Unit 4 – Budgeting in Those Incidentals and Putting Together a Tentative Year Long Budget…OR…Maybe The Government Won’t Notice If I Don’t Pay My Property Taxes This Year.
  • Unit 5 – Budgeting Wrap-Up, including Goals and Long-Term Planning…OR…You Are Never Too Young To Have Goals.

The focus of this post will be the assignments for Unit 1.  In coming weeks I will be posting the assignments for Units 2-5.  My plan is to post the assignments for each unit separately, and then do a wrap-up post tying things together.  I will also try to including things that didn’t work, things that did work, and things I wish we had done differently in that wrap-up post.

Here goes!  Assignments for Unit 1:

  • Create a list of between 20-25 grocery items and between 10-15 household items that we commonly buy.  Grocery items includes things like milk, rice, cereal.  Household items includes things like toilet paper and cleaning products.  (Note – the household item list will not be used until Unit 2, however, it was easier for our family to do both of these at the same time.)
  • Take a field trip one or more grocery stores in your area with the children.  The children will record regular prices and size information for the items on their grocery and household item lists.  We listed the price information of multiple sizes of certain items, like milk, flour, peanut butter, etc.   (I very rarely shop at more than one store, so we went to only one store.  If you typically shop at two or more stores to comparison shop, incorporate that into the field trip.)
  • Incorporate the prices and sizes into master price lists for grocery and household items.
  • Teach the children about unit pricing.  For instance, we use approximately 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on a sandwich.  At the grocery store, we recorded the price of 3 different sized peanut butter jars.  The children then calculated what that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter cost depending on the size jar we purchased.
  • Each child created a weekly menu (Monday through Friday only) including breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks for each day.  The meals had to be comprised of items on our master grocery price list and had to be sufficient to feed all three children.
  • Each child determined the cost of the meals and snacks from their menu.  They then calculated the cost per day and per week of their menu.
  • Next, we talked about using certain items for more than one meal or snack throughout the week so food does not go to waste.  This was a good time to emphasize to the children that if we are buying 2 loaves of bread in a given week, we should try to use as close to 44 slices of bread during that time.
  • The children were then given a specified amount of money for their weekly grocery budget.  They had to create a menu for the week that was under this budget.  Once again, this was a Monday through Friday menu that had to include breakfast, lunch and two snacks for all three children.  Now, I realize that I don’t buy peanut butter every week if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are on the menu.  However, for the purpose of this lesson, the children had to plan as if they did not have any of the necessary ingredients on hand.
  • Next, I introduced the concept of weekly grocery specials and coupons as a way to reduce grocery costs.
  • Finally, we had a Unit wrap-up where we discussed the importance of menu planning in our household.  I haven’t always been perfect at this, but I am a big advocate of menu planning.  I really feel that when I write a menu for the upcoming week before I do my grocery shopping I get the most out of my grocery dollars and have the least waste.  I also used the wrap-up to discuss being wise stewards with our money and not wasting either the food or money resources that God has given us.

Well, there it is.  I don’t believe I left anything out.  Also, I noticed when I read through the assignments that I used peanut butter in almost every example – I hope you don’t think that’s all I feed my children, it was just the first thing that came to mind for each of the examples!

Please feel free to take this lesson plan and use it in your own home.  Also, feel free to change it to better suit your family and your homeschooling style.  If you have any questions or ideas for improving the lessons, I would love to hear about them in the comments!



  1. Wow, makes me jealous of home schooling. I never learned anything of value when it came to budgeting in public school 🙂

    • I didn’t learn anything this useful about budgeting in public school either! That’s why I really want to help my kids learn it. 😀

  2. […] kids also continued working on budgeting for Home Economics and they continued bible reading and writing for the camp scholarship program.  The also spent […]

  3. Great ideas! I totally need to do this with my kids. Thanks for submitting your post to this week’s Homeschool Showcase! I know these ideas will benefit a lot of folks.

  4. That’s wonderful that your children are learning such practical skills!

  5. […] am behind in getting my Budgeting Units updated.  Earlier this month, I posted our assignments for Unit 1.  My goal is to post our assignments for Units 3-5 throughout the month of […]

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