Nov 3, 2010

Financial Accounting for the Goat Dairy

I am a retired midwife now busy raising and educating twelve children while overseeing the day-to-day operations of a goat dairy. I am also someone whose check-balancing abilities leave much to be desired.

My husband Tim, while the owner of said goat dairy, in a previous life was a business major, manager of a rental car agency and spent approximately a decade working in pension administration.

So being no dummy, when we were sent Financial Accounting free in exchange for an unbiased review as part of the "This Old Schoolhouse" Review Crew, I handed it to Tim and said "have at it, sweetie!".

He did. I will share his assessment later in this review.

First, however, I get to share my overview.

Financial Accounting is what happens when an accounting professor at a university is also a homeschooling dad. Talk about the ultimate in bringing your work home! Produced by Professor in a Box, the Financial Accounting course features Professor Michael Licata from Villanova University. This course is formatted on 4 CD-Rom that include a lesson plan, lectures, slides in printable format, quizzes and tests (as well as all pertinent answers). The course is designed to be used in one of two ways--either as a full semester long course or as an abbreviated CLEP prep course. Frankly we will likely turn to this as a year-long course of study.

The course is designed for high school students who have a basic grasp of algebra. The student watches the lecture, completes homework, checks the answers and takes the exam. There is no heavy (and expensive) college text to plow through--the course is contained in it's entirety on the 4 CDs. The course can be repeated over and over for each child in a family, which makes the sales price of $99.95 an excellent value. (For those who really want to continue the theme, Professor in a Box also has a marketing course and coming in 2011, one on Entrepreneurship.)

For our family there was one major downside to the course--our children have never really been taught in a lecture format so for them, sitting down and absorbing college level material in a new manner of learning would prove to be a challenge. This does not mean that there was no applicability for goat farmers--we did end up having an intriguing discussion as to whether the dairy goats themselves were "tangible assets" or "natural resources". There were other applications appropriate to our business such as discussions of what constitutes "land improvements", including erecting fencing. (Speaking of which this reminds me of a job to add to someone's chore list tomorrow--we have a fence post that needs shoring up!)

Bottom line--the course was dry--but thorough, and it appears useful even for a goat dairy.

Unfortunately for us, the colorful graphics on the case convinced the preschoolers that this was something intended for them. This means that our first two CDs are badly scratched and the fourth one is missing altogether.

Tim was impressed enough that we will likely be buying another copy because he has decided that his accounting skills could use some refreshing--and he wants all of the older children to do the course with him--he thinks it will be very useful in running the dairy which is, I would imagine, what the creators of the course desired--a course that would have practical applicability in real life, be it CLEP credit or more effective home business management.

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