While all the kids are home and you’re the teacher these days, have you brought some lessons on money, personal finance, and even budgeting into the homeschool classroom? Depending on your children’s ages, of course, there are different topics you can cover. Here are a few ideas to get started with. And naturally, tailor each one for your child’s age and learning level.
Learn to Save
Hopefully, this one has already been mastered. But just in case, it’s good to teach them to save their money and create goals for the future. Start easy with a goal to save $100 before school starts up in the Fall. Put some of the money they receive for allowance, gifts, or jobs into their account at the Credit Union. They’ll have that $100 or more saved up quickly! It’s known that kids who learn the habit of saving will continue to save as an adult.
Learning how much each coin or bill is worth is a first step. Incorporate that with some addition and subtraction lessons using the money along with examples of paying for groceries with cash.
Another skill, lost on most because of cash registers is counting back change mentally. Here’s a simple example to get you started: The total for a purchase is $14.79 and you pay with a $20 dollar bill. What is the change broken out by denominations and coins? The easiest way to start is with the change: 1 penny gets you to $.80, add 2 dimes to get to $15 and add your $5 dollar bill to get to $20. The change is $5.21. Create different tests with varied levels of complexity. This is a great life skill to have for parents and children, alike.
Even though check writing isn’t as commonplace as it once was, with the convenience of Bill Pay, there will be times a check is necessary. Draw some blank checks on a piece of paper, give them an amount, who to pay and let them practice. This may even be an opportunity for them to create a really awesome signature. Think future doctor or A-list celebrity!
Money Lessons Can be Learned in the Evening
Finance class can be discussed over dinner. A time appropriate topic for our current situation is the importance of an emergency fund. Some are also good movies for parents to take some key points from or watch with their high-school aged children. Some ideas include “The Pursuit of Happiness”, “The Big Short”, or “Moneyball”.
Books About Money by Age
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFB), has a great section for parents and a page called the Money as You Grow Bookshelf. There are reading guides for teachable topics that go along with different books for various age groups. You don’t even need the book to read along with to teach some good finance lessons.