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By Katie B.
There is a flexibility in a homeschooling curriculum that isn’t necessarily offered in traditional education. You have an opportunity to introduce practical subjects into your lessons, like financial literacy.
Financial literacy courses have only just begun to be offered in high schools across the country. Many students may not currently have the knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions.
Parents that homeschool can introduce something that will be fundamental to teen students’ adult lives, at an age where the transition to real life is so close, where they otherwise might not receive such teachings.
Below are tips for homeschooling parents looking to implement financial literacy courses into their kids’ curriculums. But first, the importance of financial literacy for teens.
How Critical Is Financial Literacy?
More than 340 million Americans share a debt pool of $16.9 trillion. 58% of Americans say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, with a third of these individuals making six figures. And sadly, emergency funds are nonexistent for most.
Debt, living paycheck to paycheck, not having an emergency fund; all of these indicators point to the fact that many Americans lack financial literacy. Stress associated with financial instability, is, for many Americans, something that can significantly affect their quality of life. Many Americans may feel suffer from anxiety and negative health effects due to financial stress, which may stem from not having the knowledge needed to make good financial decisions.
Of course, you don’t want your teen to experience the turmoil of not being in control of their finances. Teaching financial literacy in your homeschool curriculum will prepare them for the responsibility of money management. And that, in turn, will help them build a comfortable life in adulthood.
Implementing Financial Literacy Courses into Your Homeschool Curriculum
As you delve into how important financial literacy is for your teen, you’re probably wondering what it would take to incorporate these courses into your curriculum. It’s nothing that a little planning can’t conquer.
Start with an outline. What do you want to teach regarding financial literacy? Probably the basics of management, such as:
- How to invest;
- How to pay bills;
- How to create a budget;
- What debt and credit are;
- How to save for retirement;
- How to borrow and save money.
Aside from the basic financial literacy lessons, outline additional topics that correlate with managing money responsibly.
For example, how much money your teen makes depends on their career choice. Parents should teach their kids how to define their career path. This is an excellent opportunity to emphasize the importance of cultivating job-related skills, such as putting together a resume. Teach your child to use power words in their resume to highlight their strengths and get a better chance of landing the job — which is essential to establishing their financial security.
Ultimately, it’s about outlining financial literacy courses that help ready them for independence and real-world financial responsibilities. Complete a loose outline of what you want to teach. Then, give yourself time to go back through each lesson and fill in the details, like:
- Projects to complete;
- Resources you’ll need;
- How long each course will be;
- Who’s involved in the lesson;
- What the main lesson is for each course.
Once you’ve got each course outlined, your curriculum will be complete and you can start teaching.
More Ideas for Incorporating Financial Literacy
It’s one thing to share financial literacy concepts with your teen. It’s another to teach them in a way that they stick. The following tips can assist you in helping your teen not just absorb financial literacy courses but actually enjoy and carry what they learn with them for life.
Set Financial Goals
You want your teen to keep financial literacy as a core part of their entire lives. Keeping them striving for various financial goals is a great way to do this. Their goals will evolve as they age. So, they’ll have to keep learning new financial skills to keep conquering objectives.
Sit down with your teen and set realistic financial goals. For example, how much money do they want to be saved by the time they start college? Are they saving for a big purchase like a car? Do they want to open a bank account? Do they want to be a millionaire in 10 years?
Use their goals to keep them motivated to learn. Also, use them as a guide for what to teach your teen when it comes to financial literacy.
Help Them Apply What They Learn to the Real World
Whatever you teach your teen about financial literacy in their homeschool curriculum is just a concept. Until they can apply it to their real life. Then, it becomes a living, breathing thing that they’ve seen impact their money and life.
What they learn essentially becomes more real and, a lot of the time, easier to comprehend. In addition, applying what they learn regarding finances in their world helps grow their financial decision-making.
For instance, if you’re teaching a lesson about how to budget, have them create a list of their expenses, including their healthcare responsibilities. Demonstrate the importance of keeping track of their medical appointments and the associated costs. Emphasize the importance of being redundant in their record keeping, such as notating when and where their appointments are.
Financial literacy lessons are a lot more likely to stick when you introduce them into your teen’s real life.
One of the best things about homeschooling is having the flexibility to incorporate nontraditional courses into the curriculum. Financial literacy may not be common in schools but it’s absolutely a must-teach subject. By incorporating it into your teen’s homeschool education, you’re gifting them a less turbulent transition into adulthood.