4 Life-Changing Reasons for High School Financial Literacy Course
Adaptable, NO-busywork Ebook Curriculum from 20+year Veteran Homeschool Moms
Here are 3 ways to develop financial skills for homeschool high schoolers.
Just like anybody, your homeschool high schoolers need to be skilled in financial literacy. If they are well prepared to handle money and financial responsibilities, they won’t be as prone to falling into the errors of the past generations.
Here are 3 ways to develop those necessary financial skills for your homeschool high schoolers:
7Sisters’ Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective helps you and your homeschooler hit each of those goals.
Designed to be truly interactive, this curriculum includes online assignments and family discussions as well as solid life-preparation skills. (My son found it to be one of his most useful high school courses.)
Here are the topics covered in Financial Literacy from Christian Perspective:
How Values Affect Goals
Financial Strategy for Achieving Goals
The Budget – Freedom within Safe Bounds
Income and Expenses
Keeping Your Spending on Track with Your Budget
The Time Value of Money
Simple and Compound Interest
Investments: Risks and Rewards
Revolving and Installment Loans
Benefits and Risks of Credit
Your Credit Report and Credit Score
Banks and Credit Unions
Bank Statements & Balancing Your Checkbook
Help for Choosing Your Career
Education and Career Opportunities
Payroll Deductions and Employee Benefits
Three Federal Income Tax Forms
Tax Returns: Experience with Each Form
Download the FREEBIES and Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective and give your teen a great financial start!
How could I help my son prepare for independence? 4 years of high school is just NOT enough time! That’s how I felt when my kid reached 9th grade.
I had 4 years to get him ready, so we did!
My #1 goal in preparation for independence was that my son be able to govern himself. Self-government covers many areas, but here are some that we worked on.
(BTW- This post is heavy-laden with links to 7 Sisters curriculum- that is because these are the courses developed for the needs in our homeschool community and taught there for decades. These courses are specifically designed not to waste time with busywork, be level-able, encourage thinking and creativity, and leave the teens actually LIKING the subject. We developed it, we use it, we love it!)
1) Respect for himself and others
Goal to prepare for independence: Be able to monitor himself and perspective-take regarding others, to understand the developmental processes that affect how people think and behave.
We reviewed and rehearsed social skills that he learned as a kid.
2) Thinking skills
Goal to prepare for independence : To think for himself, to think wisely, to think in context of history and the world around him as well as thinking in out-of-the-box ways.
He worked on Critical Thinking (7 Sisters text coming) and 2 philosophy courses (History and Philosophy of the Western World, and Introduction to Philosophy (7 Sisters text coming).
Goal to prepare for independence: To be able, in his own terms and understanding, to defend the faith, to study Scripture for himself, and to have a strong relationship with God
Apologetics- He LOVED Good Answers Ministries’ (FREE) Apologetics course. He learned so much about why we believe what we believe and how to talk about it from this course.
Hermeneutics (in his Critical Thinking course)- He learned to apply hermeneutical skills to his regular Scripture reading
Prayer- The most important way to teach prayer is to model it. Then occasionally supply some tools to help him enrich his prayer life. We did this with 7 Sisters Prayer Journals (which had interactive, out-of-the box prayer activities).
Worship- Since he played on worship team at church, we really leaned into this. He watched lots of DVD series, as well as researching and writing his final 2 10-page research papers on the topic.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more Preparation for Independence.
7 Sisters is set to release our Preparation for Independence Bundle FRIDAY, June 5, 2015. It includes a syllabus and journal, along with texts and other resources to guide your homeschool high schooler through Apologetics, Financial Literacy, and Career Exploration. Download your bundle FRIDAY!
Once upon a time (as all good stories begin), Sara’s 3rd son was just a year away from completing high school and was just itching to stretch his wings and leave the nest! Sara wanted to be sure said son was equipped to handle his finances wisely and not fall into the pitfalls befalling many young people first venturing out on their own.
(Nothing worse than falling into a pitfall befalling others!)
So what did she do? She called her friend Maureen, another homeschool mom (and Sara’s 1st son’s Consumer Math/Financial Literacy teacher from years before).
This, my friends, was the conception of what would become Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective – a truly unique, interactive, life-skill-building, rich and FUN etext for high school students. (It’s available in our ebookstore for $34.99.)
“Maureen,” Sara asked, “What curriculum did you use?”
(Isn’t it wonderful when homeschoolers help one another out?)
Maureen gave her info and as many pointers as she could. Then Sara embarked on her first year of teaching Consumer Math/Financial Literacy at her local homeschool day school. Sara’s third son (and numerous other students) graduated that year with a good foundation for facing the realities of financial decision-making in their lives.
But the story doesn’t end there!
The class continued on each year at our local homeschool umbrella school (click here to see what other cooperative classes we’ve taught with success in our local community), and Sara found herself modifying the curriculum in various ways.
– First, the curriculum wasn’t from a Christian perspective, and since handling financial matters is such a big part of life (and God says SO much about it!), Sara began supplementing the curriculum with Christian principles.
– Then, Sara noted that the curriculum her class was using sometimes only lightly covered topics which she believed would be more beneficial to teens if covered a bit more in depth. She sought out resources that would shore up these weak spots for her students.
The years passed (as they always seem to do), and Sara continued teaching Consumer Math/Financial Literacy, making improvements and corrections to the course each year. One day, Sara looked at her curriculum and realized that her ‘changes’ had evolved into a course of her own with an exclusive focus on Financial Literacy!
The topics are the same as those in most Financial Literacy courses, but the angle of approach is quite different.
– First, God’s perspective is considered in every topic, from setting up a budget to understanding the principles of insurance to paying taxes.
– Next, as a homeschooling mom herself who understands how important it is to parents to be able to share their values with their children, Sara included numerous assignments asking students to discuss with their parents financial topics which might not otherwise come up in day to day life.
– Finally, realizing that this generation of students will turn to the internet to have their financial questions answered, Sara’s curriculum utilized reputable sites to reinforce financial literacy topics. Articles, videos, and interactive sites provide varied activities throughout each chapter.
With a ‘hat tip’ to the painstaking work of 7 Sisters’ editing team and a grateful prayer of thanks to the Lord for His unfailing faithfulness, 7 Sisters is pleased to offer to you Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective.
(and we’ll all live financially-literate-ly ever after!)
What resources have you used thus far to help your teen become financially literate?
Here’s a free taste of Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective – download “What’s the REAL Cost?” worksheet and answer key from the ebookstore as our gift to you!
High School is the time to start becoming financially literate. It’s not enough to know how to monitor your online bank account or write a check. Teens need to really learn about personal finances, and they need us to help them understand –
– What kinds of topics they should explore
– How to use tools that will help them explore these topics
– Ways to make sense of the often-conflicting information on the internet
– What wisdom God has provided for us in managing money
Young adults with monstrous mountains of debt…no parents want to see their children in that situation!
Learning about credit is one of the most important topics in Sara Hibbard Hayes’ mind when she teaches Financial Literacy to high school students. (A whole chapter is devoted to it in her new ebook text, Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective, available for purchase in January 2015 here at 7Sisters.) Teens entering the adult world will have to establish a credit history and build a healthy credit score in order to achieve independence, rent or buy a home, purchase a car, apply to college or graduate school, or start a business. Understanding how to establish a credit history wisely is often overwhelming for young adults.
Consider these articles:
CNN busts 8 Myths about Credit Scores here, and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least ONE of these myth that you thought was accurate (I got caught on two of them when I read the article). How is a young adult with no personal experience with credit equipped to do better?
This Fox article offers suggestions for establishing credit history, but many of the behaviors they suggest CAN be dangerous for young adults who don’t know themselves well enough to recognize temptation to foolish spending. The advice is sound, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle teens need to make wise choices for themselves.
Or how about these dissenting opinions regarding whether or not credit card companies purposely target young and/or poorly educated people with high-interest account offers?
What do you think?
What are some of the best ways you’ve come up with to help your teens learn about personal finances?
We need financially literate teens; let’s share ways to help them become savvy about personal finance!
While it’s clear that traditional high school Consumer Math isn’t going to prepare our teens for life in the world of today (read this post if you’re not convinced of that), what’s not always clear in our minds is what SHOULD be included in a homeschool high school financial literacy curriculum.
There are lots of great pieces of the puzzle scattered around the internet (like getsmarteraboutmoney.ca), buried in books that would overwhelm a high school student, or learned from our own experience, but pulling together a wise framework for a comprehensive financial literacy course requires a lot of time and effort. Sara Hayes has done the work for us, and her high school financial literacy ebook text will be available in just two more weeks here at 7Sisters.
Sara didn’t go to college for business and finance; she didn’t apprentice under money gurus in a bank or investment firm somewhere. She did what homeschool moms do: she saw a need in her own kids’ education and she worked to find a way to meet that need.
You can find the story behind the creation of this new Financial Literacy curriculum here. For this post, we want to give you a peek at the curriculum itself, currently in the final stages of editing and due for release in January 31, 2015.
****NEWS FLASH: It’s HERE!
Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective, downloadable etext for $34.99!****
Included in this friendly-toned, interactive curriculum will be:
– Terminology and Vocabulary for understanding financial matters
– An extensive set of links to internet-based tools for learning and money management
– A Biblical foundation for wise stewardship
– A look at the time value of money
– A look at the impact of values on personal finance
– Tools for personal evaluation, goal-setting and review
– Strategies for record-keeping
– The wise use of credit, types of credit, the importance of the credit score, and avoiding the pitfalls of credit misuse
– Clear explanations of pay, benefits and deductions and the use of debit cards
– Explanation of the various types of financial institutions and the pros and cons associated with each
– Tools for recognizing threats and fraud, and ways to safeguard personal accounts
– Explanation of all common types of insurance with practical scenarios
– Tools for Career Exploration and the evaluation of the school costs associated
– Charts and video for visual and auditory learners
and much more!
****NEWS FLASH: It’s HERE!
Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective, downloadable etext for $34.99!****
Consumer Math used to be almost a throw-away course. It’s what we decided to cover for a non-college-bound teen, a kid who needed one more Math credit on the homeschool transcript. It was supposed to be easy-peasy, mostly obvious stuff, with a few amortization tables thrown in and some practice keeping a checkbook. I am a bit red-faced to admit that this is pretty much all I provided for my four homeschooled kids in high school, and now that the youngest has graduated, I wish I had understood sooner that homeschool consumer math often misses the mark.
A simple definition of Consumer Math is this: the set of practical arithmetic and other math skills used in commerce and daily life.
Financial Literacy is what our kids need.
(For more on the difference between the two, you can read The Difference Between Consumer Math and Financial Literacy here.)
As we have been finalizing Sara Hayes’ new ebook text for High School Financial Literacy here at 7Sisters, I’ve been facing the hard truth that I left a big gap in my kids’ learning in high school. I’m thankful that they are all still somewhat open to my guidance even now that they are young adults, and I hope to take some of the new things I’m learning about Financial Literacy and fill in some of that gap.
An international study by the OECD yielded this sobering observation:
“Developing financial literacy skills and knowledge is critical now that individuals are becoming increasingly responsible at an ever earlier age for financial risks affecting their future…” (OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría)
I, for one, had not thought of it quite that way before, but the Secretary-General is right.
– The internet has changed the world forever.
– The advances in technology and gadgets have done away with the idea that a teen is saving up only to try to buy a car (’cause he also needs a smart phone, a tablet…).
– Money is physically handled differently than it was even 10 years ago (plastic doesn’t mean what it did when I was a teen).
– The opportunities for debt are so readily available.
– The impact of social media on credit reports is not an urban legend.
– The constant bombardment of the media has led to an epidemic of “affluenza” in our young people,
– and on and on!
Instead of simply knowing how to track the flow of money in and out of her checking and savings accounts, how to plan for major purchases and budget for day-to-day expenses, our daughters now need to have a much broader base of literacy in regards to financial matters.
Instead of just practice accurately reading interest tables and amortization schedules, our sons now need a whole vocabulary to make sense of the financial world; they need a way to discern what is a reputable source of information and what is a scam instead.
I am sad that homeschool consumer math missed the mark with my own kids.
I spent an uncomfortable evening with one of my grown children a few months back re-vamping the budgeting strategy that wasn’t quite cutting it, helping that child deal with a hefty piece of humble pie even as I choked it down myself. Since that night, our conversation has been much more often focused on looking into expanding our true financial literacy (yep, I’m learning a bunch of new stuff right alongside my kids!).
I’ll be sharing about our adventure from time to time here on the blog. If sharing honestly about my mistakes can help someone else whose kids are a bit younger than mine, I will be so happy! God has a way of redeeming our messes. He’s cool like that.
Want to see what Sara’s Financial Literacy Curriculum is all about? Click to learn more!
Consumer Math in High School – of course! But don’t our teens need more than the basic arithmetic involved in financial management?
Financial Literacy is so much MORE than simple Consumer Math (but still fills that Consumer Math High School requirement).
The picture below is of my son, Jake and fabulous daughter-in-law, Leigha at their (carefully budgeted!!) wedding last fall. The wise words that follow are from Sara Hayes. Enjoy this practical advice from 7Sister Sara on the importance of Financial Literacy as a course of study for your teen. Consumer Math in high school is not enough.
Have you ever watched “Say ‘Yes’ to the Dress”?
In this ‘reality’ television show, brides visit Manhattan’s famous Kleinfeld Bridal boutique to find their perfect wedding dress. Frequently, a bride’s dream dress is priced sky-high above her budget, and she will choose to blow her budget completely rather than settle for something less than that one dress that has captured her heart.
Sadly, this lack of firm resolve and long-term financial planning doesn’t bode well for the days ahead.
As much as we’d all like our every dream to come true, real life tells us we simply cannot always afford the top-of-the-line, newest, latest electronics/cars/fashions. In fact, the opposite may be true; at times we may have only enough money to supply our basic needs – forget the ‘wants’ entirely!
As your children graduate high school and move on to college and ‘real life’, you (and they) will be thankful if they have learned the difference between needs and wants, and how to master their money, rather than being mastered by it.
This is the purpose of a financial literacy course. Our homeschool day school provides such a course to our high school juniors and seniors, those whose college/ employment years lie just around the corner. These students are introduced to the basic concepts of budgeting and are taught to carefully plan the use of their money based on their values and long-range plans. The normal day-to-day financial realities they’ll be faced with as adults are presented (insurance, taxes, saving and investing options), with special emphasis on the wise use of credit opportunities (credit cards, loans, mortgages) while avoiding credit pitfalls (overspending, burdensome debt).
Our financial literacy course begins with searching out God’s standard regarding our attitudes toward money, and we apply Biblical principles throughout each unit. For example, what is our responsibility to God as stewards of His money? What does the Bible teach in the areas of tithing and giving to the poor? What spiritual pitfalls should we carefully avoid as we seek to wisely invest our money?
Parents play an important role in our financial literacy course as they discuss numerous financial topics with their students in homework assignments throughout the school year: their convictions on tithing, their choice of financial institutions and insurance companies, their budgeting tips, the employee benefits they receive, and many other topics related to financial decisions and situations their children will eventually face. These topics may not come up in normal conversation at home, yet parents who have years of experience handling financial responsibilities can give wise guidance to their children.
Watching a young bride on television grossly overspend on her wedding dress is bad enough; how much greater our dismay would be to watch our own children handle money without wisdom and self-discipline.
As parents, we can model responsibility and discipline in our own financial decisions, talk with our children about money matters as they come up in daily life, and provide a financial literacy course to equip our children to be responsible adults who manage their money wisely.
Part of being prepared for financial stability is to include Career Exploration in the High School years. Vicki Tillman’s Career Exploration Workbook costs just $6.99 and may save thousands later for your student after graduation. The get-started questionnaire is FREE here.
Financial Literacy is worth so much more than simple Consumer Math. In high school, our students need a Consumer Math credit, but we offer them rich life skills when we go beyond that basic requirement and equip our teens with Financial Literacy. Here’s help for understanding the difference between Consumer Math and Financial Literacy.
The difference between Consumer Math and Financial Literacy is this:
Consumer Math is the study of practical mathematical techniques that are used in commerce and normal, daily life.
Financial Literacy is a course of study that equips students to use those same consumer math techniques, but also:
$ – equips them to understand the implications of attitudes toward money,
$ – teaches the vocabulary necessary to understand finance in the news,
$ – teaches them to observe and evaluate the use of money in the world,
$ – and encourages them to explore a variety of ways to make money, to invest money, to give money away, to save money, and to wisely spend money.
A Consumer Math credit teaches a student to understand an amortization schedule for a loan.
Financial Literacy prepares a student to decide when taking out a loan is a worthwhile risk and when it is simply foolish.
A Consumer Math credit teaches a student how to compare and take advantage of sale prices at a retail store.
Financial Literacy prepares a student to understand how the strategies used to set prices can also be employed by an individual in an entrepreneurial endeavor.
A Consumer Math credit explains, “This is HOW money works in this situation.”
Financial Literacy starts by explaining how money works in a situation and then goes on to reveal much more. “This is WHY money works that way, and you can apply that understanding to all sorts of life scenarios for greater financial success!”
7Sister Sara Hibbard Hayes is delighted to make Financial Literacy from a Christian Perpective available for $34.99 in our ebookstore!
Her reason for taking on the daunting task of creating this curriculum? She says,
“As your children graduate high school and move on to college and ‘real life’, you (and they) will be thankful if they have learned the difference between needs and wants, and how to master their money, rather than being mastered by it.”
While Consumer Math is important, Financial Literacy offers so much more.
Also, be sure to check out the many FREE resources available for download in the EBookstore. Making use of good FREE materials is a financially literate choice!
Paying bills in real life is not a lot of fun. But practicing the skills you will need to pay real bills later can be a lot of fun for high school students.
Our homeschool co-op has been tackling Consumer Math and Economics this year, and we used Alpha-Omega LifePacs and PaceMaker Economics (Globe Fearon) for the foundation of our curriculum, but some of the best learning has actually happened during the supplemental game playing we added to keep the class fun.
There are lots of online resources to help teens learn about money management, and these are some sites you might want to check out for supplementing your curriculum:
Practical Money Skills for Life – Financial Literacy for Everyone has articles, games, different types of calculators and videos among their free resources.
TeenDollars.org is the online business of Reading High School in Ohio. The “For Students” tab there has lots of simulation games to try. The “For Teachers” tab has free lesson plans, plus links to more games and resources.
In addition to online resources, we played old-school board games like Life and Monopoly immediately after learning about the financial literacy concepts that show up in those games. We also laughed really, really hard!
When my son Jonah offered to “help out” another player by “adopting” his kid (he bought him!) in a game of Life, it became one of the greatest running gags of our co-op year. Whenever Connor does something wonderful at co-op and one of the moms applauds him for it, the other kids say, “Yeah, sure, Connor’s great…but don’t forget he SOLD his kid to Jonah!”
There’s lots of silliness involved, but there’s also real learning. The idea that raising kids is expensive looks one way when you are the kid who’s being told, “Sorry, we can’t afford it right now.” It looks very different when you are playing Life and find you have no money to put toward college for your plastic-peg children!
The concept of wisely spending money in order to make money becomes very concrete when you are playing Monopoly, carefully saving your dough, only to see your friend sweep a win by recklessly building hotels on every property.
What are some games you can add to your homeschool to learn financial literacy and maintain the FUN?
Another piece of preparing for responsible adulthood is Career Exploration. Vicki’s etext is a guided, practical workbook that takes teens through an exploration of their gifts and interests, their struggles and personality quirks, and helps them find careers that might be a good fit. Click here to check out Career Exploration in our ebookstore. There’s also a FREE questionnaire you can download to get you started thinking about the years to come in the work force!