Written by Jennifer Dawson
Homeschooled Kids Have An Edge When It Comes To Early Financial Literacy
One of the frequently cited reasons by parents for homeschooling their kids is the inadequacy of the public school curriculum. Today, homeschooled kids score 15 to 30 percentile points above public schooled kids in standardized tests like SAT and ACT, encouraging even previously skeptical parents to confidently make the move towards homeschooling. They have shoulders to share the responsibility in the form of institutions that cater to the various needs of homeschoolers. This is a welcome trend; however, parents are overlooking an important advantage that homeschoolers have. Financial literacy, which is the stepping stone to achieve financial independence in adult life, still does not get the attention it deserves in the early years of a child’s life.
Tap The Benefit Of Being A Mentor
Every kid expects their parent to be their first mentor. Children look up to their mothers and fathers for making decisions. Those who attend regular schools spend much less time with their parents than their homeschooled counterparts. As a parent, you must make the best out of this opportunity. Try to imbibe financial values in your kids as early as possible. Let them watch you make purchases and other financial decisions. They will benefit from seeing you compare multiple products to arrive at the best deal. They need to observe that before purchasing something, you try to strike a balance between its quality and cost. And most of all, they must learn that their parents do not buy anything on impulse. If something is very attractive, you wait up to a week to decide on whether you really need it.
Everyday Occasions For Small Financial Lessons
It is not essential to allot a particular time to teach personal finance to your kids. Casual everyday activities throw multiple opportunities that, if used correctly, will make financial planning a second nature to your kids. Involve children in discussions on monthly budgets, festival shopping, vacation budget planning, etc. Make sure to discuss with them how you invest your salary, the insurance policies you have and their purposes. Share your financial planning mistakes with them, and tell them that it is okay to make a bad financial decision, as long as we remember the lesson it teaches.
For children below 10 years of age, a piggy bank is the best saving option. After 10, introduce them to the concepts of banks, interest rates, and the compounding effects of money. In their teenage years, it is very important for them to learn that debt should be avoided at any cost. You may wonder if it is too much for them to take, but if they can learn so many complex mathematical and scientific concepts at such a young age, basic finance is much simpler than you imagine. Give your child the chance to save for his/her college or a business he/she want to start in future, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Life Is Beyond Accumulating Wealth
Achieving financial stability early in life means much time to engage in greater, meaningful pursuits later in life. It is the duty of every parent to bequeath this wisdom to his/her progeny. Money is not the ultimate aim of life, but money is essential to free yourself to work towards your aim. Remember that it is never too early to introduce financial education to your kids.
Looking for more?
Check out this resource on teaching financial literacy to children and teens!
Looking for a finance class for your teen?
Homeschool Connections is offering Personal Finance: Mastering Money for teens. Covering important money topics that build financial confidence and inspire hope in your students’ lives, students will learn the skills and strategies needed to live as a financially independent adult. Students will be given exercises to apply what they have learned and to explore it in a fun way.