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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Teaching Personal Finance & Economics

Hey Homeschoolers! I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and veteran homeschoolers give the answers. My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things. 

Please contact me with your answer to the following question. I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook. Please let me know if you do not want me to include your name in the posting. Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc... I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your answer.  Please put "Blog Challenge" in the subject line.  

Thanks!
Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:  At what age do you start teaching your children about personal finances? How do you teach them about personal finances and the economy?

My Answer:  Hmmm!...  Let me ponder this one.  Personal Fiances:  We have always taught our children to live "below their means" and learn the difference between "wants and needs".  When our son hit 15, he got a job which he worked until he went to college.  He had his own money, checking/savings accounts, and bills to pay.  He also read several books on finance and economics.  Now at 20, he is actively learning about the stock market and wants to start investing.  Our daughter is now 14 and has a part-time "job" working for me where she earns her spending money.  Next year, at 15, she will get a job outside of the home.  She has a savings account.    Both children were always given an allowance that they could save/spend as they chose.  They both make very wise decisions financial decisions.  The Economy:  This subject is where my hubby comes in.  He is very politically minded so has regular discussions with our children about "the state of the economy".  My son did read a book called Freakonomics which I did just recently notice there is a documentary on Netflix with the same name.  FYI, I have not watched it yet, so you be the judge of its suitability for your children.   http://www.freakonomics.com/ .  We also read a book called "Penny Candy" and did a course online called "The Crash Course" http://www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse.  I have also posted other resources here:  http://www.alabamahomeschooling.com/2010/01/economics.html .


Answers:
We began actively teaching our son at about 6, but have always had open discussions about finances and budgeting around him. I really like the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Jr. method and use a modified version. Also, we listen to talk radio quite a bit in the car and often take those topics into our discussions and lessons.


I have been teaching my kids personal finance since my daughter was 4-ish and my son 6-ish(just a maturity level and interest thing). I have explained taxes with our real life taxes(sales, income, property, etc), we have talked about budgets and if we do xyz, we won't be able to do abc. By allowing them to make some of the choices with our family money they have really been able to grasp finances at a young age. I have involved them in the grocery shopping/budgeting, the "fun money" spending, garden budget, etc. The kids have become very aware that we have a set amount of money each week/month and when it is gone it is gone. Using real life for education goes much further than books(at least in my house).


I had my son do a consumer math program in 9th grade, but from the time they are old enough to understand I talk to them about money. I have always been honest with my kids on the state of our finances within reason of course, the goal is not to scare them when things are bleak, but be open that things are tight. We have talked many times about the economy and how it effects everyone over time. I guess I don't have a set age its just part of us and not a huge deal really.


We try to teach personal finances everyday as a life skill. Current events are discussed which allows the student (and family) to see how those events will affect day to day decisions concerning finances. We have "paid" jobs around the house too. This helps them see the value of money. Formal economics is usually taught in 10th or 11th grade for us. For this, we use an economics text book.


We started teaching our children about finances at about age 3. When they were younger, we took three baby food jars and labeled them Spend, Save, and Tithe. We printed them chore charts with specific jobs and paid them a nickel for each completed assignment. At the end of the week, we sat together, tallied the money and divided their income into the designated jars. 10%tithe, 40% save, 50% spend.


Our two girls were 11 and 12 when they started keeping a checkbook. They get allowance and keep track of their income, deposits in the bank and birthday and special occasions money. We also play with "money" and discuss what things cost. We did "math in the mall"& Grocery Cart math by Jaye Hansen.


We enjoyed those and I also take the girls to the grocery store and other places to explain what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. We read labels, compare prices. Hands on learning of finance is the best way to go.


When he was 8, I taught him how to fill-out a bank deposit slip & took him to the bank with me. Then I taught him how to take the money that was deposited & use it by writing checks & using a debit card. Then we opened him a savings account & talked about interest. I also had a yard sale & let him help with the money.


Our children are always made aware of the necessity of money, the priviledges we are blessed with, and the responsibility to help others. They learn about world economy through penpal communication with our sponsored families in Mexico and Romania, as well as unit studies about those and other areas of the world. We also hosted a Korean exchange student for a year and that was a fantastic learning experience for the whole family! Local economy and personal finance lessons are integrated through daily community experiences, learning to save for wanted items or family vacations, and participation in family grocery budgeting/couponing and shopping. Our high school graduation requirement will include the formation and running of a successful business of their choice for one year or more.


Recently, our ten year old decided he wanted to earn money for children in Haiti. He made flyers offering to bring neighborhood trash cans up the long hilly driveways in our area for a quarter a can. I watched him spend one very long and sweaty afternoon hauling thirty-five trash cans up driveways where he then taped his flyer to the outside of the can to try to earn business. Not a SINGLE person responded! That was a hard lesson in both business and humanity.


Around 8 years old about personal finances. The economy I havent decided yet.


We started teaching our children to tithe after they got saved. They don't really have a lot of personal money right now, but if someone gives them money we teach them to give 10 % to God. We don't give them an allowance because we want them to do their chores to help out the family, not to receive a reward. As all of us moms know, when we grow up we do not get paid to do things around the house. However, we have what we call going "Above and Beyond". If either my husband or I see one of our children going above and beyond what is expected or asked we reward them somehow. The rewards vary from money, to going to the park, to picking something they would like to do. It's like at work, if you go above and beyond on your job you may receive a promotion or a bonus.


We talk about personal finances and the economy a lot. My kids are 14, 10 and 8 and we watch news shows and listen to talk radio everyday. My two older ones help with the family budget, balancing the checkbook, making deposits and writing checks. Already, they talk about whether or not they're going to use 'credit' when they're older and how they're going to approach savings. They also have a decent grasp on the economy and have developed some pretty stubborn opinions on what our politicians should be doing about it.


We are planning on giving an allowance to our children and teaching them about paying tithing and also allowing them to buy the things they are always asking us for, but never get. Our children are 7 and 9 and we will begin this our next paycheck.