A blog about homeschooling, frugal living, books and life. Grab a cup of coffee and stay awhile!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Resources For Teaching Economics

I thought I'd share a few links and resources I've found to help teach money concepts to kids.

It's my life Game Super easy and fun game that is easy enough for young kids to get the concept but challenging enough that older ones can't beat it the first time- It's a good introduction to buying and earning.

Be your Own Boss Game this game is a little easy to beat but is a great introduction to starting a business. In this game you pick a business, decide how to get your capital to start the business, learn about promoting and advertising. It's really simple and easy enough for even young kids.

Teaching Elementary Economics This site has lots of lesson plans and games to teach economics.

If you have access to Hulu they have a great show called Biz Kids.

A few book resources:
My two favorite Bible Studies are How to Manage Your Money by Larry Burkett and Discovering God's way of Handling  Money by Crown Financial Ministries.

Some Really great books that I have read are The Money Smart Family System by Steve & Annette Economides, I don't follow their system but they have some great advice and really help get you motivated to make changes in the way you view money. Managing You Money Cliffsnotes, I found this book for like 50 cents at Goodwill and it's a really good introduction to economics, saving,and investing. It's written simple enough for an older kid or a teen to understand. Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Guide to Investing both by Robert Kiyosaki and one of my favorites that I read over and over is The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. This book is the one that really got me to make the changes I needed to. It's such a simple concept that can literally change your financial situation. I got is at Goodwill for like $2.00. Best money spent ever!

And my favorite books for kids are The Everything Kids Money Book by Brette McWhorter Sember, J.D. and The Young Investor by Katherine R. Bateman. The Everything Kids Money Book  is one I left on the coffee table and Kyle and Lacey both would flip through it. It's simple and Interesting. The other book is outstanding for kids and adults to learn about investing in stocks, bonds, and CD's. It is simple to understand, but very informative.

I also bought Cashflow for Kids the game. It's kinda expensive but I lucked upon a really cheap one on Ebay. It is awesome.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to Make School More Relevant

We have been really busy lately and one of the things I have been thinking alot about is how I teach the kids things that are relevant to their lives. I never learned to balance a checkbook, make a budget or even simple things like saving money or planning for my retirement. As a result I am years behind what I could be doing. I am determined to give my kids a head start on these kind of things. I want relevancy in our homeschool and I gotta admit I still got a little of that unschool, real life learning spirit in me. I want my kids to be able to succeed in our world. And it's not the same world I grew up in. Finances is one of the most relevant things we can teach our kids. And one of the most neglected even among homeschoolers. I have never been asked to diagram a sentence or label the anatomy of a frog but I have needed to open a checking account, fill out a W-2 form, make a budget, pick a 401 k, manage a retirement fund. All these are things I had no idea how to do and so I put it off, neglected it and made costly mistakes. So I've been researching, reading, and finally implementing these things in our homeschool. I started out by opening each kid a savings account. I was able to open a little savers account at my bank for just $10. The kids all earn money by doing chores. I know some parents don't believe in paying kids to do chores but I think the lessons they learn from earning and managing their own money definitely outweighs the drawbacks. Just the lessons about tithes and charity makes it worth it in my opinion. Anyway I told the kids that once they earned $10 I would take them to open a savings account and I sweetened the deal by offering to match whatever they could save dollar for dollar for one month only. When each child had earned enough we went to the bank and opened their account. It was a really great experience my banker walked the kids through the process, let them initial and sign some of the papers and praised them for starting a savings so young. Now when their statement come in we open them up and review how much interest they are earning and how much they have deposited since their last statement. Even Lily is already learning how money in her savings is worth more than money in her piggy bank. I think it means more to them because they own it. It's not an account that I started for them, that I put money in it's their account with money they earned. Every couple of months I offer incentives to save. Sometimes I match their savings, Sometimes I offer bonuses. But when they get their allowance (or paydays as they call it) they choose how much goes to save and how much goes to spend. It's a good start.

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