Have you considered adding an elective in personal finance to your homeschool high school schedule? In a time of economic downturn, student loan crisis, and record credit card debt, it really makes sense to teach kids financial literacy. Whether it ends up being included as an official course on the high school transcript, I advise all families to find the time to teach their kids about personal finance. Topics that kids need to learn about include: earnings, debt, credit cards, insurance, taxes, budgeting, car shopping, mortgages, bankruptcy, and savings and retirement planning. Fortunately there are some great free resources out there that make it easy to teach your kids about personal finance.
I suggest the lectures from Kahn Academy as the foundation for a personal finance course. The subject matter is divided into three sections: Career and Retirement, Financial Basics, Credit and Debt. Kahn offers easy understand, but in-depth lectures on these topics.
JA is a national organization that provides activities and resources about financial literacy and business. JA has several free online video games about personal finance topics. The middle school level game helps students understand sources of income and credit. The high school game helps students get practical hands on experience with the sorts of decisions they will need to make as adults with buying a car or a house and making financial plans.
The Council for Economics Education is an amazing resource. They offer a wide array of lesson plans which are sorted by subject and by grade. This is a great place to find a few short activities to add some fun when you are stuck in a homeschool rut.
There seems to be kind of a love-hate thing with Dave Ramsey, so this may not be for everyone. Ramsey’s radio show offers very easy to understand information for families who are interested in avoiding debt or getting out of debt. This might be a great conversation starter with your teen.
No personal finance education for a college bound student is complete without a understanding of student loans. The majority of students going to college do take out student loans and average over $20,000 in student loans. Help your student be an informed consumer by teaching them to use online loan calculator tools. These allow students how different interest rates or repayment terms will affect their monthly rate. There is even a calculator that helps students predict their monthly income based on their career. This is a great way to encourage realistic thinking.