Financial Literacy Month: Teaching Your Child What Schools Don’t

Financial Literacy Month: Teaching Your Child What Schools Don’t

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If you look through almost any media publication you will see story after story about what some call an “education crisis” in the United States.  There are stories about too much testing, Common Core, teacher burn-out you name it, all in the hope — at some level – that a national discussion will help our children do better as adults.

[Related: Financial Literacy Month: Creating Financially ‘Chill’ Kids]

We all know that ‘doing better’ also entails financial-wellness: We want our children to get good jobs, avoid heavy debt loads, and create financial security for their loved ones.

These basic truths make it perplexing that there is not more of a national conversation about financial education.  Consider the following data from the Council for Economic Education:

  • Only 17 States require a high school class in personal finance
  • The number of states requiring student testing in economics has dropped from 27 to 16 since 2002
  • Fewer than 20% of teachers feel competent to teach personal finance

African-American children are struggling even more, according to data from the Jumpstart Coalition, high school seniors got less than half of the answers correct on a personal finance test.  Black and Hispanic students got between 41 and 45% of the answers correct while White students had an average score of 52.5%.

While financial education advocates and lawmakers debate the best ways for our nation to create financially smart kids, it is even more important that parents take the lead by educating and being positive role models for their children.   We have to do better, the Council for Economic Education also finds that a third of parents are more comfortable talking with their kids about smoking drugs and bullying than about money.

Sabrina Lamb, Founding CEO of the and author of “Do I Look Like An ATM? Raising Financially Responsible African-American Children” says,

Black parents face additional challenges.   “Parents of color report that they feel a range of toxic emotions when it comes to financially educating their children.  Ranging from wanting to be a he/shero to a Disneyland parent, caregivers want to shield their children from financial realities,” says lamb. “However, like an Eagle, parents need to prepare their children from the enviable, by instilling a respect for the power of money, at an early age,” she adds.

BE is here to make parent’s job a little easier when it comes to teaching kids about money during financial literacy month. This is the second story in a 4-part guide to teach you age appropriate activities that will help your child develop a healthy relationship with money.   The first piece focused on  ages 4 to 8.  The slideshow which starts on the next page will help you raise money smart kids ages 9 to 12.  Please be sure to tweet your comments and feedback at @stisdale1.