Financial Savvy for Homeschoolers
January 13, 2021
Mercy Every Minute
Your Own Finances are a Great Teaching Tool!
In these uncertain economic times, we can either fret or take this opportunity to teach our children about finances and Who really owns them. We can teach them how to budget, save, and give.
We can show them our history of eras of uncertainty or depression within only a few generations. For those who didn’t know a God Who provides, they were times of great despair. For those who knew their great God, they were times of proving His faithfulness (free e-book: Hunger and the Depression).
We can teach them that whatever God provides is enough. We don’t need most of what we already have. We don’t need that whiz-bang curriculum if we have a Bible and a library card. Studies show that it doesn’t matter how much or how little money you spend, since the success of home education lies in personal tutoring and the student’s freedom to learn (see Freedom: It’s Why We Homeschool).
Maybe you are anxious about finances; if so, memorize Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Should we give up if we can’t afford that curriculum, those extra classes, or field trips right now? What about emergencies that interrupt the finances? And what about that necessary part-time job that keeps us busy—shouldn’t we give up on this homeschooling business? The alternatives are not worth it. The high percentage of children leaving their faith is staggering. Hold on to the hearts of your children while you can. Home is best. Home is where you belong. Home is where they belong.
Making Household Finances a Family Affair by Christy Acre
Words of Hope—Baby Steps Toward Recovery an interview with Dave Ramsey
Faith, Family, Finance, & Freedom by David West
Changing Your Economic Mindset
Over 70% of American adults live paycheck to paycheck and unfortunately this is learned history. The mindset for most—whatever money we receive, we must spend. Over 65% of Americans cannot afford an unexpected bill of $1000 or more and do not have more than a $1000 in savings. Scary stuff really, but it can be fixed so easily.
Unfortunately, we treat money like we treat a ketchup bottle. When there is plenty of sauce in the bottle, we use rather wastefully. When there is very little ketchup in the bottle, we use it sparingly. When people are paid, they spend lavishly; and when it is the end of the month, there is buyers remorse.
Quick fix: for every dollar that you receive in pay, put a nickel, dime, or even a quarter away and do not spend it. This will increase your emergency fund and stop you becoming one of the 70% statistics. Then figure out the value of your money. Work out how long it takes you to earn a dollar and before your next purchase, ask yourself if it is worth your time.
Moving forward, look at getting the best value for your money. It is being frugal, not cheap. Do not spend like your friends. You do not know how much they are earning or where their money is coming from. Concentrate on your money. It is only you behind closed doors. We use money every day; why be scared of it? Break the cycle now.
PersonalFinanceLab.com is a one-stop platform that addresses the fundamentals of money through our Budgeting and Stock Market game with learning material that highlights the learning. Our focus is “learn by doing.” This allows the user to make the mistakes in the game and avoid costly ones in life. Great for ages 13 and older and can be used on a PC or tablet. Learning can be done remotely and at the user’s pace.
The Homeschool Budget
To preface what I’m about to say, let me state right up front that if I were talking to your husband, I’d tell him to spend the necessary money to get you the best homeschooling tools available. All men know that good tools make a job easier and that shoddy tools make a job harder.
But I’m talking to you and not your husband, and wives tend to be the spending side of their homeschool. My advice is not really a budgeting method as much as an overall philosophy-ish-thing. From a husband’s vantage point, homeschooling equals a money-sucking black hole leading to poverty and despair. OK, so maybe that’s a little overly dramatic, but I often hear moms say, “Oh, I shouldn’t spend this much”, or “My husband will kill me for buying this, but oh, well, I’m going to buy it anyway.”
I’m telling you, Mom, that’s a good way to place your husband on the defensive and even make him antagonistic toward homeschooling.
So . . . if you want Papa to be happy, talk about what you’d like to purchase with him and then spend a little less. Your man will think you’re awesome and more than likely, he’ll even suggest you spend a little more.
That’s all the financial advice that this financially-challenged man has to offer.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
Financial Literacy: Caught and Taught
Financial literacy is an important life skill that all children need before leaving home. The difficulty is that some parents don’t have the information themselves, while others manage their finances quite well.
Teaching financial literacy starts with you.
No matter your past or current situation, the buck stops with you. You can make sure your children have the wisdom and resources they need to have a healthy financial relationship. You can make sure they make good financial decisions.
Financial literacy must be caught and taught.
Your children always watch what you do, and imitate your behavior. Even with finances, children are learning financial behaviors from watching what their parents do. The more you feel you are floundering, the more you need to be conscientious in teaching them financial literacy. The more you have, the more you need to teach financial balance.
Financial savvy means balanced monetary behaviors.
During the holiday season, and throughout the year, teach your children a balanced approach. Money is not evil, but the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Avoid hoarding it. Teach children to spend, share, and save each time they gain it. Avoid over-spending. Decide on a reasonable number of Christmas gifts with a predetermined budget. Limit gifts to four simple categories: want, need, wear, read.
Teach financial literacy in high school.
Before graduation, invest in educating your children in financial literacy. Just one class could ensure their long-term success as an independent adult. In my homeschool coaching with the Gold Care Club, I’ll often suggest Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance for High School. Take action during high school to help them graduate college debt-free. Learn how homeschool students find scholarships, so your children can graduate college debt-free. Learn more in my bookThe HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships: Homeschool Secrets to Getting Ready, Getting In, and Getting Paid.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a speaker and author of more than 30 books about homeschooling high school. An expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships, Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Grab some of the complimentary homeschool resources from Lee and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PRINTED MATERIALS – Let us show you how you can print your own posters, maps, banners, stickers, artwork, & projects. Design and production is hands-on STEM education at home. Dorado Graphix are experts on educational print technologies and provide free training. Special educational deals for homeschoolers. doradographix.com/education (904)751-4500
Pillar of Knowledge: Spending Savvy
A southern friend of ours used to say his “Mama could pinch a quarter so tight you could hear the eagle squawk.” Thriftiness is admirable. Knowing how to manage money is scripturally imperative.
Even before you consider curriculum for “Personal Finance” like this or this, you are teaching your children about finances. They watch the tithe envelope get placed in the offering plate. They learn as they observe the open-handed donations to the needy. They see that the “dollar menu” allows for fun as well as frugality.
We frequented consignment shops, discount stores, and yard sales from the time our kids were tiny. I also showed them how to compare prices and consider generic brands. I didn’t realize how much they’d “caught” from what I taught by example until years later . . . and I found them modeling the same behavior.
When our kids reached young adulthood, we opened a joint checking account to teach them financial management. Today, there are great options for pre-paid debit cards which can be a great tool as well.
All this to say, while a finance class can be valuable, don’t underestimate the worth of your own example. Keep on pinchin’ those quarters!
Diane Heeney is a graduate of Bob Jones University, where she served on faculty for ten years. She has been Assistant to the Director of Advertisng Sales at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine since 2016. She’s homeschooled her three children over the course of the past 18 years, having graduated their two oldest. Diane, her husband Patrick, and their youngest child, Katie, reside in eastern Wyoming.
At Grace, we are guided by grace. With Christ as the center of our community, we follow His example of grace in all things. The way of grace leads us to explore powerful academics, create meaningful careers, and launch purposeful lives. www.grace.edu
Northwest University offers a Christ-centered experience built on biblical values. NU prepares your students for this life. And the next. Visit www.northwestu.edu to learn more.
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Congratulations to Jennifer T. from Ohio who won our November giveaway!
for the month of January
Dyslexia Gold – Catch Up Intervention Reading Program
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia or struggles with reading (even if they aren’t dyslexic), you might be looking for a proven program to help them improve their reading and spelling skills.
Review From The Life We Build
Many children and adults have difficulty reading due to dyslexia. While I don’t believe our daughter Anna has dyslexia, she does occasionally mix up the letters b and d. Phonics, in regards to spelling, has never really been a strength, which baffles me given her reading ability. I am always interested in finding programs that will help her bridge that gap.
The Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle contains four online programs: Engaging Eyes, Spelling Tutor, Fluency Builder, and Times Table Tutor. The recommendation is to use the program for 10-15 minutes a day, and we found that this was pretty accurate in the amount of time it took Anna to complete an activity. We rotated the programs in order to get an overview of the offerings from Dyslexia Gold. With the program Engaging Eyes, there is a target practice game that requires 3D glasses; Dyslexia Gold provides the glasses. Spelling Tutor has your child practice spelling certain words; it requires paper and pencil. Fluency Builder is phonics based. A particular phonics sound is focused on, and at the end of the lesson, a short story is presented with questions that follow. Times Table Tutor is the practice of multiplication; it will work on each number individually.
This is a brief description and review of the Catch Up Intervention reading program from Dyslexia Gold (previously called Full Bundle). You can see a thorough description and 40+ reviews from homeschool moms describing their families’ experience with this program on the Homeschool Review Crew site.
Enter the contest for your chance to win a 3-month subscription to the Dyslexia Gold Catch Up Intervention reading program. You can enter several times!
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