Raising Financially Literate Kids

These “15 Money Rules Kids Should Learn” are not exactly the ones that we used with our kids, but that’s ok. The rules are up to the parents; the important thing is that parents teach their kids how to handle money responsibly.

Our country’s financial situation makes it clear that there are an awful lot of people running around with NO idea of how to handle money. Unfortunately, many of them hold public office. And not only is their lack of financial sense hurting us, but it’s going to hurt our kids and grandchildren, because they’re going to be left holding an enormous amount of national debt.

What can we do? We can start teaching our own kids to handle money from the time they’re little. It’s not something you do in an afternoon. It takes many years. As I write in my upcoming book, Thriving in the 21st Century,

Those who are truly prepared for this new economy will be mostly unencumbered by debt, and therefore free to make changes in their careers without being forced to find another job immediately because of all the payments they have to make each month. They’ll have bank accounts to live off of when they need to go back to school for additional training in order to become more marketable. They’ll be able to take time off to start a new business, or to keep a current business afloat by not taking a paycheck for a while. Financial flexibility is of prime importance in the global economy.

Even now, having money in the bank and minimal expenses is what separates those with choices from those tied to a job and living in constant fear of layoffs. By raising money-smart kids, we give them the tools to handle both prosperity and financial difficulty; in the rapidly changing global economy, there are plenty of both.

How do you raise financially literate kids? You start when they’re young, so that by the time they’re teens, they can understand what you’re talking about when you teach them about budgeting, mortgages and other topics they’ll need to know as adults. You can find projects that teach these subjects and more in Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, the parent-friendly curriculum for teaching your teens how to become morally and financially responsible adults.

This week I’m giving away a copy of Life Prep. To enter, go here; the deadline for this giveway is Friday at midnight. Good luck!

The Future, If We Don’t Chase Our Kids Outside to Play

In the movie “Wall-E,” people have become tubs of lard who sit in the futuristic equivalent of wheelchairs, being entertained while they gulp soda and stuff their faces with food.

This article about the increasing number of children (not just in the U.S., but around the world) who spend hours indoors eating in front of mindless entertainment offers a depiction that’s uncomfortably similar to the people in “Wall-E.”

Children need healthy food, exercise in the fresh air and parents who will make sure they get both. Homeschooling is a lifestyle that makes this particularly easy. But it requires parents who will chase the kids away from the refrigerator and the big screen and out into the yard.

When I was a kid, we played freely in our neighborhood every day after school. Today we walked to the park with our son and only saw two kids outside. Two! In a city with over 40,000 people, I’d expect to see more than two kids out after school on one of the first warm afternoons of spring.

Sometimes I think our affluence came with too high of a price. What do you think?

January Newsletter is Up!

Last night the January issue of “The Imperfect Homeschooler” went out to all subscribers. If you’re not a subscriber, you can check it out here.

This month’s lead article is the first in the Back to Basics 2010 series; it’s called “Kids and Cooking.” Let me know what you think!

(PS…..Just three days left on the Buy One, Get One Free sale…..don’t miss out!)