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Monday, October 6, 2008

Make it Fun Monday - Kids and Money!

This week I'm starting a series called Make it Fun Monday! Every Monday, I'll post a new teaching tip or activity you can use in your home school. This week's topic - Kids and Money.

It's never to early to begin teaching your kids about money. With the current financial crisis our country is facing, now is an especially good time to teach your children the principles of sound money management and help them learn from others' mistakes.

Take your children to open a bank account (an FDIC insured one, of course). Elementary students can open a savings account and begin saving a percentage of their allowance and money that is given as gifts. Let them fill out deposit and withdrawal forms, help them set savings goals for small purchases, and teach them about interest and how money grows.

In addition to opening a savings account to save for larger purchases, middle school and high school students can open a checking account and learn to manage money for expenditures in specific areas like clothing or social activities. Be sure to show them how to maintain an accurate check ledger, read bank statements, and reconcile their accounts at the end of each month.

When choosing a bank account for your children, look for an account with no monthly or annual fees, no transaction fees and no requirements for a minimum balance. Some banks also offer prizes and other fun incentives for children who open and account and make deposits.

Don't forget to share your family's approach to money management with your children. Our family closely follows Dave Ramsey's money management advice. Larry Burkett's Crown Financial Ministries and Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living are based on similar financial principles.

A great book about teaching financial responsibility is Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family by Steven Maxwell. The book is written specifically for men and their sons, but I feel much of the advice is great for daughters as well.

Teaching kids about money is a great math and economics activity. Here are some additional ideas for homeschooling math. Here are some tips for choosing a homeschool math curriculum.

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