By: Stephanie Bloom

Although many kids are taking advantage of remote learning, many parents are looking for additional ways to further enrich their children’s education from home. (Or simply looking for a way to keep kids occupied so Mom and Dad can get some work done). It feels obvious for parents to dedicate time to the basics – adding fractions, sentence structure, and rules of grammar and punctuation. Unfortunately, financial literacy is often overlooked, not only by parents but also by our education system in general. (Maybe this is part of the reason why most American’s did not have an emergency cash reserve going into the COVID-19 crisis).

With the extra time at home, now is a great time to put some effort into teaching your children and grandchildren some basics of budgeting and finances. There are many (free) online resources available to make the content interesting for kids and easy for parents to implement. Below are a few options for you to try at home.

EVERFI: EVERFI is an online learning company for businesses, universities and now parents. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, EVERFI is providing 20+ digital courses, and 100+ interactive, game based lessons for parents at no cost. Topics range beyond financial literacy to include lessons on social emotional learning, digital safety, college readiness and preparedness and alcohol education for high schoolers. Below are some free courses to highlight:

  • Financial Literacy for Elementary Students (lesson for grades 4th – 6th): Understanding money can be tough for young minds, these lessons use the latest in new-media technologies and evidence-based learning to bring complex financial concepts to life with fun money managing games for today’s digital generation.  Review concepts related to responsible money choices, income and borrowing, savings and investing, and insurance and safety management.
  • Financial Literacy for Middle School Students (lesson for grades 6th – 8th): As described by EVERFI, “By the time students reach middle school, they have already developed the capacity to understand complex economic concepts, make financial judgments, and assign value to purchases and brands. Yet the majority of today’s students don’t have the money management skills they need to navigate the modern financial world.” This course teaches key concepts related to financial goal setting, budgeting and opportunity costs, and banking among others.
  • Financial Literacy for High School Students (lessons for grade 9th -12th): EVERFI: Financial Literacy for High School is a digital education program that teaches students how to make wise financial decisions to promote financial well-being over their lifetime. The interactive lessons in this financial literacy course translate complex financial concepts and help students develop actionable strategies for managing their finances. After your student masters the basics, they can explore other courses such as Marketplaces, which explains how financial markets work through gamified learning experiences

Banzai: Banzai focuses exclusively on financial literacy with a robust curriculum. All courses include age-appropriate printable workbooks to make the coursework even more engaging. And the cherry on top – all courses are free for parents and students. The curriculum is broken down into 3 levels. Once you sign up, all courses are available! Some details are included below.

  • Banzai Junior: Recommended for ages 8 – 12. Banzai Junior teaches young children to make and manage their own money using lifelike scenarios – like paying unexpected expenses and saving for the future.
  • Banzai Teen: Recommended for ages 13 – 18. Banzai Teen teaches students essential financial skills – tracking income, transfer and expenses – that they can apply in the real world. College budgeting, unexpected expenses-it’s all covered!
  • Banzai Plus: Recommended for ages 16+. Banzai Plus covers milestones including qualifying for a mortgage, building healthy credit, buying auto insurance and avoiding identity theft.

If you’re looking for a smaller commitment, there are also a variety of free printable resources available, like some materials here from the National Education Association and here from the Mind Treasures nonprofit.

It’s never too early (and never too late!) to start teaching financial literacy! Have other ideas? Please share back with me at stephanie@bloomassetmanagement.com. Stay safe and healthy!