We all want our children to grow up financially responsible. We want them to understand money and to know how to function in a society that rewards the prudent and punishes the careless.
The public school system has developed programs with the help of businesses and organizations like Charles Schwab that teach specifics of handling money and wealth.
I want to take a look at some of the information being taught at different ages by the public school system.
As you read with me it is important that you draw your own conclusions about what is being taught. Is it too advanced, just right or not advanced enough?
I will be looking at fourth-graders, eighth-graders and seniors in high school (“twelfth-graders”) in twelve different areas of consumer finance that they will be faced with.
The articles will be isolated by grade and by general topic so should you choose to follow the “series” you will be able to do so.
This article is the first one starting with fourth-graders with respect to “Financial Responsibility and Decision Making.”
There are six standards for fourth-graders. Standard one requires the fourth-grade student to take responsibility for personal financial decisions. How is this demonstrated?
First of all the student is expected to list examples of financial decisions and their possible consequences. Further they are to identify ways to be a financially responsible person.
Standard 2 requires the student to find and evaluate financial information from a variety of sources.
Standard three asks the student to summarize major consumer protection laws. This can be done by comparing return policies at a local retail store.
The 4th standard involves making financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives.
Standard five asks students in the fourth grade to “develop communication strategies with respect to money. They are to give examples of how members of past generations spent money as children as well as analyze values and attitudes of past generations.
Standard six relates to controlling personal information by listing personal information that should not be released to other people.
By following these standards a fourth-grade student can identify financial decisions, what information is needed to make one, how to “comparison shop; set goals; give examples of the way people “used to do it” and to be prudent with their private information.
This informational structure is good as are the key points. My only concern is that it may be too complex at this early of an age. However, a parent must draw their own conclusion and as a matter of fact this is what is being taught.
“National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education,” Booklet, 2007, Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, 1-888-45-EDUCATE