Are you considering homeschooling for your family? Teaching your kids in your own style can provide academic flexibility, meaningful learning opportunities, and a bonding experience that a traditional classroom can’t provide. Before taking on this new responsibility, be ready to crunch the numbers to see if homeschooling fits into your family’s budget.
A recent study shows you could spend anywhere from $200 to $3,000 each year on homeschooling costs. Yet, there are a couple of ways to teach your kids money management without compromising your budget.
As money conversations aren’t normally had in public schools, you’re able to get a head start on teaching your kids the essential money skills they need to know. No matter how old your kids may be, there’s always something to be learned about money. If you want your kids to better understand investing, saving, budgeting, and planning for their financial future, we’ve created 42 printables and resources to teach your kids about finances at any age:
Pre-K–Grade 1: Expose Them to Money and How It’s Earned
As your child begins their educational journey, it’s helpful to start by exposing them to money. Familiarize your kids with money by showing them what money looks like and explain how it’s earned. As most kids learn from their parents, consistently explain how your money is earned and how you budget it. Clearly lay out how you make money and the correlation it has with all the hard work you put into it.
As a kid, you have to start building your savings from the bottom up. Encourage your kids to work hard and budget correctly to create the building blocks of financial freedom. Create a family chore list for them to earn an allowance to put towards their savings. Go the extra mile by opening their own savings account for them to contribute their earnings when saving up for something they want.
To incorporate money talk into your teaching lessons, download our money trace printable. Cut out each U.S. coin along the dotted line. Then have your kids grab a pencil and write out each word on the dotted line. Finally, have them match each coin with each drawn out word. This helps kids start to learn what money is and how it can be used.
Grade 2–3: Make Money Management a Fun Game
Teach your kids to appreciate the value of a dollar by making money management a game. From creating your own lemonade stand to selling your Girl Scout cookies, practice how hard work can pay off over time.
While your children sell their baked goodies, consistently ask them number questions like “how many ___ are in a dollar?” to keep your kids’ minds fixated on the numbers game. When playing store, practice counting up and down when exchanging “money.” Even when you’re out running errands, consider having your kids practice paying that cashier for a more “real life” experience.
As the summer approaches, people around your neighborhood may get a little thirsty for some yummy lemonade. If your family is ready to start your own “business,” print out our lemonade stand menu. Write out each type of lemonade or juice your family will be selling, along with the prices for each. Place this in a frame or simply lay it on your table for customers to know how much to give you at checkout. This gives kids a real life opportunity to learn how to exchange money and work hard to earn a profit.
Grade 4–5: Help Your Kids Build Their Dream Career
Once your kids start approaching middle school, they may have an idea of what they want to be when they grow up. Help them find their passion by incorporating goal setting, career building, and decision making lessons into each school week.
Studies show that only 3 percent of adults write out their goals — despite the fact that people are more likely to reach their goals when they consistently write and revisit them. Encourage your kids to get in the habit of setting goals to reach their full potential. Download our printable below and help your child figure out what they want to work towards, whether that be playing in a basketball tournament in another city or saving enough money to buy a new pair of booties.
Once they’ve set their goals, teach them how to reach each goal. Have them write out their overall goal, the reason for wanting to achieve it, and break their large goal down into micro-goals. Highlight how money can be one of the tools you can use to reach those metrics. For instance, when going to a basketball tournament, you may need money for food, a nice place to sleep, and safe transportation to ensure you play your best. Money is the tool to staying healthy and potentially setting up your kid’s college career when applying for scholarships.
To make this goal even more enticing, set a timeframe your family would like to reach these goals within. Print and sign our downloadable award to hand them once this goal is achieved.
Grade 6–7: Put Your Kids In Charge of Grocery Shopping
As your kids get older, teach them the art of setting a budget while you run errands together. Every time you go to the grocery store, put your kids in charge of the shopping list, budget, and paying at checkout.
During this time, show the importance of creating and sticking to a budget. As 39 percent of adults overspent on groceries in 2019, the grocery store can be a big money drain. Encourage your kids to set a limit to how much you should be spending on groceries. After shopping, show how overspending could hurt your credit and savings in our monthly budgeting app.
If you’re considering giving your kids a debit card for emergencies, this might be the ultimate test. Download our grocery shopping printable for your kids to fill out. Have them list out materials your family needs for the week and how much your budget should be set at before heading in. After checking out, check in on your budgeting app to see if you were under your budget goal.
Grade 8–9: Help Them Establish a Millionaire Mindset
As your kids start to reach high school, start fostering team-building skills and provide tools to set them up for success in the workplace. Get their creative juices flowing and have open conversations of what they would like to do in the future. Whether that is to become a CEO or an artist, help them get there!
If college is on your kid’s mind, direct your lessons towards putting money away for educational investments and how to properly deduct these expenses from your taxes. Use your past lessons, to encourage them to apply for scholarships and work on projects they are proud to show on their application.
Take things up a notch by downloading our business pitch printable. Invite your child’s friends over for a friendly business competition, or have your kid present their big idea to your family solo. Print out our downloadable and give your kids a set time to brainstorm each big pitch. Once the time’s up, have each participant stand up and present their dream plan. Print, sign, and hand out our printable award to the best business plan.
Grade 10–12: Teach Investment and Credit Tools for Success
Once your kids turn 18, they’re able to apply for credit cards, student loans, and other investments that could potentially have high interest or earning rates. Prepare your kids by teaching the good, the bad, and the ugly about the different investments that can be made. Discuss everything from credit cards, interest rates, educational investments, savings, and stocks.
For instance, having a savings account you contribute to each month can earn you some extra money from interest rates. On the other hand, spending more than you can afford on a credit card could cost you much more than the price tag on the boots you really want.
While teaching your kids about the accrued loss or benefit from different investments, have them participate! Download our savings challenge printable for a savings boost just upon high school graduation. Have your kids work hard for allowance, or get a part-time job, and contribute a base amount to their savings each week. Track each week’s progress on this sheet to see how much they’re able to save by the end of the 14 weeks.
Additional Resources for All Ages:
Believe it or not, your kids are closely watching how you spend your money. Teaching them the value in working hard and how to budget today will set them up for future success. Money management is one of the key ways to ensure your kids are able to reach their financial and career goals as they grow older. As traditional schools don’t always teach money management courses, this is just an added benefit to homeschooling your kids.
Encourage your kids to see money as a tool rather than the overall goal. Start them a savings account early on and check out our post on How to Teach Your Kids About Money for additional tips for familiarizing your kids with money.