Knowing how to handle money is an important skill. It is something needs to be learnt too, and most of us have learnt it on our own, with some basic ideas such as ‘saving is good’ and having a piggy bank. Kids should be money-savvy too, so that they make the right financial decisions in life. You can help them in this by teaching students about money in a way that they understand and relate to.
A guide to teaching students about money
Money is an integral part of life. We develop the attitude we have towards money from our family, peers, friends, media and cultural influences. Students unconsciously are aware of money, and you have to bring this sense of money to the fore. Be open about their ideas about money as well for a free flow of discussion and thought.
Add money topics to the lesson plan
Teaching students about money is an ongoing process. It may take more than a few classes and you may not have time to spare to teach just about money. The best way is to introduce money through their regular studies. While you are making a lesson plan, you can find ways to teach via the financial perspective.
For instance, while studying about percentage you can talk about the percentage of money spent from income or saved and what that means. Language lessons can be reading passages from newspapers, especially economic news. Teach students about how to attain a savings goal while planning their budget.
Make real life connections
To improve the financial literacy of your students, teach them using real life examples. You could plan exercises to jumpstart the critical thinking process. Critical thinking is what is used by adults to compare prices of different types of products, including banking products.
Comparison shopping is essential for better money management later on in life. Students should also learn about which kind of products it is wiser to make higher investments on and those products which are cheaper are acceptable too, depending on the category of the product. For example, investing a high amount in good plumbing makes sense, but buying the most expensive gold plated faucet is a waste of money, unless you’re a billionaire!
You can link the day-to-day activities and lessons to the concepts you are discussing, which will help the students to get a clear idea of the concepts and have better financial literacy, which they can start applying in the real world.
Money is not a topic which most families discuss at home. Busy parents with a zillion things to do may not realize that they should impart a healthy idea about money consciously to their children. While teaching students about money, engage the parents as well. You might help them prepare or be ready for a conversation with their children about comparison-shopping.
Some parents might be definitely uncomfortable about talking to their kids on the money topic. If you assure them that personal details will not be divulged in the class, even the most reluctant parents would be agreeable to help their kids get a better sense of money. The students should also understand that the discussion of money is impersonal and only has to deal with money concepts.
Teaching them spending decisions
Younger students can be taught about spending early on – from the time they are toddlers. They should be allowed to make simple choices through the simplest money related activities in which they have to make a decision, in kindergarten and preschool.
For older students, you can use fake money which they have to use up in the categories ‘save’, spend’ and ‘give’. The students can spend the money and record what they spent. While teaching students about money, it is better to use fake money instead of the allowance, which is given to them by their parents, as different children get different allowances.
You can give a number of fake objects to buy including saving bonds and insurance. The children have to learn to manage their household and learn to save, so that they understand the proper use of money and become financially responsible people.
Hand out worksheets to your pupils so that everyone can maintain a record of the money spent, available and saved.
Students need to learn early on that money is required for all material needs and this money has to be earned. They should know that money is not free, and that money is not unlimited. There is a limited amount of money for everyone, within which all purchases must be made.
Students can earn small amounts of money for chores beyond their routine chores. They can be motivated to know about money in this manner, manage their earnings and most important lesson of all- to earn money, you have to work!