Financial Literacy Month is happening at a challenging time.
With all that’s going on in the world right now – the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, and subsequent economic downturn – the fact that it’s Financial Literacy Month might not seem terribly relevant.
But when you stop and think about it, money is on everyone's minds. Consumers are staying home, businesses are losing revenue, millions of layoffs have led a record number of U.S. workers to file unemployment insurance claims, and families across the country are confronting financial stress, among other forms of stress.
As we’re all adjusting to school closures, parents are having difficult conversations with their kids, not only about the public health crisis, but its ripple effects on the economy, and its impact on their own financial situations. Spending habits are changing. The frailties of our modern supply chain have been exposed. Stores are limiting what we can buy. Families and businesses alike are getting up to speed on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and how to benefit from the emergency supplemental appropriations. Yes, money is absolutely on our minds.
Celebrating Financial Literacy Month might not be at the top of your list right now, but the current economic crisis makes it more important than ever to educate students about money matters. So here's a list of resources to help build students' financial knowledge and preparedness.
Free K-12+ financial literacy lessons and activities:
The PBS lesson Needs Vs. Wants asks students in grades 1-2 to consider the relationship between consumer goods and happiness.
The High School Financial Planning Program is a free K-12 financial literacy curriculum aligned with national academic standards, and it has resources for instructors, students, and parents.
The Council for Economic Education's Financial Fitness for Life® program helps K-12 students gain a better understanding of economic concepts.
The National Education Association has extensive lesson plans for K-16, plus teacher preparedness resources to supplement an existing curriculum.
The U.S. Mint website offers lots of fun, engaging activities for K-12, including the game “Change Mixer,” which challenges students to skip, slide, gallop, run, and jump as they add coin values.
The U.S. Treasury has a dynamic four-lesson curriculum for middle school students called “Money Math: Lessons for Life.”
Junior Achievement's JA Personal Finance® curriculum for high school students focuses on spending money wisely through budgeting, saving and investing, using credit cautiously, and protecting personal finances.
Teach Children to Save, geared to K-8, is a national program sponsored by the American Banking Association (ABA) Foundation. It offers tips to help parents talk to their kids about money, and more.
CashCourse, from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), is a complete postsecondary curriculum that also includes articles and self-guided tools for secondary students.
Free financial literacy resources for parents and educators:
Money as You Grow: Help for parents and caregivers, developed by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is a great resource for parents. It includes tips and activities to encourage children's money skills, habits, and attitudes. The CFPB also provides school librarians with Money as You Grow bookshelf and outreach materials.
Need a refresher on how to best manage your personal finances? Brush up on your skills by taking the NEFE Smart About Money courses geared to adults.
The FDIC’s Money Smart for Adults is geared to instructors. The curriculum, which provides practical knowledge, skills-building opportunities, and resources to manage finances, can be downloaded by module.
InCharge.org offers personal financial education resources for teachers, K-12, college, and adults.
Financial Literacy Month hashtags:
You can use Kuder Navigator®, our career planning system for grades 6-12, to support financial literacy, too.
Navigator's Finance 101 curriculum provides accurate information and concepts to spark awareness and empower students to take control of their financial lives. To find Finance 101 in the system, click "Plan for Education" in the left-hand navigation. Finance 101 includes the following modules: Bank Basics, Borrowing Basics, Money Matters, Checking Account Basics – Part 1, Checking Account Basics – Part 2, Pay Yourself First, Keep it Safe, Credit, and Loan Types.
Here's a fun activity for students in grades 8-12: "How Much Will I Earn?"
To get students thinking about occupations as they relate to potential income, ask them to log into their Navigator accounts and direct them to do the following:
- If they haven't already done so, have students complete the three Kuder assessments to find occupations aligned to their interests, skills confidence, and work values.
- Ask students to explore three occupations of choice, based on their assessment results.
- For each occupation, ask students to record:
- How much they might earn. (What is the projected salary and outlook?)
- How much education or training might they need.
- What a day might be like in that occupation.
- If that occupation is likely to have openings in their state.
For a limited time, Kuder is offering new users free access to Navigator. Register here.