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Life Skills

TruSpark Career Assessment for Teens

TruSpark Career Assessment for Teens

Do you have tweens or teens in your house? Have you started discussing their possible career options? Taking a career assessment can be a great learning tool to help them better understand themselves and what motivations spur their actions and interests.

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

Disclosure: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. All my opinions are my own, honest thoughts and I was not required to post a positive review. Your experience may vary. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

I currently have two teens still at home. My son is in his final semester of a two year degree and my daughter is a sophomore in high school.

While my son’s degree is IT specific, he isn’t exactly sure where it will take him or what career path within the IT world he would like to pursue. We have talked about possible career options (as his dad is in that field), but he’s still unsure what that looks like in his life.

Stayed Tuned for a GIVEAWAY Down Below!

My daughter’s first and only true love is horses. While she could pursue a career along those lines, she is unsure that will make a good full time job for her. Or least one she thinks will earn her enough money. She is unsure beyond that what she might be good at or interested in, in terms of a career.

As you can see, two different children, two different places on their journey to adulthood, but both could benefit from a more in-depth look at themselves, their motivations, and some career guidance. To help each child along their path I had them complete the TruSpark Curriculum and Assessment.

TruSpark Career Assessment

TruSpark Assessment & Curriculum

TruSpark offers a curriculum and assessment for helping teens discover their core motivations which will help them discover careers that are geared towards their interests.

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

I had both my children work through both the TruSpark Curriculum and Assessment. (It is recommended that they complete the first two levels of the curriculum before taking the assessment.)

What are Core Motivations?

You heard me use the term core motivations and now you are wondering what exactly are core motivations?

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

TruSpark describes Core Motivations like this:

  • Core Motivations (CMs) are what make you come alive.
  • CMs are a blueprint of why you do what you do.
  • CMs are the origin of a sense of meaning, joy, and fulfillment.
  • CMs spark your interest and show up as intrinsic drives.
  • CMs explain why you are motivated to do some activities and less motivated to do others.
  • Although CMs don’t define you, they do influence your behaviors and decisions.

These Core Motivations are more than just a personality test, TruSpark has created an assessment that helps you discover what really drives you, what spurs you to like or dislike certain things, and why we make the choices we do.

Discovering Your 3 Core Motivations

The TruSpark Curriculum and Assessment walked us through a process to help us discover each of our top 3 Core Motivations. I personally love the act of digging inside ourselves to come up with moments in our lives we were proud of. Things we did that really inspired us and made us happy.

It was easier than I thought, and didn’t need to be some in depth, highly recognized by others moment. In one of mine I used the accomplishment of being able to take our horses just my daughter and I to this big park with water nearby. It took years of prep in big and little ways and it was a bucket list item for me for sure!

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

Using O*Net for Career Exploration

One of the resources the TruSpark Curriculum introduced me to was O*Net.

I had never heard of O*Net before! The O*NET Program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation.

My Next Move

THIS WAS MY KIDS FAVORITE PART! Taking the results from their TruSpark Assessment and turning it into a real life career assessment process was so much fun for them. It gave them the chance to look at jobs, and not just titles of jobs, but what it takes to get them, how much they pay, what their outlook is, etc. My kids went way beyond the 3 they were required to do for the TruSpark Curriculum and explored around into many careers, even beyond their suggested careers to see what’s out there.

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

Within O*Net is an application called My Next Move. This career exploration application helps new job seekers, students, and other career explorers investigate over 900 occupations. It is an interactive web-based tool that offers you easy ways to search careers. The TruSpark Curriculum introduces teens to My Next Move and walks them through using it as part of their career exploration process.

My Next Move

In the image below you see the worksheets provided by TruSpark. These are to help your teen use My Next Move to explore careers they discovered might be a good fit for them through the TruSpark Assessment & Curriculum.

TruSpark Career Assessment assists teens in finding their 3 core motivations, helping them understand what drives them and how that relates to finding a career. A review from Starts At Eight.

–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT TRUSPARK CAREER ASSESSMENT FOR YOURSELF! <<–

Giveaway

Discover your Core Motivations wit TruSpark

More Career Exploration Help for Teens

High School Life Skills: Career Exploration from Starts At Eight
Career Exploration for High School Students from Starts At Eight
Mr. D Math College & Career Readiness is an online class (live or self-paced) teaching life skills such as time/money management, college application/resume writing, banking skills and more! A Review from Starts At Eight
Easy No Bake Chocolate Lasagna

Easy No Bake Chocolate Lasagna

Looking for an easy crowd pleasing dessert? This one pan No Bake Chocolate Lasagna is always a hit at both summer and winter gatherings!

This easy one pan no bake chocolate lasagna is great for any gathering. Winter or summer it's a fan favorite dessert! A recipe from Starts At Eight

No Bake Chocolate Lasagna

Ingredients

This easy one pan no bake chocolate lasagna is great for any gathering. Winter or summer it's a fan favorite dessert! A recipe from Starts At Eight
  • 36 regular Oreo cookies (1 package) Do not remove cream centers.
  • 6 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip non-fat, 2 (8-oz) containers
  • 7.8 ounces instant chocolate pudding 2 (3.9 oz) boxes UNPREPARED
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions

This easy one pan no bake chocolate lasagna is great for any gathering. Winter or summer it's a fan favorite dessert! A recipe from Starts At Eight

Crush the Oreos into fine crumbs. Either use a mixer or a zip-lock bag and rolling pin. (we have also used a meat tenderizer to smash them up in a zip-lock bag)

Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium sized bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Pour into a 9X13 baking dish. (We often use a foil pan when making it to take because you can leave the leftovers and not worry about the pan.)Use a hard spatula to spread evenly across the bottom.

Now combine the cream cheese and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy. Then add in the 2 tablespoons of milk and sugar, mixing well.

Fold 8oz of Cool Whip into the mixture.

Spread this mixture over the Oreo crust and pop into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

While that is hardening, add the pudding mixes and 2 3/4 cups milk. Beat until the mixture thickens.

Remove pan from refrigerator, spread the pudding mixture over the cream cheese layer. Return to refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Gently spread the other 8oz of Cool Wuip over the top and sprinkle with mini chips.

Cover and let chill for 4-6 in the refrigerator, or 1hr 30 minutes in the freezer.

Extra Tips for a Flawless No Bake Chocolate Lasagna

  • Use regular Oreos, not Double Stuff. Don’t remove the cream centers from the cookies. 36 cookies = 3 cups of crumbs.
  • Use 2 boxes of instant pudding, not Cook n Serve.
  • I highly recommend popping the dessert into the freezer after each step. It makes it easier to spread each layer.

More Dessert Recipes You Might Like

Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

As a family homeschooling in New York State, we have what many would consider some pretty strict homeschool regulations. Everything from a set number of attendance days, to end of year testing, and courses like Economics for High School.

Along with American Government, Economics is required for homeschooled high schoolers in New York State. Each course needs to be a minimum of .5 credit.

How to fulfill a .5 credit of Economics for High School is a frequent question when it comes to homeschooling high school in New York State.

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

I have recently found an online, self paced Economics for High School course from Mr. D Math that I think homeschoolers will love! We have had multiple great experiences with Mr. D Math courses and this one is no exception!

Mr. D Math Live SAT Boot Camp
Mr. D Math College & Career Readiness is an online class (live or self-paced) teaching life skills such as time/money management, college application/resume writing, banking skills and more! A Review from Starts At Eight

Economics for High School

Mr. D Math Economics for High School is a half credit, online course for high school students. The course contains 16 lessons and is self-paced so you can spread it out however you like.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to Mr. D Math Economics for High School and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Topics Covered Include:

  • supply/demand
  • producers/consumers
  • currency/credit
  • debt/deficit
  • economic recession
  • monopolies
  • taxes

In addition to the concepts of economics included above, students will learn important financial and life skills for their next stage such as:

  • how to open and manage a bank account
  • apply and interview for jobs
  • compare benefit packages
  • understanding paystubs
  • budgeting
  • using credit
  • establishing good credit
  • identity theft
  • purchasing/leasing a vehicle
  • renting an apartment
  • calculating interest

Features of Note in Economics for High School

Self-Paced

Economics for High School is one of the multiple self-paced courses offered at Mr. D Math. The great thing about this course being self-paced is that your student isn’t tied to class times or specific deadlines. Instead your student (and you if necessary) can decide that timeline for which this course is completed.

Take more time, take less, time, either way being self-paced offers a ton of flexibility for your homeschool!

Encourages Independence

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

The online platform for this course (and all the Mr. D Math courses) is laid out in such a way that students can be completely independent. In the left sidebar you will find the complete course broken down by lessons, and with those lessons there are tasks such as reading, videos, quizzes, worksheets to print and complete, and more.

Uses Various Learning Styles

Video Lessons – Mrs. Kelli does video lessons for each section of this course. On top of that there are also other videos included to reinforce topics. (YouTube Video on topic, Crash Course Videos, etc.)

Reading – Sometimes students are assigned short readings from various sources to help teach a topic.

Printable Worksheets – These worksheets include worksheets to reinforce the concept that was just introduced with via video or reading, as well as extension activities to get students thinking.

Engaging Activities – Not only does this course include all the basic methods of learning, but it goes one step further and gets students involved in real life examples and activities that demonstrate the topics being covered.

Glossary PDF

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers.

At the beginning of the course students are instructed to print out the Glossary of Terms.

While this feature may not seem important to some people, I find that a topic like Economics contains many words and concepts completely unknown to high schoolers. They are instructed to complete the definitions as they are presented throughout the course lessons. Thus encouraging them to hear them, see them, and write them. Using these various methods of engaging with the material greatly increases their chance of understanding the material.

For this reason, I love that students start with a BLANK GLOSSARY and end up with a (completely filled in by them) Glossary of Terms.

Online Graded Quizzes

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight
Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Throughout the course there are online quizzes. They vary in length and include a variety of question types such as multiple choice and true/false.

They are auto graded online with instant results right on the screen so students get immediate feedback.

I like that students get 3 attempts at each quiz. This encourages learning because they can see the ones they got wrong and go back to review those concepts before trying the quiz again.

–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MR. D MATH ECONOMICS FOR HIGH SCHOOL <<–

More Mr. D Math Reviews

We have also used Mr. D Math courses more than once throughout our years of homeschooling.

Having access to an instructor where the kids can ask questions and get feedback is such an awesome part of Mr. D Math live online courses.

You can check out what our experience was like with two of our children. Just click on the images below.

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math! Mr. D Math offers online live or self-paced courses for high school math, Test Prep, ASL, and more! A review from Starts At Eight
Homeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math from Starts At Eight

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE MR. D MATH COURSE OFFERINGS <<–<<–

12 Online Financial Resources for Teens

12 Online Financial Resources for Teens

Teenagers find themselves in an awkward “in-between” time. They’re itching for more responsibility but not yet ready for full-fledged involvement in the adult world. It’s a time of dating, school dances, and more specialized classes that can introduce them to possible future careers and part-time jobs.

With the last of these comes more financial responsibility. And that’s something teens need to learn even if they’re still drawing an allowance and haven’t yet entered the working world.

Online Financial Resources for Teens is all the best in help for teaching teens and helping them learn to navigate their own finances.

12 Online Financial Resources for Teens

The good news is that, if there’s one thing teens are good at today, it’s interacting with, and in, the digital world, and there are a ton of online financial resources available to the public, including some that are geared specifically for teens. Plus there are offline teaching tools, like board games, that can reinforce those lessons.

The Big Picture  

Once upon a time, high schools taught life skills. That’s not the case so much anymore, as budget cuts and shifting priorities have led to a bigger emphasis on core academic subjects. 

Unfortunately, that means kids are largely on their own or dependent on parental guidance in areas like economics and personal finance. They can find apps and online resources that can help them learn the basics of budgeting, saving, investing, and planning. Here are a few:

  • Practicalmoneyskills.com, a website created by Visa, offers information on a variety of topics from credit to mobile banking, plus news relating to financial literacy.
  • MoneySKILL is a free online personal finance course designed for middle school, high school, and college students, created by the ASFA Education Foundation.
  • Money Instructor offers a wide range of lessons on topics ranging from taxes to paying for college, real estate to business math. It also features interactive lessons and money games.
  • Biz Kids is a national financial literacy initiative based on an Emmy Award-winning public television series that teaches kids about money and business.

Learning to Budget

Budgeting is an important aspect of getting ready for living as an adult. Young people soon will be responsible for tracking how much money they bring in, how much they spend, and on what. It’s helpful for them to start when mistakes aren’t so costly and the stakes aren’t so high — such as whether or not they can afford to go to the movies or buy a new video game.

Now, they’ll be learning what they can and can’t afford by prioritizing their wish list. Later, they’ll need to distinguish what they need (shelter, transportation, food, utilities) from what they want. 

  • TheMint has a tool that can simulate household budgeting and expenses: Teens can plug in a hypothetical annual income, then build their own budget around it.
  • MoneyFit offers a budget calculator for teens that takes into account education level and allocates portions of a budget as pie pieces in these categories:
    • Be nice: Donations to causes
    • Be smart: Savings for college, internship, training
    • Be patient: Savings for short-term goals like gadgets and gifts
    • Be ready: Savings for impulse buys and splurges
    • Spend it: What to keep as cash on hand

Long-term Planning

Teens are familiar with saving for short-term goals they want, but when they get older, they’ll need to set aside money for other goals that might not seem like as much fun: their own kids’ education and daily needs, eventual retirement, emergencies, and so forth. 

  • Savings — Maybe you’ve put money away for your kids’ education. Involve them in the process by showing it takes patience to save for something you want or build a nest egg. The same thing goes for investing: It’s much smarter to make prudent investments for the long term rather than reacting to markets or chasing the latest hot tip.
  • Credit — Long-term planning requires discipline and resisting the urge to spend impulsively. This kind of discipline will serve young people well when it comes to building credit, too. Instead of racking up big debts (and interest payments) for instant gratification, frame credit as a long-term tool for big purchases and stress the importance of using it judiciously and making payments on time.
  • Retirement — When it comes to retirement, it might seem like a long way off, but the sooner you start saving, the more interest you can accumulate and the less you’ll have to worry in the end. Here are a couple of sites that can help:
    • Teensgotcents.com provides a comparison graph that shows the difference between how much money you can accumulate for retirement if you start early compared to starting late.
    • Teenfinancialfreedom.com offers a calculator you can use to see what it might take to retire early.

A few other sites you may want to check out include:

The point is, there’s a wealth of online financial resources for teens out there to help teenagers learn about how money works, both in the short and long term. Find those that work best for you and your teenagers to give them a head start on full-grown financial responsibility before they’re fully grown themselves.

Written by Ann Lloyd, Student Savings Guide

More About Money for Kids

Money Management for Teens with the CASHFLOW Board Game from Starts At Eight
Money Management For Teens from Starts At Eight
Must Have Money Conversations with your Teen discusses important money topics to have with your teen as well as a FREE Real-Life Finance Worksheet.
3 Must Have Money Conversations with Your Teen

3 Must Have Money Conversations with Your Teen

Having money conversations with your teen can be overwhelming — especially if you’re not sure where to start. However, once you understand some of the basic conversations to have, you may find that it isn’t as difficult as you thought. Setting intentions and outlining what you want to get out of the conversation can also be helpful.  

Must Have Money Conversations with your Teen discusses important money topics to have with your teen as well as a FREE Real-Life Finance Worksheet.

Must Have Money Conversations with your Teen

Before you get started read over the following tips to help you navigate the money conversations with your teen. Remember to take a deep breath,

Below are 3 must-have money conversations with your teen before they’ve left the nest. 

1. How Money Works

When talking about the basics of money, you’ll want to discuss topics like how to earn and save money, as well as what kinds of jobs are available at different ages. You may also want to talk to your teen about how careers help you feel fulfilled, while also allowing you to earn money in future years. 

Consider talking with them about taxes and how they can affect your paycheck, as well as why you need to pay them. Once they understand these basics, move on to deeper conversations about things like inflation, annuities, and retirement. 

When discussing how money works, it’s also important to help them understand how to use their money wisely through budgeting and investing. 

2. How to Set Financial Goals 

Goals give you a sense of direction in life. Once you have a vision of what you want to achieve with your finances, you’re more likely to hit higher benchmarks. Ask your teen questions to help them get thinking about things they want in life, financially or otherwise. Here are a few to start with: 

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 or 15 years? 
    • How will money help or hinder you? 
  • Do you want to go to college? 
    • If the answer is yes, what kind of college do you want to go to? (community college, university, technical school, etc.)
  • What are some things you want to do in your life?
    • Roughly how much money will it take to achieve those things? 
Must Have Money Conversations with your Teen discusses important money topics to have with your teen as well as a FREE Real-Life Finance Worksheet.

3. Credit & Debt 

Helping your teen understand credit and debt is possibly one of the most important financial conversations you can have with them. Credit can be either enabling or destructive, so it’s important they understand early on how it can affect their life. Talk with them about how credit works, how to get a good credit score, and the benefits available to those who do have a high credit rating. 

You should also talk with your teen about debt and the different kinds. Some debt is inevitable, such as debt from purchasing a home or going to an expensive university. However, there are ways to mitigate the amount of debt, like by saving early on or applying for more beneficial loans. 

When talking with your teen about money, be understanding and patient. Some concepts take longer to grasp than others. Don’t avoid having these conversations because they are difficult. One of the best ways to help your teen be financially successful in life is by teaching them early and being there for them when they mess up. 

Use the FREE Real-Life Finance Challenges Worksheet below to help you understand how much your teen knows about money before having these important conversations with them. 

Must Have Money Conversations with your Teen discusses important money topics to have with your teen as well as a FREE Real-Life Finance Worksheet.
Click on image to download this FREE Real-Life Finance Challenges Worksheet

More About Money for Kids

Money Management for Teens with the CASHFLOW Board Game from Starts At Eight
Money Management For Teens from Starts At Eight
Teach Kids About Money with this Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

Teach Kids About Money with this Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

Are you looking for fun, online, educational games for your kids? How about one that teaches financial literacy and money management for kids? I would like to introduce you to a financial literacy homeschool curriculum that does these things!

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14. A review from Starts At Eight.

As you may already know I am a big proponent of teaching life skills at ALL ages throughout the childrearing and homeschooling years. It can be as simple as teaching your toddler to put their toys away in a bin, or as complex as preparing your teens/young adults for the home buying experience.

One of the amazing things about homeschooling is the ability to weave these skills into your daily lives and homeschool curriculum plans!

MoneyTime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

MoneyTime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum is a gamified online financial literacy program for kids ages 10-14. MoneyTime can be used on any PC, laptop or tablet that is connected to the Internet however it does not work on mobile phones.

{Disclosure: I received free access to MoneyTime as part of this review. I was compensated for my time to give an honest review of this product. All opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

How the MoneyTime Game Works

The Moneytime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum combines financial literacy lesson modules with a money management game. It consists of 30 personal finance lessons and 13 optional Parent-Child lessons covering topics such as earning, saving, budgeting, property, investing and business, all at an age appropriate level.

Within the 13 Parent-Child lessons your children will write a resume, prepare a household budget, buy an imaginary property and check on your household’s insurances. These modules provide a great opportunity for them to get to know you better and to understand your family’s finances so that they can put their learning into a real life context.

Each child begins the game as a gardener and continues on to be able to choose a better paying job by investing in further education. Every profession has an expected income and a cost to gain the qualification. This is a great way for kids to understand that different jobs need different levels of education and also produce varying amounts of income.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Kids can also choose to spend money on shopping for fun accessories for their avatar, donating to charity, purchasing property, stocks, and other investments.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Check out the video below for a walk through of how this homeschool finance curriculum works!

Using MoneyTime in Your Homeschool

Self-Contained Curriculum – NOTHING else is needed! No extra books or supplies. All the kids need to learn and put their learning into action is built into the program!

Self-Directed Learning – I love that MoneyTime is designed for kids to do independently (other than the Parent-Child Lessons). It means my kids can open and go, without needing my time or attention. It both teaches and facilitates learning via doing.

Parental Help & Involvement – While the majority of lessons are student led, there are 13 lessons for parents to do with their kids. This really gives us the chance to work side by side with our kids, giving them our real life experiences and wisdom on topics such as resumes, household budgets and more!

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Recommended Scheduling – MoneyTime recommends children try and complete the program within a 3 month period, averaging 3 lessons per week. Each lesson builds on the learning of previous lessons and it’s important your child uses the program regularly to get the most value out of it.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

More than Just Money – Beyond money management for kids, MoneyTime also includes content that helps kids learn what to do when choosing a career, understanding how their career choice impacts income, considering purchasing new or second hand, understanding wants vs needs and so much more!

Purchasing Information & Discount

You can purchase MoneyTime directly from their website. There are both low monthly subscription and annual memberships available. AND there is a 60 day money back guarantee provided on the annual membership license.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Right now you will receive 25% off the Annual Membership price! Offer valid until October 31st, 2021.

Teach Teen Life Skills as a High School Elective

Teach Teen Life Skills as a High School Elective

Teaching your teen life skills is a huge part of not only raising your teen but of their academic life as well. Just as we teach our children about history, and help them explore the various sciences, we need to teach our teens the essential skills they need to go out and thrive in the world.

Things like pumping gas, learning to drive, opening bank accounts, cooking, cleaning, taxes, interviewing, and SO much more!

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Teach Teen Life Skills as a High School Elective

The cool thing about teaching your teen life skills is that you can count it as a high school elective! Yup! You heard me correctly! Life skills as high school electives is a real thing!

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

Even from the time they were young, life skills has been something we weave into our daily lives with all of our children. It begins small, with age appropriate chores around the house. Things like putting away their books or toys. Then into things like using safe cleaning products to wipe something down, or vacuuming.

As tweens things like cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry. When they get into their teens the life skills start to step outside the household chores to things like applying for a checking and savings account, getting a license and learning to drive, budgeting, and more.

Thrive Academics – Voyage

Voyage (from Thrive Academics) is an affordable (just $60 for a full year of access) program. that helps teens learn things about themselves and their purpose, and to complete life skills tasks such as writing checks and applying for a driver’s license all while also earning high school elective credit (the course is .5 credit).

{I received free access to Voyage and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Voyage is a dynamic, fully animated program designed as a semester course for high school students. It walks your teens through many life skills they will need as they prepare to enter college, the workforce, and life outside of your home.

5 Modules in Voyage

There are five modules immersed with life skills and lessons to prepare for the next stage of life after high school.

Within each of the 5 modules you will find a Resources Tab (upper right hand corner when you are in the course). This tab contains a multitude of printable pdf activities for the module your student is working on.

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Beyond the module content itself, and the pdf printable activities, each module also has a 10 question final exam that must be passed with an 80% or higher to complete the module. The quizzes are graded within the module, and you can run a report for the grades.

1.  Who I Am

In this first module teens will identify their purpose, brand, and strengths, and work on setting SMART goals and a vision for their life.

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Below are the topics they will work through:

  • Purpose and Passion (Includes figuring out your purpose statement)
  • Strengths (Skills profiler)
  • Personal Brand (creating a brand crest that includes values, passions, and traits)
  • Vision (Learn what a vision is; engage in activities to help student think about their own vision)
  • My SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely)
  • My Mission (creating an action plan based on the topics above)

2.  Career Planning

Module 2 is all about career planning including: career assessment profiler, researching careers, filling out a job app, writing a cover letter and resume, and attending a virtual job interview.

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Below are the topics in order with some of what your student will find within them:

  • Career Profile (finding your career path, O*Net Building, and Notetaking)
  • Your Career Profile (job vs. career, comparing careers, career comparison chart, occupational videos)
  • Higher Education (plus student networking)
  • Building Your Resume (essential application steps, resume sections, cover letter, job search, and examples)
  • Virtual Job Interview (walks your student through an interview with step-by-step suggestions)

3.  College Planning

Module 3 contains everything from researching the right schools, applying to college, applying for financial aid to life on campus and setting their school schedule.

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens.

These are the topics and activities students work through in Module 3:

  • Researching Schools (College Readiness Fair – provides information about 2-year/community college, 4-year university & tech/trade school based on your student’s career aspirations, selecting your major, in-state vs. out-of-state schools, side-by-side comparisons)
  • Applying to School (tips & ideas, practice application, application checklist)
  • Financial Aid (scholarships, grants, loans FAFSA)
  • Getting Accepted (selecting classes, scheduling classes, reading a map, college transcripts, housing, buying textbooks)
  • Campus Life (clubs and organizations, college sports, transportation costs, getting an internship, socializing and partying – making responsible decisions)

4.  Financial Responsibility

Module 4 is all about financial responsibility, covering topics such as opening a bank account, balancing a check register, online banking, taxes, interest, managing a budget, and financial responsibility.

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Here are the lessons taught in Module 4:

  • Types of Accounts (checking accounts, check writing, online banking, check/debit card, ATM, balancing accounts, savings account, interest, retirement)
  • Understanding Credit (introduction, FAQs, maintaining good credit, credit scores, credit cards & fees, interest)
  • Financial Responsibility (introduction to taxes, W-4 form, filing deadline, W-2 form, filing options, reading paychecks, tax resources, paying bills, disputing a fee)
  • Budgeting Basics (needs vs. wants, calculating income, create a plan, money saving tips)
  • Student Loans (understanding loans, types, amoritization, repayment)

5. Everyday Living

Module 5 covers tasks of everyday living where students will learn about everyday responsibilities including health and safety, balanced nutrition, renting a house/apt, completing forms for a doctor’s visit, applying for a driver’s license, navigating airports, and much more!

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

Here are the topics covered in Module 5:

  • Personal Health (healthy eating on a budget, activity, fitness, creating a fitness plan, sleep, personal hygiene, health insurance FAQ, doctor visits)
  • Travel (preparing for your trip, at the airport, on the flight, enjoying your trip)
  • Home and Vehicle (driver’s license, getting a vehicle, housing, roommates)
  • Communication (making a good first impression, body language, talking, listening, healthy relationships, social media)

My Thoughts on Voyage for Teaching Teen Life Skills

Teach Teen Life Skills such as college & career planning, financial responsibility, and travel with Voyage. An affordable life skills course for teens. A review from Starts At Eight.

1. It’s not just videos

Voyage goes beyond students watching videos and regurgitating information back. For example when learning about Travel, specifically in the Home and Vehicle section, they are given a sample Driver’s License Form to fill out. Voyage takes them through it and then has them print a sample from the Resources in the top right corner to fill out themselves.

2. Designed for Independent Learning

I think it is important in the high school years that kids take control of their education. We strive for them to be completely independent in their learning, keeping themselves on task and working through their studies with minimal help.

Voyage is designed for students to do on their own:

  • All the information is given in a clear and engaging way.
  • The pathway is clearly laid out for them to follow.
  • All printable resources are within their corresponding lessons so they can easily find what they need.

3. Confidence for Mom

Voyage from Thrive makes it easy for me to feel good about the life skills being taught to my teen. While I could definitly teach my children all of this (and I do still engage them in this skills in real life), this gives me the structure to help me feel confident that we are covering a wide variety of useful topics.

I never would have thought about doing Airport but Voyage covers this too! Including things like navigating the airport, check-in, security, finding your gate, boarding, and even steps for when you are inside the plane.

Freebie & Giveaway

FREE Adulting Checklist - preparing students to thrive

Equip your student with the skills needed to thrive as an adult. This unique e-book contains a series of checklists designed to help your student systematically develop skills that will prepare them for independent living, time management, employment, and more.

Thrive Academics is giving away their Voyage course to five lucky winners. Each winner will receive a 1-year subscription for Voyage! Enter in the giveaway widget below!

More on Teen Life Skills

Fulfilling Homeschool High School Health Credits from Starts At Eight is a how to guide including why to teach high school health, what topics are covered, and an extensive list of both secular and faith based homeschool high school health options.
Life Skills as High School Electives: Cooking Basics for Teens from Starts At Eight. Preparing our teens to cook for themselves will both save them money and allow them to eat healthier. Cooking Basics for Teens will help you, help them learn basics such as how to boil water, cut onions, cook chicken, and more!
Career Exploration for High School Students from Starts At Eight
Careering – A guide for Teens and Young Adults

Careering – A guide for Teens and Young Adults

Young adulthood is the best time to explore, experience, and eliminate possible career paths. Careering will help your student do all three–and get them on the path that is right for them!

What is Careering?

The dictionary may have other definitions for careering, but when you see the word careering in this book, I am referring to the process of taking progressive action in pursuit of a profession or venture.

Tamara S. Raymond

What’s Inside the Book?

Careering is an 8 step process according to Tamara. In this Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career your student will find each of these steps laid out with actionable items to do and places to record their thoughts and findings! All of this in a book small enough to carry around so they can explore and learn as they are on the go!

{I received a free review copy of Careering as part of this review. However, all views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Careering Steps:

Step 1: How to Begin Careering

Step 2: Opportunities to Explore Different Career Options

Step 3: Key Resources to Help Explore Different Career Options

Step 4: The Power of Networking

Step 5: Applying

Step 6: Developing Your Interview Skills

Step 7: Congratulations on Your New Job! Now What?

Step 8: One Final Step

What’s to be Learned from Careering?

  • evaluate your interests, skills, and passions
  • identify jobs, internships, and volunteer positions that align with your personal gifts
  • identify multiple career exploration avenues, from camps to summer jobs
  • put together a resume and references, even if you’ve never had a “real” job
  • learn how to network, apply for jobs, and develop interviewing skills
  • learn how to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities
  • learn how not to use social media if you want to land a job

About Tamara S. Raymond

Tamara S. Raymond, author of Careering - The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career

Tamara S. Raymond is a certified leadership coach and career strategist dedicated to helping professionals reach their maximum potential; and young people get on the right career path so they can make a difference.

Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career is Tamara’s first book. It is available as a paperback, e-book and audiobook. An online course based on the book was released Fall 2020.

In her book, Tamara has woven together her extensive career experience, academic journey and passion for coaching-mentoring youth to share knowledge with teens and young adults. Tamara’s goal is to offer them unique insight into how to excel both academically and in their chosen profession through awareness of their goals, interests and talents, in a purposeful and focused way.

Tamara has appeared on the Inside Personal Growth podcast and The Total Education Hour.
For more information about Tamara and her other projects, including her coaching services,
visit www.imcleaders.com

==>> Click Here to take a peek inside and hear an audio sample <<==

More Career Help for Teens

High School Life Skills: Career Exploration from Starts At Eight
Career Exploration for High School Students from Starts At Eight
Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

As you approach the teen years with your children, you really start to focus on their future and preparing them for a future outside of your home.

Things like doing their own laundry, money management, and general house maintenance are a few things on our list. College and Career Readiness is also a big one. Whether they are planning for college, or heading straight for a career, there a so many things they need to know!

If you have been around here for any length of time, you know I am a BIG PROPONENT of teaching life skills, especially in high school. I wrote an entire series dedicated to teaching life skills called Life Skills as High School Electives – Home Economics & Shop Class. This includes things like sewing, laundry, basic household repairs, wood working skills, and more.

Life Skills as High School Electives: Home Economics & Shop Class from Starts At Eight. Teaching your kids life skills is a great way to learn and earn high school credit! Includes FREE Printable Record Keeping Sheets!

But what about things like setting goals, using calendars, time management, check writing, banking, the stock market, and resume writing? For things like these we have found an awesome College and Career Readiness course from Mr. D Math.

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness is a self-paced course designed to teach teens life skills that will aid them in things like time management, banking, resume writing and more.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

 

“I Will Bring Life to the Skills Teens Need for
Success… I Will Create Leaders Who are Committed
to Making a Difference!”  -Mr. D

What’s Covered in College and Career Readiness?

This course was previously named Life Skills 4 Teens, but has since been renamed.

I love that it includes:

General skills everyone needs (goal setting, time management, bank accounts,

Things specific to college bound teens (writing college applications, a College Campus Virtual Field Trip)

And things for career oriented teens (Resume Writing, Virtual Field Trip to EA Sports,)

There is so much packed into this full semester (16 week) course.

  • Goal Setting
  • Learning about Your Learning Style
  • Time Management
  • Financial Literacy
  • The Stock Market
  • Check Writing, Credit Cards, Bank Accounts
  • College Applications
  • Resume Writing
  • And More!

What We Think About Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

My youngest daughter (9th grade) is taking this course, and was super excited to do so as she isn’t 100% sure what path she will take yet.

For this reason she really loved that the course included a career interest assessment to help show her careers that might fit her interest.

Self-Contained and Graded

We love that everything you need for this course is right in the dashboard!

Each lesson begins with a recorded video of one of Mr. D Math’s live College and Career Readiness courses. Then there are downloads for activities and places to submit all work. Then there is a teaching assistant that grades submitted work, offering specific feedback as well as the assigned grade.

No Tests!

My daughter loved the more project based nature of this course. No tests, just things like short responses and essays, specific tasks such as starting a Google Calendar, watching short videos.

Self-Paced

Most Mr. D Math online classes are offered with a choice of self-paced or live. While we LOVE Mr. D Math live classes for all the interaction and feedback, our schedule doesn’t always line up with class times.

Having the self-paced option is awesome! You get all the same things as the live classes, minus the live interaction, PLUS the flexibility to complete the course whenever it fits into your schedule.

Self-paced courses are available year-round. Once you purchase a course, you have until March of the following school year to submit assignments. Beyond that time you will still have access to the course, but you will not be able to submit assignments and receive grades/feedback.

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND TO PURCHASE MR. D MATH COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS <<–<<–

Try Mr. D Math Online Courses

Mr. D Math offers online courses both live and recorded and across multiple genres – not just math!

Math Courses:

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2
  • Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
  • SAT Math Bootcamp
  • ACT Math Bootcamp
  • Consumer Math
  • Summer Math Readiness Classes

Other Courses:

  • Advanced Writing
  • American Sign Language (I, II, III)
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Music and Physical Education (Training Like An Olympic Runner, Flamenco Dance, Flamenco Guitar)
  • Study Skills
  • Technology

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE MR. D MATH COURSE OFFERINGS <<–<<–

More Mr. D Math Reviews

We have used Mr. D Math courses more than once throughout our years of homeschooling.

Having access to an instructor where the kids can ask questions and get feedback is such an awesome part of Mr. D Math live online courses.

You can check out what our experience was like with two of our children. Just click on the images below.

Also stay tuned as I will have ANOTHER MR. D MATH review coming soon – SAT BOOTCAMP!

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math! Mr. D Math offers online live or self-paced courses for high school math, Test Prep, ASL, and more! A review from Starts At EightHomeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math from Starts At Eight

Planning High School Electives

Looking to use this Mr. D College and Career Readiness course as a high school elective? Awesome!

Want help planning your student’s high school electives? Check out this FREE Plan Your High School Electives Printable Pack.

Plan Your High School Electives is a 3 step process of research, conversations with your teen, and a narrowing down of choices and how you will fulfill them.

  1. Step One: Checklist of High School Electives Options â€“ an extensive list of options to think about and check off ones you and your teen feel could be possible options
  2. Step Two: Top 10 Electives to Explore â€“ question to help you narrow the field of options, along space for keeping track of possible resources, curriculum, classes, etc.
  3. Step Three: Final Elective Choices â€“ the final choices your teen will be engaging in along with course descriptions, number of credits and a resource list

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

 

Online Technology Classes with MYTEK LAB

Online Technology Classes with MYTEK LAB

If you were to ask me if I was technology savvy I would probably say I consider myself to fall somewhere in the middle. I tend to be good with social media and apps, but not so much with gaming and coding. But in today’s world being tech savvy is important. Luckily for us parents that aren’t 100% up to speed, there are online technology classes that I can help our kids be more tech savvy than we are!

Online Technology Classes with MYTEK LAB

MYTEK LAB offers engaging online technology instruction for grades 3rd-12th. Choose from weekly enriching lessons or specialized beginner to advanced topics.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to a MYTEK LAB class and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

About MYTEK LAB Classes

MYTEK LAB Classes are offered as live, online classes that meet every week. These are recorded so that students who can’t attend live still have the opportunity to benefit from these classes.

In addition to the weekly class, students have a weekly help class available in which they can get live help.

All classes are interactive, and the students also have assignments, quizzes, and projects that are due each week.

In the TEKnology Lab Level 1 class students learn programming fundamentals, use many different creative applications and web design tools, and learn general technology concepts.

More Specifically:

  • Computer fundamentals
  • 2D Game Art 1
  • Programming 1
  • 3D modeling for games 1
  • VR Development 1
  • Web Design 1
  • Web Development 1
  • 3D Modeling for 3D Printing 1

In the TEKnology Lab Level 2 class, students dive deeper into some of the applications and learn more in-depth programming. Level 2 dives into actual coding for each application as well as a more intermediate look into each area of study.

What’s to Love about MYTEK LAB Classes?

1. Live but Recorded – The classes are done each week as live, interactive sessions, where students can interact with each other and the instructor – Mr. MYTEK. But they are also recorded!

** The fact that they are recorded is HUGE for us! We have a busy schedule working at our horse barn and riding so fitting in a fixed class can be tough. Having them recorded means my daughter can still benefit but within her own time schedule.

2. The Instructor – Mr. MYTEK

The instructor is Stephen Souders, otherwise known as Mr. MYTEK. He is fun and engaging. Super helpful and down to earth.

Stephen and his wife, Jacky, opened MYTEK LAB. Together, they have been teaching technology education to students of all ages since February 2015.

** We make an effort to pop in to the live classes when we can. I have to say, if you can, you should!! We were recently logged on about 10 minutes ahead of class (turns out Mr. MYTEK recommends this). What we found was Stephen and Jacky interacting in a fun and relaxed way with the kids who were already logged on. You could clearly see the wonderful rapport they had built with each other.

3. Weekly Help Classes

Every week you can attend the live help class. It is for all their classes so anyone can join to get their questions answered.

4. Online Presence Options

I know that parents vary in how much they allow their children to engage and interact online.

What is wonderful about the MYTEK LAB platform is that you don’t have to turn your camera on, your kids don’t even have to talk. There is a whole chat section where they can answer and ask questions if you don’t want them talking during the class.

** While I don’t mind if my kids are on camera, my daughter didn’t want to be. When she attends class she chooses to keep her camera off.

5. Success Based Not Grade Based

While there are projects and quizzes, the goal of the course is to learn and have success. Your student can submit quizzes as many times as they want until they are happy with their grade.

6. Teacher and Student Interaction

This is a wonderful forum to meet kids of similar ages and interests, and to interact and share with them on a weekly basis.

Having interactive classes offers such a fun, collaborative environment where your child can help others as well as seek help and input from them in return.

Get Started with Online Technology Classes with MYTEK LAB!

Ready to get your kids started with MYTEK LAB? To get started visit the online courses page to see what’s available.

Then CLICK HERE to create your MYTEK Lab parent account and get your student started today!

DISCOUNT

Families who register for Semester 2 can get Semester 1 for $145! That’s all the recorded lessons and assignments for Semester 1 at a discounted price! Simply contact Jacky at jsouders@myteklab.com to get all set up.

How to Prepare Teens for Homeownership

How to Prepare Teens for Homeownership

While I know you may think it’s not the time to prepare teens for homeownership, it is! The components needed to prepare for homeownership in the future, like credit and savings, are important life skills for teens to learn.

How to Prepare Teens for Homeownership

Many of us know that buying a first home is a stressful but important milestone in adulthood.

There are different steps that must be completed before buying a home, and financial literacy is critical to understanding them. When it comes to preparing your children to take these steps, you can never start educating them too early.

Thankfully, there are resources available that can be incorporated into lesson plans and/or general conversations with your teens to get them started on the right track!

Start Early with Financial Literacy

It is NEVER TO EARLY to start teaching your kids about money! 

Click on the image above to get loads of resources for teaching younger kids about money. Everything from counting to saving!

The Importance of Credit  

Most adults know that having a good credit score makes getting a home much easier.

In today’s world, many people will check your credit score, including loan officers, credit card companies, landlords and even prospective employers.

According to CNBC, a good FICO credit score is within the range of 670-739. There are many factors that go into your credit score: payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, how often you apply for new credit and credit mix (revolving credit versus installment loans).

It’s important that your teen understands the importance of good credit from an early age, as a poor score can impact their ability to complete many “milestones” of adulthood. Things like missed payments, accounts sent to collections and bankruptcies can stay on a credit report for up to seven years. So mistakes made as a teenager can affect your child when they get older and decide to buy their own car or home.

This means that teaching your teen how to use credit responsibly is of utmost importance. Consider teaching your child how to access and understand their credit report and how things such as credit cards and loans work.

Especially for older teens, opening a secured credit card is a good way for them to build credit history without the responsibility of a large credit line. You can also add a teenager as an authorized user, which allows them to build a credit history (you don’t have to give them access to the card for them to be an authorized user).

Build a Savings Account

Of course, building a healthy savings account is beneficial for several reasons. One of those reasons is the ability to pay a down payment on a property. Generally, lenders like to see a down payment of 20%, or the borrower will be subject to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Some loans, like the FHA program, will allow prospective homebuyers to get away with a 3.5% down payment, as well as requiring a lower credit score to get approved.

However, especially in high-priced markets, 3.5% still amounts to thousands of dollars. This doesn’t include the thousands of dollars most borrowers pay in closing costs, as well as furnishing and upkeep on a new home. Of course, even when buying a home, it’s fiscally responsible to have at least three months of savings in your account to be prepared for unexpected events.

This means it’s important for teens to start saving up now if they want to buy a home in their early-to-mid 20s.

If possible, consider contributing to a savings account for your child. Relatives and family friends can also pitch in if willing. Encourage your teen to find part-time work and put a little bit of money into a savings account each paycheck. Especially if the money is deposited into a high-interest savings account, by the time your teen is ready to buy a home, the amount accumulated should be quite a bit.

Explain the Process

Although the teenagers of today will most likely not be buying homes for years, it’s still important for them to understand the process.

Although states vary in their specific requirements, most areas have the same general process.

For example, steps such as:

  • getting preapproved
  • finding the best lender and real estate agent
  • how to be prepared for closing

Teaching your child about the homebuying process will allow them to be more prepared for when the time comes to purchase their own home. It also shows them why they need to be concerned about things like a savings account and credit score, even though it may not affect their life now.

Possible Career Path

As a side note, this also presents the opportunity to teach your child about possible career paths.

Career Exploration - DK Careers Book from Starts At Eight

Many people are involved in the homebuying process. This includes:

  • bankers
  • real estate agents
  • home inspectors
  • attorneys
  • title agents
  • movers
  • cleaners
  • and more!

Many of these careers can offer stable, high paying employment. Ask your teen if there’s any role that sounds interesting to him/her, and encourage them to look up employment statistics, training and opportunities for that profession.

Household Chores and Upkeep

Buying a property requires a lot of financial planning and know-how. However, the work doesn’t stop once the closing forms are signed.

Significant upkeep and possible renovation is required for owning a home, even if the property is move-in ready. This includes cleaning, basic repairs and even knowing when to call a professional.

To help teach your teen the skills needed for homeownership, consider assigning them chores around the house. This will help them not only with homeownership, but college and apartment living as well.

Life Skills as High School Electives: Basic Household Repairs for Teens from Starts At Eight. Teaching Basic Household Repairs is an important part of learning to maintain a home. Things like painting, caulk, and hanging pictures just to name a few. Use the FREE Printable to keep track of what they have accomplished!Teaching Life Skills: Chores from Starts At Eight

Also, having your teen help out with home repairs is a great way to help them learn the skills needed to take care of a house. If this isn’t possible, ask if neighbors or relatives would be willing to let them help out with home maintenance.

As a last resort, teach your child what responsibilities a landlord is responsible for in your living space. YouTube videos can help teach them the basics of fixing those issues, or you can ask your landlord if they are willing to let your teen see firsthand what they need to repair or replace.

Be sure to check out this Life Skills as High School Electives course as it covers many of the skills needed not only as a basis for homebuying but for life outside your home in general!

Buying a home is still considered part of the “American dream.” However, getting there takes years of planning, saving and making responsible choices. It’s never too early to discuss how financial literacy can pay off, but it’s especially important for teenagers. Talking to your child about this can help them prepare to make this dream a reality.

Financial Literacy for Kids

Financial Literacy for Kids

Money and finances are a big part of adult life. Money is something you are exposed to as a child. Kids play with toy kitchens and cash registers, exchanging money for food items and more. Given these beginning opportunities, teaching financial literacy for kids is something that can begin at an early age.

Financial Literacy for Kids

“Financial literacy,” you say?

You think, “but my child is only five!”

Truth be told it is never too early to start demonstrating and teaching your children how to manage their money.

Unfortunately, I am pretty sure if you were making a list of important things to teach your children, financial literacy wouldn’t make the list. You would more likely think of things like potty training, manners, learning to read, math skills, etc. However, money sense is arguably one of the most important skills you can teach them to aid in their future success.

When is the Right Time to Start?

As soon as your child starts asking for things, the first lesson they must learn is that those things cost money, and money has value. When you spend that money, it is forever gone.

Would you be surprised by the fact that most children understand by age three that coins and bills can be exchanged for things, like say that piece of candy or toy new toy that they want?

Click on the images below for some fun an practical ideas and printables for working with coins.

Hands On Teaching: Piggy Bank Math + FREE Printable from Starts At EightHands On Teaching: Coin Counting from Starts At Eight

Then by the age of six or seven they can even better grasp the money concepts of earning, and saving to go along with that spending instinct!

Teaching children the skills to be money smart is a process that happens over time. Starting at an early age with simpler concepts and working up to the more complex ones as their age and cognitive ability will allow. The skills lies in learning (or teaching) the value of saving, and of spending conscientiously and understanding the difference between wants- the just for fun stuff, and needs- the necessary expenditures.

Peter Pig’s Money Counter

Here is a fun game for kids ages 5-8. In this interactive game, kids practice identifying, counting and saving money while learning fun facts about U.S. currency. After completing the game, players are rewarded with a trip to the virtual store to buy accessories within budget and dress up Peter Pig in fun scenes.

Allowance Basics

A good way to help your child learn how to handle money on their own is by giving them an allowance.

Somewhere around the ages of 5-7 have a conversation with your children concerning money, include your own values and beliefs concerning money.

Set up a fixed allowance amount and plan with your child how that money will be allocated. For example, a common measure is $1 per year of age, thus $7 a week for a 7 year old, $14 a week for a 14 year old.

You can then discuss managing the money by designating to certain things. For example, 40% toward spending, 40% toward short-term saving (new video game, bike, toy), and 20% toward long-term savings (phone & bill when older, car, college).

You could also lessen one or more of these and add in something like a percentage for charity or a giving back project of some kind. Lastly be sure to define what they are expected to pay/save for. You pay the mortgage, electric, groceries etc, but they pay for special snacks they want, toys, etc.

In this post I am referring to younger children. If you would like tips and ideas for the teenage/high school years you can check out my article called Money Management for Teens.

Finding Opportunities to Teach

Taking your children to the grocery store and involving them in looking at the prices and talking what is more or less value for your money is a great way to get them involved and more aware of the cost of things. For instance if your five year old wants a candy bar they can find it and check the price. Do they have enough money? How much do they need to save to get it? Or how much money will they have left after buying it.

How about the bank? Around the age of 10 you can take them in to set up their own savings account (check with your local branch concerning their guidelines). Then maybe once a month you can take your child to deposit the money from their weekly allowance that was set aside for savings and allow them to keep the ledger for the account.

It is important to allow your children to spend their money as they choose, within your guidelines. They need the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. When my oldest was 9 or 10 she just had to have this oinking pig that was all the rage at the time. I warned her about its lack of usefulness and how she might feel about spending $12 for something she may not play with very long. Wouldn’t you know that a month later it was heading to the garage sale pile with high hopes of recouping some of the money spent on it!

Above all, talk to your kids about money. They see us handling and using money every day but if we don’t talk to them about the what, how, and why, then they will miss out on many wonderful learning opportunities.

Financial Literacy Resources for Use With Young Kids

Jump$tart Coalition is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making.

Sand Dollar City – You create a character and enter into a virtual reality to learn about managing expenses, bank accounts, credit cards, and saving money by making decisions and experiencing the consequences of those decisions.

Hands On Banking – This award-winning financial education program, is available in English and Spanish, and offers free non-commercial content – lesson plans, instructor guides, student courses, activities, lessons, quizzes and much more. This site has courses designed just for elementary, middle, and high school so you can choose the appropriate level for your child!

For me, For you, For later ~ First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving is presented by Sesame Street and is a bilingual multimedia program created to help families share experiences in developing financial basics that will impact their children now and in the future.

Board Games such as:

are great ways for your family to be together, have fun and learn about money all at the same time!

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