Why is Financial Literacy important to teach to our students? Whether you are teaching younger or older students, financial literacy is important because finances are part of our existence. Teaching is my second career, banking was my first. I worked in a financial institution for twenty years (the last 4-5 years during holidays and weekends). Starting as a teller, working many positions from accounting to investments and mortgages, I saw it all, and I mean, ALL. I’ve seen people in large debt and small debts, but I’ve been people with savings and big savings. One year I met a couple who purchased their house (and it wasn’t cheap) with cash!
Starting Students Off Right
There are so many directions that you can take financial literacy. At its roots, financial literacy is about developing life skills, managing money, understanding the value of money, etc. At grade one, we talk mainly about the value of money. I use a currency system in class and it does take a while for students to understand it. Teaching financial literacy once and done will not help many students.
Having a currency in class quickly tells me if students understand saving and spending. It reminds me of a video on children and delayed gratification. Have you seen videos on the marshmallow test? Check it out below:
What Does the Marshmallow Test Have to Do With Finances?
Everything! There has been a lot of research on children and delayed gratification and their success in life. One component of financial literacy is not concept of budgeting and saving up for something. Most children in the younger grades won’t wait for the bigger prize in our Hoot Loot jar. They just want to spend their money. It’s very telling.
Find Ways to Incorporate Financial Literacy All Year
Consider creating an economy system in your class and utilize it all year. Seeing it through the seasons and there are special items is insightful.
This blog post is just one of a couple more posts on financial literacy. Teaching money and finances is worth talking about more than once a year.
Money Ninja by Mary Nhin (Amazon). It teaches children to be smart with their money, includes saving and donating.
Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins (Amazon). Two children decide to sell lemonade in winter. Will they make money?
Do you have a favourite picture on money? I would love to hear about it. Please comment below!