As children grow, their potential to manage money and understand financial concepts grows as well. The knowledge, skills, and behaviors kids learn when they’re young lay the groundwork for their financial well-being as adults.
Schools and teachers play a critical role in financial education. But, we know there are challenges to bringing financial education into the classroom. Given the amount of content available, it may be difficult to find the best tools and information. This is especially true for educators who are new to teaching financial capability and may not know where to start. Also, limited time and resources may make it hard for schools and districts to offer targeted financial education classes.
We recently updated some of our youth financial education content to provide K-12 educators with new, free resources to help students develop financial knowledge, skills, and habits. These resources make it easy for you to find and download relevant classroom activities. They also can help you to evaluate financial education programs and understand the research-based building blocks of youth financial capability. These will be important stepping stones on the path to adult financial well-being. There are also resources to help you incorporate financial capability into your curriculum, whether you’re an experienced personal finance teacher, new to the subject, or integrating financial capability into another subject area.
Resources on the site include:
- The journey to financial well-being that describes four steps to achieve adult financial well-being, while highlighting the role financial education plays in helping young people successfully navigate their way.
- A robust activity search feature that provides access to free high school classroom activities to teach the building blocks of financial capability across the curriculum, designed for use in a single class period. Teachers can search by grade level, activity duration, and other key filters. Check back for more activities throughout the remainder of 2018.
- Assessments to help teachers gauge their students’ mastery of the building blocks and to help students assess their knowledge, skills, and habits related to financial capability.
- A curriculum review tool, to help educators review and compare financial education curricula across four key dimensions, so they can select the most promising ones for their classroom.
These resources are based on three interconnected building blocks that form the foundation of youth financial capability. Our research identifies these building blocks as critical to developing financial well-being as adults.
The building blocks of youth financial capability are:
- Executive function: The ability to plan ahead, remember information, multitask, solve problems, and control impulses.
- Financial habits and norms: The values, standards, routine practices, and rules to live by that people use to navigate daily financial activities.
- Financial knowledge and decision-making skills: Familiarity with financial facts and concepts, along with competency in research and analysis.
These building blocks include fundamental attributes and abilities that begin to develop in early childhood and continue into young adulthood. Adding them to K–12 education lets you reach young people at pivotal points in their development and in their financial lives.