How Teachers Can Help With Financial Responsibility

by Bill on February 3, 2012

Remember Home Ec in high school? I don’t mean the sewing and cooking part. Remember when things like checking and budgeting were part of the curriculum? What the hell happened to making sure teens were ready for basic financial responsibility when they left school?

Now, I know with budget constraints and all the other crap the politicians throw at us, all that went out the window with recess (another dumb idea). But, how about revising some of the current curriculum or lesson plans so teachers can help prepare their students for life after school. Yes, you could go to the teachers directly – but there will probably be a few that tell you its not their job, or they don’t want to ruffle the school board, or whatever. And the school board will have no clue how to institute such things because of some reason.


So here’s a few ideas to toss at them – just in case they ask.

Math – duh, easy, have a section on basic calculations in regards to simple interest, compound credit, and how to actually figure out a mortgage rate. Yep, algebra. Oh, geometry? Take the measurements from a building and figure the cost of the building per square foot; then reconfigure the building to fit the prescribed budget.

Economics – and another duh. Home economics, grocery shopping and goal planning to start with. How a person’s actions impact the actions and reactions of those around them financially, and in reverse – how the actions and reactions of the world around the student impact their daily lifestyle.

Health – do they even still teach this one? If so, wow. How unemployment, under employment and debt directly affect your health. How health concerns directly affect you financially. How living healthier increases income and lowers debt and medical costs. How health insurance actually functions.

Biology – law of supply and demand. How things live together and make use of resources effectively. The difference between parasitic and beneficial habits. How the actual food chain works, and how it has changed. The effects of financial irresponsibility (over-consumption, improper planning etc.) and the effects of responsibility (recycling and such). Oh, and how most organisms live within their own habitat and within their own means for survival.

History – oh wow, this would be a good slot to show how over-consumption and financial irresponsibility caused housing boons and busts. Job growth and the Great Depression and Great Recession. Hitler, the American Civil War (from both the North and South POV), the effects of poor planning and financially inept actions leading to drought and other problems. Oh, hyper-inflation, deflation, devalued currency (all three can be shown from the American Civil War or WWI and WWII).

English – how to write a resume, a CV and fill out a job application. How to write a cover letter, letter of introduction, or thank-you letter. Email etiquette. How to conduct a job interview (yes this is still part of English class because it is part of public speaking). I would also seriously consider pushing for each student to read one book per semester on a financial topic of their choosing, and then reporting on it.

Languages – yep, here too. How to translate financial documents and text into/out of another language. How to interpenetrate instructional material. How to negotiate in a language other than English (which actually could be fun). And yes, I would include languages such as Chinese, Spanish and Indian.
And I know many schools now require a final exam just to get a diploma to ensure you actually know something. Well, seriously, I would add an entire section on basic calculations and economics. Why? Because if the kids can’t understand those, what the hell good is anything else to them.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Should we add more to the list?

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{ 4 comments }

Survival Gear Guru February 6, 2012 at 1:15 am

It is no accident that public schools are this way; I think it is all part of a concerted effort to dumb down the masses. Either that or gross irresponsibility by those in power. What can you do?

Teach your kids yourself or hire a tutor to teach them. There is also the CASHFLOW for kids board game and the everything else that is taught by Robert Kiyosaki over at http://richdad.com/

Bill February 6, 2012 at 2:26 am

I’ll agree with the gross irresponsibility part. What can you do? Encourage teachers to get involved through teaching – what it was teachers once did in public schools. No, they don’t get paid enough, but they got into the profession to teach, not to be millionaires. The school boards don’t need to fund further initiatives or whatever – just get teachers to be more imaginative with presentation and what is actually learned.

The problem with parents teaching, is that most parents I’ve seen don’t bother or just don’t know how themselves.

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

It seems the education system and curriculum has taken a nose dive since I was in school. The subjects you list to me are fundamental. School is supposed to prepare you for the real world. If it doesn’t that what have you really learned.
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Bill February 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Thank you Miss T. Just simply Thank You. We seem to have forgotten that in schools today.

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