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Review: Foundations in Personal Finance Homeschool Curriculum

Looking ahead to my children’s futures, I don’t want to see them saddled with debt, living hand-to-mouth, fighting about money with their spouses, needing two incomes to survive, and unable to support their local church and other worthy causes.

And I’m sure you don’t want that for your children either.

Now, sometimes such financial strain is unavoidable, but often it is due to poor financial decisions.

That’s why I’m thrilled to tell you about Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance Curriculum, Home School Edition.   His mission is, “empowering students to make sound financial decisions for life,” and this up-beat and thorough curriculum definitely meets that goal. Young people who apply Dave’s principles will avoid so much misery!  Their marriages will have fewer financial pressures and therefore be more stable, their lives will be more peaceful, they will be more able to afford a one-income lifestyle with a stay-at-home mom, and they will be able to donate to worthy causes rather than pay huge amounts of interest to lending institutions.

Dave loves to say, with the help of his live audience,

If you live like no one else (make wise financial choices when young),

then you’ll be able to live like no one else (have less financial worries later)

and give like no one else!”

So, what are the components of this course? 

  • 4 teaching DVD’s of Dave’s energetic and engaging presentations to a live audience, with clips of students and small group chats.
  • Teacher’s Guide CD-ROM, which contains lesson plans, tests, answer keys, activities, case studies, and more. (I printed out a binder-full of helpful material from this guide.)
  • Student Workbook containing worksheets, reviews, and many interesting tidbits of information.

If you’re looking for a formal course, this one can be implemented as a semester-long course that meets state standards, although it can be taught as a supplement in under 15 hours.

And what does it teach?

More detailed information is available on Dave’s website, but here’s a list of chapter titles:

  • Unit 1:  Saving and Investing
  • Chapter 1: Savings
  • Chapter 2: Understanding Investments
  • Chapter 3: Wealth Building and College Savings
  • Unit 2: Credit and Debt
  • Chapter 4: Dangers of Debt
  • Chapter 5: Consumer Awareness
  • Chapter 6: Credit Bureaus and Collection Practices
  • Unit 3: Financial Responsibility and Money Management
  • Chapter 7: Budgeting 101
  • Chapter 8: Bargain Shopping
  • Chapter 9: Relating with Money
  • Unit 4: Insurance/Risk Management and Income/Careers
  • Chapter 10: Careers and Employment Taxes
  • Chapter 11: Ins and Outs of Insurance
  • Chapter 12: Real Estate and Mortgages
  • (and there’s also a bonus chapter, to be purchased separately, on The Power of Giving)

Now, if you haven’t heard or seen Dave in action before, you’ll understand Mr. 16’s comments when the course arrived in the mail:  “Aw, Mom, do I have to?  I know all that stuff already.  It will be so boring.  Can’t I just write the tests?”

I remained firm, and one Friday evening we popped in the first DVD.  It wasn’t long before Dave’s style brought a sparkle to my son’s eyes, and my husband came to see what all the fun was about.  He, too, stayed to watch much longer than he planned.  And we learned something, too.  You can watch the Chapter 1 videos to see what I mean; samples of the other course components are also available.

Now we look forward our sessions with Dave.  We quote his silly lines (not his profound ones much yet), and discuss his ideas. The videos are full of visual interest and I’m sure his style will captivate even reluctant teens.  What’s more, there’s very little extra work for me, besides printing out and marking the tests…and watching the DVD’s is actually a treat. Our family highly recommends Foundations in Personal Finance, Homeschool Edition.  This course will benefit teens now, their future families tomorrow, and their world in the process.

Aside:  Of course, it is possible to be overcome by the love of money; that is wrong, and Dave does not promote that at all.  His mindset is not like that of most secular personal finance experts.  Instead, he teaches and encourages young people to be responsible stewards of the resources God has given them.

Here’s our family’s opinion after finishing the course:  We loved Foundations in Personal Finance.  It’s so funny as well as being wise.

To purchase

For those of you struggling to make ends meet, the price tag of Foundations in Personal Finance, Homeschool Edition (currently on special for $99.99 US) may seem much too high.  But think back.  Have you made financial mistakes in the past that you are paying for now?  Would you like your kids to avoid such mistakes…and perhaps learn a thing or two, yourself?  Please research the course website carefully before you decide it is beyond your budget.  Personally, I think this curriculum is an investment rather than an expense.  I’m sure that it will pay for itself dozens if not thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times over, in the lives of your children and perhaps even in your own.

For Canadians:  Please be aware that the details of this course are American, not Canadian.  However, Dave’s general principles apply regardless of country, and his videos will get those principles across to your teens in a memorable way. A bank or financial advisor should be able to help you translate the details (e.g. the different investment options) to the Canadian situation.  After taking Dave’s course, you’ll know enough to ask intelligent questions and understand the options and their implications.

Disclosure I received a complimentary copy of Foundations In Personal Finance, Homechool Edition, in order to give you my honest opinion of it.

For more great tips, see Works for Me Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Frugal Friday.

2 Comments

  1. [...] and many interesting tidbits of information. (For more information, please see the very detailed review on my [...]

  2. Melissa says:

    I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan! Thank you for your review!! This is definitely something I’m looking into for my son in the next few years.

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