They say it takes a village! And for parent-teacher collaboration in finance education and teaching money skills for the young, that couldn’t be more true.
When teaching financial literacy for children or teens, there needs to be a dual approach: The teacher’s role in financial education is paramount, as they’ll be teaching in the classroom, but parents should also take the reins in money management education at home. Because students won’t always be in the safe confines of a classroom, and will actually be earning and spending money themselves one day, parental guidance in finance is critical.
How can teachers and parents work together, yet separately to help in building financial acumen in children? Let’s take a look at each specific role.
Teachers: Role of educators in money management education
Teachers take point in the classroom, teaching money lessons for kids and leading school-based financial literacy courses. But their reach is also limited. While they are engaging students in financial discussions, integrating finance in school curriculums, and more, they are just teaching — they’re not going to be there when the bills are getting paid, or when budgets are being constructed.
In that sense, teachers are the yin to the parents’ yang. They can teach the theory and put the concepts in a student’s head, but the rubber will actually meet the road outside of the classroom. For young students, that’s why it’s critical that parents take an active role in teaching money lessons to kids.
Parents: Teaching money skills at home
As mentioned, teachers can merely teach. Parents will need to show students how financial lessons can be put into practical use. This can be done myriad ways — including some frank and realistic discussions about family finances at home.
Show your kids how you pay the bills, what those bills are, and why they’re important. Also, how they fit into an overall budget. Talk about career paths, earnings, and investments. Discuss savings and more — again, it’s all about engaging students in financial discussions. They’ll never learn if they don’t see it happen first-hand. And a teacher’s reach is limited by a host of factors.
Bringing it together: Parent-teacher collaboration in finance education
Teachers and parents can and should work together to teach financial literacy, even if they never discuss it face-to-face, or actively make a plan. You can think of parents and teachers as two sides of the same coin, in this respect: Teachers will teach the concepts to students, and parents can show and teach students how to actually use them.
As such, both teachers and parents play incredibly important roles in providing financial guidance for students, and while many students may get one without the other, both taking an active part in fostering financial literacy is likely to yield the best results over the long term.
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