Homeschooler’s Review of Dave Ramsey’s Foundations for Personal Finance Middle School Edition

We just finished Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance Foundations for Middle Schoolers today.

I was not blessed to learn how to manage money before I got married.  Of course, I took Home Ec in high school but I just remembered how to write checks.  Which I don’t do much of now that I pay bills online.  I also remember the first time I had a debit card in college and didn’t know that if you used another bank’s ATM, it incurred a fee so I bounced several purchases!  Gah!  Not something I am proud of!

Thankfully God gave me a husband who is much more financially savvy than I.  We (I mean he!) invested all our wedding money when I wanted to buy new furniture.  I could brag on his money smarts but really want to get down to the review……

The other personal tidbit I’ll share is that we never had money problems (i.e. lack of it until we started living on the farm and have 100’s more mouths to feed.)  SO now I need to go back to the basics and teach my children too!

We did Financial Peace University about 10 years ago and loved it.  Dave Ramsey is humorous, down to earth, and explains things in a way non-fiscally smart people can understand.  I started using his EveryDollar app last fall and I can’t say I enjoy it as I hate seeing the money fly out BUT it is very helpful and easy for me to understand.

Our daughter is in high school and took U.S. Government this past fall and what traditionally follows next??? Economics.  I had her do an online Economics course but that doesn’t teach PERSONAL finance.

So I decided that this semester, we would do Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance for Middle School Edition.  I chose the Middle School Edition because I have an elementary student, middle school student AND a high schooler.  I wanted to do the course together as a family and not have it geared just to the high schooler.

We did 2-3 lessons a week and each lesson lasted around 20 minutes.  It was the homeschooling mom’s dream!  I flipped to the lesson in my parent guide (which I printed from the included pdf file), set up the DVD to the proper lesson and had the kids open to the correct page in their guide.  After the video, we had family discussion and then answered the questions in the student guide.

It is led by Dave Ramsey, his daughter Rachel Cruze, and two of Dave’s other staff members – Anthony O Neal and Ken Coleman.  It is engaging/relevant to the students, makes them stop and think, and gives them real life questions.  If you are concerned about following state and national standards, they are also included.

There are six chapters in the series with several lessons in each chapter.  The main themes were credit/debt, savings/budgeting, education/careers, investing/insurance, global economics, and marketing/consumerism.

We absolutely loved it and recommend it to any family.

Quotes from my high schooler – “This was a good intro for me but I want to continue and complete the High School Version. ”

Quotes from my Middle Schooler – “I learned the difference between credit and debit, about types of insurance and why they are useful, and you spend more when you use a credit card than you would by using a debit card.”  His short term saving goal is for a gaming console and his long term goal is to help pay for his college.

Quotes from my Elementary student – “Debt is very, very bad.  Sales are not always as good as they seem.  I learned the difference between short term saving (I want to buy my own computer for school) and long term savings (something that is 10 years or more away and I am only 10 so I can’t imagine that far).”

One thing that I, as the educator, learned is that I love the type of classes that are led on a DVD.  It is well organized, I get to take part just by leading the discussion questions that the program provides and we all enjoy learning together.  I will continue splurge on one or two classes a year with this type learning.

As my oldest has asked, we WILL do the high school version but not before this school year ends!  Thankfully we have a couple of more years of high school.

Yesterday, I received an email describing their new program called Foundations in Entrepreneurship and we might also use that another year since the kids all help out with our farming business and need to learn basics of that too.

Now it is time to put our learning into practice!

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