Elementary Financial Literacy: Lesson Ideas and Resources

Brian Page:

My daughter is in elementary school. She hates math, but she loves to count her own money! I have used her allowance to help bring basic mathematics alive, including some of the lessons created by the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability exhibited on the website Money As You Grow. These are 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons — with corresponding activities — written explicitly for parents. At a time when parents are most involved with their children’s lives, this is an ideal resource to engage them about teaching money management skills at home.

Schools are beginning to partner with organizations and provide matched savings programs, which enlist donors to make contributions to low-income children’s college accounts. My dream would be to see these opportunities available for every student. I doubt that matched savings programs in our elementary schools are scalable in the immediate future, but they may be in the years that lie ahead. Research has found that such opportunities lead to improvements in knowledge and attitudes toward money.

However, schools don’t need a matched savings program partner to integrate financial literacy skills. As you will read below, there are a number of ways that financial literacy can be integrated into English and mathematics.