Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Curriculum Review: Foundations in Personal Finance

One of our summer goals was to complete the Foundations in Personal Finance homeschool curriculum by Dave Ramsey.  We finished the last chapter today and I can honestly say that we both learned so much!

At $89.95, it's an excellent deal, as it will no doubt save you thousands of dollars down the road if you actually apply the principles learned in the lessons.  It's also priced in the same range as many other DVD-based courses, and much cheaper than most online classes for high schoolers.  The kit comes with the DVD set (14+ hours of instruction) and a consumable workbook.  Dave's style is light and accessible, with a "good ol' boy" delivery, but the message is direct.  The aim of the course is to help the student make smart money decisions from the beginning by understanding the way money works.  He drills the anti-debt message throughout each lesson, but does so in an engaging way and makes the sometimes difficult concepts easy to understand.

I highly recommend this course as an elective for high schoolers (1/2 credit).  Buy an extra workbook so Mom can participate, too!

Book reviews: more on homeschooling high school

The last time I posted about homeschooling high school was a year ago - my older daughter was 13 and getting ready for 8th grade.  We were in the "exploratory phase"... trying to figure out if we could pull off high school at home.  Fast forward one year, and our high school journey is days away from officially beginning.  Not panicking.

Two books have rocked my world this spring.  First, I read, What Colleges Don't Tell You (And Other Parents Don't Want You To Know) by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross.  While the book is written for older high schoolers and their parents - those closer to the college acceptance maze - most of the advice is geared to those who got themselves in gear much earlier on.  I was so glad to be reading this book before high school even started.  Wissner-Gross's advice is amazing.  She's a professional "packager" of high school students, and shares her extensive experience with her readers.  It's practical, logical, and although lofty at times, completely do-able.  You must read this book if you are serious about getting your child into the college of their choice.

The second book, What High Schools Don't Tell You (And Other Parents Don't Want You To Know) was written in response to the first book.  The subtitle of the books is "Create a Long-Term Plan for Your 7th to 10th Grader for Getting into the Top Colleges" and, as promised, it gives the reader baby steps to follow in order to set your student up for a top-shelf admission package.  Don't be dismayed by the title; you don't have to have set your eyes on the Ivy League for this book to be meaningful.  Following the steps proposed by Wissner-Gross will make any student with good grades (not perfect - good) and decent test scores more appealing to selective schools.

While these books were not written specifically for homeschoolers (in fact, she doesn't even mention homeschooling anywhere within either book) they will be invaluable to you as a homeschooling parent.  We play the roles of teacher, coach, guidance counselor and parent (plus many others too diverse to name!) so we must be informed of the rigors of the college admission process.  It's our job.  What High Schools Don't Tell You will be $15 well spent.