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#4 What you DON'T want the kids learning at school…and what you do!

School.JPGContinuing the report from the Money WI$E Women Conference in February, Number Four in our ‘short list’ of influences on our kids sense of money is what they learn, and don’t learn, at school.

 I don’t know about your state, but in Washington State the “No child left behind” effort has lead to serious testing to see if the kids are doing well. Sounded good, but the unintended consequence is teachers who are very test-focused. Anything that is critically important but will not impact their test scores has trouble getting traction.

Strategy 1: As long as you can, influence the kids your kids hang around. Your kids are learning from friends and the families of friends about conspicuous consumption. About having the very latest toys and gadgets, without saving up for it first. And once they are into high school, about getting a job to have a car and then having to work a lot of hours just to cover insurance and the ever-greater costs of gasoline.

Strategy 2: Gently use the challenges your kid’s friends (and their families) as object lessons. You have to be careful here, but sometimes the teachable moments come from close at hand.

Strategy 3: Volunteer to teach a Junior Achievement or like program in a nearby school.

If you are able to do so, volunteer to teach a session at your school. Junior Achievement has some great programs that are easy to teach. And if you are talking about grades 1-3, absolutely any adult that enjoys young kids could teach this.

By volunteering, you take the heat off the teachers to develop or find curriculum.

Strategy 4: And if you are not ready to volunteer yourself, perhaps you can contact your bank, credit union, CPA firm or stock brokerage and ask for someone to come teach at the school.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.