Finance isn’t taught in schools.
Why is that?
I don’t know the answer for sure, but the fact remains that 99% of American adults agree finance should be taught in the classroom, and it’s still an almost non-existent subject. Financial journalist, Dan Kadlec, pointed out a few reasons why finance isn’t taught in schools 1, including:
- Only one in five teachers feels qualified to lead a personal finance class
- We don’t have enough instructors to teach finance classes (see reason #1)
- Personal finance isn’t part of the ACT or SAT – if it’s not tested it’s not taught
- Education is up to the states, not the feds, and each state has different ideas
- There isn’t much agreement as to which finance concepts would be taught
It’s hard to pinpoint the real reason personal finance isn’t taught in schools, but the fact remains: financial education for children is the responsibility of the parents. This is another problem, because if most teachers don’t feel qualified to teach finance classes, how do you think parents feel?
According to a 2012 study, 80% of U.S. adults say they could use help with financial questions 2. That number isn’t getting any lower.
When parents are bad with money, the cure-all is typically: “go to college and get good grades so you can get a good job,” but this alone doesn’t solve the problem. According to doctor and writer, Sanj Katyal, MD, most doctors have no clue what they’re doing with their money 3. It’s common for someone who isn’t doing well financially (and didn’t go to college) to think the answer for their children is simply to go to college.
There is nothing wrong with college, but we have to prepare our kids to handle thief finances before they leave for college. Unless they’re going for a finance degree, college won’t teach your children about money either. They could end up with a high income and no clue how to handle it (just look at the typical NFL or NBA player).
All too often, money is a taboo subject. As children, we’re taught to never discuss our personal finances, which is why kids know absolutely nothing about their parents financial situation. This leads to adults who know nothing about finances in general. And that’s where most people stop.
It doesn’t have to end there. You may be a parent who feels inadequate to teach your kids about money, but you’re fully capable. I’ll explain more on this in a moment.
We can equip our children to win with money.
Who am I and Why Should You Listen?
My name is Kalen Bruce. My wife and I were $24,000 in consumer debt when she handed the finances over to me. She was stressed out and I wasn’t helping. My spending was out of control, and I couldn’t see it on paper since she was the one paying the bills. I had been raised on credit cards and bad decisions, and it was showing heavily in our finances.
I was in the exact same situation many adults find themselves in. Clueless.
When I finally realized that I was spending more money than we had, I decided to become a serious student of finances. I got a few extra jobs, and we started paying off our debt. Then I decided to follow my dream of joining the United States Air Force, but there was just one problem: we still had too much debt. That’s when I got extremely serious about paying off our debt. I got a few more jobs, and within a two-year period, we were debt-free.
While climbing out of debt for two years, I read hundreds of finance books and completely changed my perspective. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about money to having a solid plan for leaving a legacy to my children.
Countless finance books, classes, and seminars later, I’m successful with my finances. I’ve been blogging and teaching about money since 2013, and then I realized something…
I was spending all my time helping people fix their money problems, instead of going to the root of the issue. That’s when it hit me. If our children knew how to handle their money, we wouldn’t be helping them dig their way out of debt in 10 or 15 years.
Why I Created Freedom Sprout
I created Freedom Sprout to fill a void. I’ve heard many conversations about how “they don’t teach finance in schools.” I’ve been part of that conversation too many times. It took years for me to stop complaining about it and do something about it. We have five kids, so we’ll have to get five adults into the world with a solid knowledge of finances. It’s time for us, not the government, to do something about it.
That’s why I created Freedom Sprout.
Freedom – 1c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous (a burden).
We’re breaking the generational curses of financial bondage.
Sprout – 2: to send out new growth.
Financial freedom is often a new concept to families.
There is a serious lack of financial education for our kids. I noticed it even more when I started doing research in preparation for starting Freedom Sprout. Do a quick search for books on financial education for children. Go ahead, go do a search. Back so soon? Did you realize that in the hundreds of thousands of finances books, there were hardly any on teaching our children about money? I didn’t know that until I did the same search.
I think you understand the need for something like Freedom Sprout.
The Future of Freedom Sprout
This is our ultimate goal and vision:
To sprout a future of financial freedom for 1,000,000 children.
We will accomplish this through our children’s finance course, and through our blog.
We are designing a finance course that encompasses all of the financial areas kids need to understand. Don’t worry, it will start with a mini course for parents to get up to speed. There will be videos for adults to teach their children, as well as videos for children themselves.
Freedom Sprout is founded on Christian-based, Biblical teaching. The course and information is valuable to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs, but I want to be up front. I am a Christian and I use God’s principles for handling money, but you don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate our course and blog.
This is growing and it’s going to be huge. If you’re interested in being part of it, let us know, and we’ll see how you can help.
- Kadlec, D. (2013, October 13). Why We Want—But Can’t Have—Personal Finance in Schools. Time.
- Harris Interactive Inc. (2012). 2012 Consumer Financial Literary Survey
- Katyal, S. (2015, January 31). Most doctors are financially illiterate. Kevin MD.