This past summer, while I was still trying to overcome last year’s homeschool mom burnout, I got an email about reviewing a new product for homeschoolers from Dave Ramsey, Foundations in Personal Finance: Homeschool Edition. I let the email sit in my inbox for a week or two because, while it sounded like something that would benefit Brianna, I didn’t want anything else on my plate. I didn’t want anything else that I would have to teach.
After almost deleting the email, I did a little research. What I found indicated that the 4-disc DVD set could be watched independently by the student. The short, workbook lessons were designed to be completed by the student while watching the short 15-minute DVD segments.
It wouldn’t require a lot of extra work from me. Sounds good.
I’ve reviewed a lot of products here on WUHS and I always try to post honest, thoughtful, balanced reviews because it all boils down to a matter of taste – what we loved may not work for your family; what we didn’t care for may be just what you’re looking for. For that reason, I try to avoid making sweeping, generalized statements that would apply to all homeschooling families.
So, this is a first for me.
I don’t think any American high school student should graduate without completing this course.
It’s incredible! I had planned to watch a few segments – not the entire course – with Brianna so that I could evaluate the program for review. Now, I won’t let her watch them without me. I’m learning as much as she is and only wishing I’d learned it at her age!
The videos are recorded sessions of Dave Ramsey teaching at what appears to be a college. The audience is mostly students, but there are a lot of parents in attendance, as well. Dave is engaging, funny, and just plain entertaining as he takes often complex concepts and makes them easily understandable.
If you’ve ever gone through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course (I haven’t), you’ll probably find a lot of the same concepts, such as the 7 Baby Steps to financial peace. The course covers:
- Saving and Investing
- Credit and Debt
- Financial Responsibility and Money Management
- Insurance/Risk Management and Income/Careers
Each DVD segment is only about 15 minutes long and the workbook is used in conjunction with the videos, offering fill-in-the-blank note-taking, along with extra tidbits of information in the sidebars.
It’s not unusual for us to go through two or three sessions at a time simply because we’re enjoying watching them.
Also included in the workbook are “before and after” questions to answer, well, before and after watching each unit. These sections are basically for gaining an understanding of what you know – or what you think you know – then, reinforcing what you’ve learned after the unit.
There is also a review section at the end of each chapter which includes vocabulary (there’s a glossary in the back of the workbook), matching, multiple-choice, and short answer questions to test the student’s knowledge on what he or she has learned.
In addition to the DVDs, there is also a teacher’s guide on CD-ROM, which includes:
- A Getting Started guide
- Pre- and post-tests
- Three assessments for each chapter
- Unit tests, final exam and answers keys
- Additional forms that you might want to use during the course
- Lesson plans for either a 45- or 90-day syllabus
Foundations in Personal Finance makes an excellent high-school economics course. Because this curriculum is designed for high school students, Dave offers his unique perspective on the savings and spending choices they’ll face. For example, the amount he suggests having as an emergency fund is different for students than for adults. He also doesn’t encourage investing for kids until they’ve saved for other big expenses in their lives, such as college.
The course is available from Dave Ramsey’s website for $99, which includes the 4-disc DVD set, the teacher’s guide on CD, and one student workbooks. Additional student books can be purchased for $12.49.
This course has already changed Brianna’s and my outlook on saving and spending. I’ve been trying to get my husband to sit down and watch it with us, but you know how it can be finding time for that. We may just take a weekend soon and watch the whole thing because I really want him to see it, too.
I can only imagine the difference this kind of course might have made in the early years of our marriage and even our current outlook on saving and spending. I want my kids to avoid some of the financial mistakes that we made. That’s why each of them will be required to watch this course before they graduate from our homeschool.
I don’t think it will take much arm-twisting, though, because it’s as entertaining as it is educational.