Understanding the nuances of personal finance, budgeting and credit scores can be a challenge for many adults. Despite the importance the information holds for the rest of our lives, we aren’t properly educated about it in school and many people learn these important lessons the hard way.
We can help to change this cycle by educating our children about finances. TD offers tools and resources to help support financial literacy, including a Smart Money Toolkit for Parents. They have categorized the various learning skills by age, making it easy for parents to use for all of their children. This education needs to take place in schools as well.
TD released a new research report, State of Financial Education in Canada, as part of TD’s ongoing support for the National Financial Literacy Strategy for Canada, which calls for a concerted and sustained effort by all sectors to improve Canadians’ financial literacy. The report highlights the need for financial education both in the school system and at home with parents (the report found overwhelming support – 95 per cent – for parents to also play a significant or very significant role in providing financial education to their children).
Parents and educators share the main responsibility for the financial education of children, but more work should be done to help teachers develop the skills they need to confidently teach it in schools across the country, according to a new report on the state of financial education in Canada. The report, commissioned by TD and prepared by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, says a key step to improving students’ financial literacy is to work toward a common approach and strategy that would apply wherever students learn in Canada.
The report summarizes the state of financial education in all 10 provinces and identifies opportunities to better enable teachers through professional development. It also notes that, while there is increasing interest in financial education following the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the focus now needs to be on translating that interest into meaningful action, starting with empowering teachers in the form of training to help ensure a consistent level of instruction across the country.
So how do we implement these lessons into classrooms? Resources such as teacher training and mentors for teachers would be helpful. Making financial education a part of younger grades can help instill these important skills at an earlier age to help children develop good financial habits from early on.
“This report demonstrates the need for everyone to collaborate in strengthening the financial literacy of students, including parents and teachers,” said Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader. “By working together, we can provide young Canadians with good money management and financial decision making skills today, that will endure into adulthood.”
While I am hopeful that financial education in the classrooms will improve, I am not willing to wait for this to happen. I will use the Smart Money Toolkit for Parents to help my children learn the skills they need. Providing them with an allowance, opening bank accounts and setting up savings accounts are all ways to help them learn the skills they need.
Additional tools and resources from TD, including a family resource centre, are available at www.td.com/financialeducation
I was compensated for this post, but all opinions remain my own.