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Homeschooling with Beyond Personal Finance

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Homeschooling with Beyond Personal Finance

Unlocking Future Success: Beyond Personal Finance

I was compensated for my time reviewing this product/service, writing this review,
but this is my honest opinion and facts I have found about the curriculum. 

Homeschooling offers the unique opportunity to tailor education to the specific needs of each child. This is especially critical for families with special needs teens and tweens. Finding a curriculum that not only educates but also empowers these young learners can be challenging. That’s where Beyond Personal Finance comes in, offering a revolutionary approach to teaching financial literacy and life skills. Our family was blessed to find this curriculum and use the knowledge to teach our older two boys. 

Note- while reading this article you will find both the aspect I was grateful this curriculum provided and our family’s feedback/reasoning we appreciated these aspects. 

Why Beyond Personal Finance?

Unlike traditional financial literacy programs, Beyond Personal Finance is designed to help teens and tweens envision their futures over an extended period. This curriculum provides a hands-on, engaging way to learn about personal finance by allowing students to design their future lives. They can see how every choice—from career paths to lifestyle decisions—impacts their financial well-being over time. This long-term perspective is crucial, as it mirrors real-life decision-making more closely than a short-term, one-year financial plan. 

For our family we loved this personalized approach, helping our boys to see the reality of how to actually do these things first hand even if it was fictional in some aspects, it was also real in that they got to see first hand the realities of how to control their finances.

Adaptability for Special Needs Learners

At the time of writing this recommendation my oldest just turned 18, and with the roller coaster of events we have dealt with the past few years, we are getting a later start than my 14 year old who alongside his brother is also completing Beyond Personal Finance.

What our family appreciates is that Beyond Personal Finance is uniquely suited for special needs learners due to its flexible and interactive nature. Here’s how families can adapt the curriculum to fit their specific needs: these are tried tips by our family:

Pacing and Flexibility

The curriculum is designed to be self-paced, allowing students to take the time they need to grasp complex concepts. This is particularly beneficial for special needs students who may require more time to process information. 

This was also one of the biggest reasons we loved this curriculum. It is why I listed it first! There are some concepts that for my 18 year old that took longer than to understand because of his processing disorder. But as my son said, “I am glad this isn’t real life or I would be in trouble.” 

Visual and Hands-On Learning

With engaging, hands-on activities and visual aids, the curriculum caters to various learning styles. This multi-sensory approach can help special needs learners better understand and retain financial concepts.

My 18 year old really learns best by a hands on approach (kinesthetic learning), and my 14 year old is the same in some aspects, but really better by reading things. So having the variance to allow them to each learn from the way they do best is another reason I recommend this curriculum.  

Real-Life Application

By simulating real-life financial decisions and their consequences, students can connect theoretical knowledge to practical applications. This concrete experience is invaluable for special needs teens and tweens, making abstract concepts more accessible.

We all know that as adults, we are on a deadline with our financial responsibilities. Like if we purchase a car on credit, we have to be sure we are making the payment when it is due or else we lose that car. Or if we are renting an apartment or making a house payment, we lose our place to live if we don’t make the payments when they are due. This was a great conversation we had to provide an understanding of the way things worked, and the realities of the troubles that life can throw at them. They also had a real life crisis as our family was hit with medical trouble with their 8 year old brother’s two brain surgeries this past year. This really did take a huge financial hit over the past 2 years, especially but even more so this past 4 months. With the help of this curriculum and the real life application it provided to our real life situations, they were able to see what happens if you are in different situations

Beyond Personal Finance

Customizable Content

Families can modify the curriculum to emphasize areas that are particularly relevant or challenging for their child. This ensures that the learning experience is tailored to each student’s strengths and needs.

This was a great perk we found so useful, with my 18 year old now working his own jobs and trying to help with the family’s finances; he was able to hone in on aspects of the curriculum that applied more to our family. We were also able to have important talks about the realities of cards and taxes, and help him understand the dos and don’t of renting an apartment, the upkeep, and the rules.

Why It Works

Empowerment Through Choice

Beyond Personal Finance

By allowing students to make choices about their future and see the long-term impact of these decisions, Beyond Personal Finance teaches them the value of informed decision-making. This empowerment is particularly important for special needs students, who often benefit from understanding the cause-and-effect relationship between their actions and outcomes.

My boys both expressed how they felt more prepared after the lessons they have completed, because for the way that they lessons were explained. The cause and effect – aspect that the curriculum authors provided were really thought out well and helpful in teaching the lessons.

Safe Learning Environment

Using simulated money, students can make financial decisions without the risk of real-world consequences. This safe environment encourages experimentation and learning from mistakes, which is a crucial part of the learning process.

The curriculum provided an opportunity for my boys to do some additional research which was helpful in their understanding of why their decisions in this simulation can have serious consequences.

One such fact that my boys both agreed I should tell other is: The current state of the U.S. economy has led to a notable rise in bankruptcy filings. In 2023, there was a 16.8% increase in total bankruptcy filings compared to the previous year, with the annual total reaching 452,990 cases. This trend has continued into 2024, with the first quarter alone showing a 16.2% increase in filings compared to the same period in 2023​ (United States Courts)​​ (CUInsight)​.

These increases are observed across both business and personal bankruptcies. For instance, Chapter 7 filings, which are primarily for personal bankruptcies, saw an 11.73% rise from 2023 to 2024, indicating that more individuals are struggling with financial distress​ (BankruptcyWatch)​. Additionally, Chapter 13 filings, which allow individuals to restructure their debts, also increased by 6.07% in the same period​ (CUInsight)​.

This upward trend in bankruptcies is reflective of ongoing economic challenges, including rising interest rates and inflation, which continue to strain household budgets and business operations. The geographic disparity in filings also highlights regional economic pressures, with densely populated and high-cost living areas like California and New York experiencing higher numbers of filings​ (ABI)​.

These statistics underscore the importance of financial literacy and planning, as provided by programs like Beyond Personal Finance, which can help individuals make informed decisions and potentially avoid financial pitfalls in the future.

Focus on Quality of Life

Beyond Personal Finance helps students understand that the quality of their lives often depends on the quality of their choices. By experiencing this through the curriculum, they are better prepared to make thoughtful, informed decisions in the real world.

By providing a flexible, engaging, and practical approach to the financial literacy that Beyond Personal Finance provides, the curriculum empowers special needs teens and tweens to design a future they can be proud of. It teaches them that the quality of their lives is closely linked to the quality of their choices, a lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives. My 14 year old said, “Well it is a good thing I am going to be a veterinarian, they can make good money.”

Long-Term Perspective

Unlike other programs that may only focus on short-term financial literacy, Beyond Personal Finance emphasizes the importance of planning for the future. This long-term perspective helps students see the big picture and understand the lasting impact of their choices.

My parents just recently retired and are while they are holding their own they have been asking my husband and me a lot of questions about things they are not understanding. My 14 year old loves to help like his parents, so he actually went into his Beyond Personal Finance curriculum to get some answers. The section provided about retirement was helpful and layed out well in explaining things that he was able to help his grandparents with the teen understanding it provided.  

The Downsides

The approach that Beyond Personal Finance takes is really a great start to helping to prepare teens for real life. With that said there are a few things that we found are missing from the overall curriculum. The curriculum doesn’t seem to cover more advanced financial concepts like investments, tax strategies, and estate planning, which could be essential for students aiming to pursue higher education or careers in finance. 

While these may not be something that a teen needs to step out into adulthood, they are aspects that they will experience or want to get involved in, and to have them even briefly providing an understanding of other things so they know to take courses that do teach these things.

The second aspect that we found would be helpful if they added more parental resources or training for parents to effectively guide and support their children through complex financial topics and so that they may be struggling with themselves. This is particularly important for special needs learners who might require more hands-on assistance and parental guidance. I am pretty resourceful so I was able to reach out to some peers to get the answers needed to explain the concepts that needed more support.

Final Thoughts

Beyond Personal Finance is more than just a curriculum; it’s a tool for life, truly setting families up with the overall beginning stages of sending their teen out into the world with the basic knowledge of how to be responsible with their financial choices. It provides special needs teens and tweens with the knowledge and skills they need to design their futures thoughtfully and successfully. By offering a flexible, interactive, and long-term approach to financial literacy, Beyond Personal Finance stands out as the ideal choice for homeschooling families looking to prepare their children for a financially sound future.

Explore how Beyond Personal Finance can be tailored to your family’s needs and start empowering your teen or tween to make informed, impactful decisions today!

This innovative curriculum empowers teens and tweens to design their future by making informed financial decisions, all within a flexible framework that can be tailored to your family’s unique needs. With interactive simulations and practical applications, your child will gain a deep understanding of how their choices impact their financial well-being. Explore how Beyond Personal Finance can enhance your homeschooling experience and prepare your child for a successful future.

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