Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
This summer finance became something big in our house – both of my boys started working. My younger son developed his own lawn mowing business in our neighborhood and my oldest son got a job working on a local horse farm. I didn’t see this coming but I knew that now we needed to start learning some lessons in financial responsibility. So you can imagine how excited I was to get my hands on Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition from PEM LIFE. We received access to the program for a six month period.
This program is designed to be used over the course of a high school semester. There are two ways to use this program. As the parent you can choose to become the instructor using the many resources that are included within this course. My kids chose the second option: working their way through the program independently. There were plenty of lectures for them to listen to before then moving on to assignments and quizzes. With one boy who is very driven and independent in his learning and another that requires some prodding now and then, this was a good opportunity to see if they could perhaps encourage and motivate one another along the way.
Once we received our login information we got right to exploring the dashboard which I could see was definitely overflowing with tools and resources for our kids to really get an understanding of, for themselves, financial literacy and finance management.
My boys downloaded the Personal Economic Model, Student Edition, pdf that was 150+ pages of information covering I imagine, just about everything that there is to know about finance and management. Did I mention this is also a Biblically based course? So there is lots of us to learn about what God has to say about this topic too. I admit I had to peek in on this course myself because, I fear I am definitely not very well educated in this area myself – And what is the best part of homeschool? It’s learning right alongside your kids!
Something really neat they included for this review was a Participants tab; here is where members of the Review Crew using this were able to come together to interact as a group. As the course progresses there are opportunities for students to respond to various discussion questions in the group. It can be challenging right now finding ways for our kids to learn with others so this, I believe, is a wonderful addition to the course. An opportunity to learn and experience others perspectives on the material. Mine however just did not feel secure enough in their understanding to immerse themselves in discussion. Not yet anyway.
The best way to not get overwhelmed with all of the materials available in this program, is to simply start with Unit One. There are eighteen units in all; from the very beginning our kids are reminded of the importance of this information for both now and their future. As we begin, we are shown the flow of money and what the personal economic model actually does. A big bonus is that as you listen to the lectures there are also lots of visual aids so you can see – Since we tend to NEED those visuals, these are great for helping us along.
I love how the videos speak to the value of pleasure in your work. I think of how we are told in the scriptures to do all things for the glory of God. I often am telling all of my children how good it is to find a work that you love. Perhaps my younger son has been blessed in that he has found a love and an amazing group of mentors eager to help him get there. My oldest however, he is still struggling to find that thing he loves and can turn into a career. As he works through these lectures though and sees with his eyes the importance of it all, perhaps this alone is inspiring him to seek. Also, there is an instructors guide that accompanies each unit – Wonderful for gaining a brief understanding of the things being taught and then notes to summarize it all.
Interactive Resources – here alone you could spend hours! I think my boy really got curious here. Looking up various annual incomes, mortgage costs, loans, general living expenses, tithing, interest rates… There was plenty of time spent here getting a rather realistic view of what life looks like and fitting it in to see. What an experience for our youth to have. And what a way to see and set some life goals.
I have always believed that our kids learn so much more when they understand how what they are learning applies to their life. Maybe not the life they are living right now, but also that is to come. As we work through this, I am amazed at all they are learning. So much that I did not know myself (how I wish I had a course like this when I was younger!) but that matters so much – When do you pay cash and when do you finance? What is debt and what is it not? Temerament and finances – this was quite revealing – as you complete your own individual communication strengths profile, you really see:
How do you solve problems
How do you process information
How do you manage change
How do you see rules
There is definitely some heavy stuff to be contemplated throughout this course. While I am sure there was quite a bit of this content that was over my son’s head, I also do believe that there is a great deal that he has gotten out of the material. When he first began this course, I asked him to remember that this was an opportunity. Perhaps some of it would make little, maybe no, sense at all, but perhaps other aspects of this will give you understanding and vision. There is always something we can learn from every experience if we are willing to be taught. Certainly, here are a lifetime of lessons to be learned. I am grateful for having access to this!
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Don’t forget to click on the link below though so you can read what other members of the Crew had to say about how they used this course in their family. With so much flexibility in the program, this is an amazing chance to really get financially wise!
“THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRESENT FINANCIAL POSITION. ONE IS TO FIND BETTER PRODUCTS, WHICH MAY POTENTIALLY PAY HIGHER RATES OF RETURN, BUT WHICH OFTEN REQUIRE MORE RISK. THE SECOND IS TO BE MORE EFFICIENT, BY AVOIDING UNNECESSARY LOSSES. THERE IS MORE TO BE GAINED BY AVOIDING THE LOSSES, THAN IN TRYING TO PICK THE WINNERS!”
Don Blanton | Founder, PEM LIFE