Foundations in Personal Finance (Review of Dave Ramsey's Homeschool Curriculum)

Earlier this summer I received an email from Dave Ramsey's public relations coordinator telling me about Dave's personal finance curriculum Foundations in Personal Finance. Since Jaden is starting high school this year, I jumped at the chance to do a review of the curriculum.

I also asked at the same time if I could hold a giveaway so one of my readers could receive the curriculum for free as well.

*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED *** Foundations in Personal Finance Curriculum Giveaway

The winner of this giveaway will receive one copy of Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition Homeschool Pack. The giveaway is open through Sunday, August 28 at midnight Central Time after which time I'll randomly select a winner. Sorry, but the giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries, do the following:

  1. Leave a separate comment if you subscribe to Five J's by email and/or RSS.
  2. Leave a separate comment if you follow Five J's on Facebook.

Curriculum Review

Foundations in Personal Finance includes a set of 4 DVDs, a Teacher's Guide CD-ROM, and a student workbook.

The curriculum is divided into 12 lessons and includes over 14 hours of Dave teaching on video. Foundations in Personal Finance is intended to be taught as a one-semester course (1/2 credit for high school).

Each DVD covers one unit in the following subjects:

  1. Saving and Investing
  2. Credit and Debt
  3. Financial Responsibility and Money Management
  4. Insurance/Risk Management and Income/Careers

The Teacher's Guide CD-ROM includes syllabi for both 45-day and 90-day courses. (We're personally following the 45-day syllabus, doing the class 3 times a week for about an hour a day). The CD-ROM also includes tests, answer keys, and additional activities that coordinate with the lessons.

The 224-page student workbook includes fill-in-the-blanks that the student completes while watching the DVD lessons. It also includes lesson reviews, personal finance forms, and Ask Dave case studies.

You can see samples from the DVD, Teacher's Guide, and student workbook.

What the Curriculum is Like

If you've ever attended a Dave Ramsey LIVE! event or his Financial Peace University classes, you'll find that the lessons are taught in a similar manner, where Dave is teaching a crowd of students of all ages. However, throughout the lessons, the DVD cuts away to added content where Dave applies the concepts to teens.

Throughout the curriculum, students not only learn about debt, credit, investing, and other important financial concepts, but they also learn about the Baby Steps, which are the backbone of Dave's teaching. From the very first lesson, students learn the 7 Baby Steps. Case studies in the tests even offer situations which the students need to answer in light of the Baby Steps.

Pros

  • Dave presents the content so that it's fun and very understandable. Students don't get lost amid enigmatic financial terms.
  • Very little (if any) teacher prep is required.
  • Tests and assessments are provided for you. And often the tests don't just rehash exactly the same wording from the lessons; students must understand the concept to answer the questions correctly.
  • Students don't just learn about basic financial concepts. They learn how to take control of their present and future personal finances and avoid debt through understanding the Baby Steps. You might say that Dave also teaches a philosophy of personal finance.
  • Since the DVD part of the curriculum is non-consumable, you can used it with multiple children. (Additional workbooks are only $12.50.)

Cons

  • The curriculum activities were originally written for a classroom of students, so some of them can't be done easily in a homeschool setting.
  • The majority of the DVD content comes from Dave's Financial Peace University DVDs, so there is not a lot of difference if you already own the FPU curriculum. (The workbook, however, is written specifically for this high school curriculum.)
  • Some families may not like the hard-line approach Dave takes about avoiding debt.

Do I recommend the curriculum?

Absolutely! We've only just started Unit 2, but I'm so incredibly impressed with it. Dave makes the most intimidating financial concepts understandable, and my children are learning so much. And better yet, my kids are learning Dave's Baby Steps, which will help keep them on the right road financially now and in the future.

Disclosure: I received this curriculum for free in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are entirely my own.

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Comments

  1. Paula says

    Love Dave Ramsey! I credit his book for enabling me to stay home with my kids; my husband and I paid off his credit card and school loan debt early in our marriage because of his philosophy.

  2. Cassie Patel says

    I just found your site this weekend,YAY, I have enjoyed exploring it. What a joy to wake up to this article about dave Ramsey. We love him and we live debt free because of his inspirational books. Thanks for sharing this great info about his homeschool curriculum.

  3. says

    My Husband and I have been debt free for years and would love to pass on the desire for that to our children with a great curriuclum like this one- thanks for the chance to win it :)

  4. Lucinda says

    I WOULD LOVE TO WIN THIS FOR MY HIGHSCHOOLER (10TH GRADE) WE'VE DONE THE FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY CLASS, AND HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ALONG THESE LINES FOR OUR KIDS!

  5. Tristian Buckner says

    I think it would be good to learn about how to manage money before I get older and have to learn the hard way

  6. says

    I subscribed by email – I haven't done that before and just realized that I was missing a lot of good reviews and such :) Your resources look very helpful!

  7. says

    I have two high school students this year. I would love to be able to use this for them! Hopefully they will avoid some of the mistakes my husband and I have made over the years! ;-)