As home-based education becomes more popular, and students test higher, connections are being recognized between financial education and financial success.
In the past 40 years, home-based education has grown from near extinction in the US during the 1970s to America’s fastest-growing educational trend at just over 2 million students, according to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). And, along with the increase in popularity, homeschool families have also seen higher academic performance from their students.
“The SAT 2014 test scores of college-bound homeschool students were higher than the national average of all college-bound seniors that same year,” wrote Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., in a blog for NHERI.
Commenting on the NHERI study, Andrew Mullins, federal relations deputy director at Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), wrote, “While there is definitely more to successful academics than standardized test performances, 2014’s SAT scores demonstrate that today’s homeschooled students are among the best and brightest students in the United States. It is little wonder, then, that the popularity of homeschooling has exploded in recent years.”
While this is great news for home-based educators, can a similar connection be made between family finances and the general profiles of homeschooling families?
As it turns out, homeschooling is a sought-after option by a high percentage of parents working in professional fields. Data published by College@Home revealed the top three professions of homeschooling fathers. Accountant or engineer comprised 17.3 percent; professor, doctor or lawyer accounted for 16.9 percent; and 10.7 percent of homeschooling dads are small-business owners. These professionals are among some of the top wage-earners in America.
Homeschooling families also recognize the ability to instill financial literacy in their children, a subject largely ignored by traditional public school environments. As CNBC headlined last year, U.S. schools are getting failing grades for financial literacy education. According to biennial Survey of the States by the Council for Economic Education, the number of states that require high school students to complete a course in economics dropped over the previous two years, and mandates for personal finance education in the upper grades remain stagnant.
The connection between homeschooling and financial stability is compelling for many families and supporters. After all, a commitment to rearing children in an academically enriching environment includes the ability to teach them Christian values, including financial responsibility.
One hidden benefit of financial stability within the family is the drive to foster financially stable kids, according to personal wellness advocate Dana Hall McCain, Writing for iMom. And the children of homeschooling parents may benefit well after their schooling days are done.
“Kids who grow up in a family culture of financial literacy and accountability have a greater chance of being financially stable in their own adult lives,” she continued.
The importance of teaching students basic financial principles has long been promoted by organizations such as HSLDA, stating that, with it’s life-long benefits, money management is one of the most important things you will ever teach your children.
If you are looking for resources to help keep your homeschooled students financially on track, Teach Them Diligently, has guides for beginners as well as for high-school students. You can also sign up for resources specifically for homeschool families at eccu.org/homeschool, including banking options ECCU offers to help homeschooling families align their faith with their finances.
For many ECCU member families, homeschooling offers plenty of return on investment: educationally, financially and spiritually. Weigh in below with your comments and questions so our community can explore the benefits of financial stability together.