Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: teens

Originally aired as a Facebook Live, this video will give you some great insights and ideas for how to teach your children to succeed financially. Linda Carlson and Vere Reynolds from Evangelical Christian Credit Union are part of the Homeschool Financial Counselor Team here at Teach Them Diligently, and they share some incredibly helpful ideas for preparing your children to be financially prepared as they get older.


Giving Teens the Freedom (and Guidance) to Succeed Financially

VIDEO:  Giving Teens the Freedom (and Guidance) to Succeed Financially

In this conversation, Linda and Vere cover the following topics:

  • How to Help them Build a budget
  • How to Help them Prioritize spending
  • How to Help them Gather their tools  (Understand the Basics of Opening and Managing a Bank Account)
  • How to Help them Plan Ahead
  • How To Help Them Get familiar with Credit


Sign up for the FREE Homeschool Financial Counselor Program to make sure you don’t miss any additional helpful content about teaching your children how to handle their finances.

Check out some of the other articles that have been published as part of the homeschool financial counselor program.

Learn more about the ECCU Start Young Program and how that tool can be invaluable to your family as you teach your children solid financial principles.

Linda Carlson also did an interview with Leslie about Teaching Your Children about Money. Check that out here.


Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) stands with homeschooling families with offers and resources that are specifically designed to benefit your unique lifestyle. 


Make your plans to join us at Teach Them Diligently Conventions this spring because we’ll have a special track of sessions that are all about finances, money savings, and financial education.


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The Key to Teaching Your Kids About Money… is to Start Young

If you’ve wondered whether it’s too early to start teaching your kids about money, consider this excerpt from Let’s learn about money! Teaching young children about money, an article published by Penn State Extension:

As children grow and start to make choices, they learn that people, things, and money have value. These concepts form the foundation for understanding the importance of spending, sharing, and saving.

In other words, it’s never to early to understand money.

Start Young Road Map

At Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU), we couldn’t agree more. Our conviction is that earlier is better to begin developing not only an understanding of money, but also the biblical values of generosity and stewardship. It’s why we created Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts and the FREE Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids to help you get started.

And because this is for you and your kids, the digital guide is designed to capture and keep their attention as they learn.

The fun, free and downloadable Start Young Road Map includes money management ideas for kids ages 0-7. The digital guide is packed with practical ideas that you can use in everyday life to introduce your kids to a foundation of concepts to earn, give, save and spend.

For example:

  • How they can earn money in small ways
  • Ideas for sharing to teach giving
  • How to build good savings habits
  • Using everyday events to teach financial foundations

And the Start Young Road Map is just the beginning, as it helps to get your creative juices flowing. For example, here’s another idea inspired from the guide.

To get your kids excited about vacation and make saving fun, create a “Vacation Fun Fund” jar that everyone in the family can add to during the year and cash in at vacation time. You can also work money concepts into your kids’ imaginary games, like playing pretend restaurant or store. The ideas are endless.

And, if you have kids of various ages you want to train to handle money more wisely, there’s a portion of Start Young Road Map dedicated to pre-teens and a section for teens as well.

To get started teaching your kids about money, follow this link for free access to Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids

About the Author:


In 28 years of marriage, Rachel Soto and her husband David have welcomed six sons into their family. Those boys gave her 15 years of homeschool experience; she taught them through high school. With the boys off to college or on their own now, she returned to work at Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU). When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, reading, coffee dates with friends and even an occasional nap.





Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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From One Mom’s Teen to Another

What makes a school day perfect for your teen? Other than world domination, homeschooled teens really don’t want all that much . . . or do they? My son has a few ideas. He is sharing 5 things your teen wishes you’d change in your homeschool. See if you agree? 

Maybe you can learn alongside me as we continue the school year!

~Allie O.

With organization comes empowerment. ~ Lynda Peterson


It’s not that we aren’t grateful. But we are growing up. While we certainly need your guidance in our lives, we don’t need you to tell us what to do at 9:00 a.m., and 9:07 a.m., and 9:15 a.m.

You have been training us to manage ourselves and be responsible for the last 13 – 17 years.  You have equipped us with spiritual and physical tools.

What better way to allow us to apply those skills than to do so in a safe and controlled environment? 

Last year, my mom decided to let me schedule myself. I use Homeschool Manager to schedule one or two weeks out at a time and have kept up with my homeschool, co-op, and dual enrollment classes this way.


As we grow up, our schedules change. It is a wonderful release for me when I’m able to have a steady routine that accommodates things I need and want to do. As long as I do the things that need to happen within the sanctioned time, I am released to schedule them in the order I prefer.

I know Mom likes us all to read aloud together or go on surprise field trips to the beach, but her releasing me to do my school at my pace motivates me.

Where school happens:

In our family we have a ‘school table’ which doubles as the dining room table. Because I have five siblings, this table gets rather loud. In the last year or so my mom has opened up our seating policy and allowed her older teens to do school in another room because we no longer need the accountability of her keeping us on task.


It is possible that Piano Guys at full volume is not your preferred music genre. For some of us, music helps us think, or at least drown out the sibling asking for a snack, wanting to be excused for a bathroom break, wanting to skip math, etc. Maybe asking your teen to put in headphones can be a good compromise.


Sometimes a little pick me up can be very, very nice. It always makes me smile when mom walks in with a cup of coffee for me. Even if your teen doesn’t drink coffee, I am sure that they have something that they enjoy.

Take a moment and bless them. When you do this, the final exam doesn’t seem so bad and that math concept is much more doable. Never underestimate the power of affirming acts and a smile.

As teens we really do love what you do. We may not that vocal about it. We may take you for emotional and relational roller coasters you hadn’t budgeted time for. Even so, we are very glad, and mostly thankful, for everything you do for us.

~Ben O.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.



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Connected Teens, Connected Families

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“Connected Teens, Connected Families”

Parents and Teens learn together in this session. Leah will discuss the most popular social media platforms available for teens. She will cover basic social media principals for teens and their families as well as go over how to set up and use a variety of social media platforms. She will also cover safety issues. This is a fun and engaging session for the family!

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

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Tweens and Saving Money

There’s never really been a good word for kids between the ages of 8–12. There was a time in the early fifties when they were called “subteens.” Flattering, right? Some folks started calling them “‘tween-agers,” and eventually we just settled on “tweens.”

Our struggle to come up with an acceptable term for this group reinforces the idea that 8–12 is kind of a lost age. They don’t require the same kind of constant supervision as young kids, but they don’t have the independence of teenagers.

But this is a pivotal time where kids feel trapped in an awkward transition. They’re learning to relate to peers, adjust to social rules, and develop the skills they’ll need in their teen years. And these skills include money management.


Here are some hands-on tips for giving them a financial jump start.


Start talking to them about banking.

If you don’t have a savings and spending account for your pre-teens, it’s probably time. Learning to manage a bank account is a must. In fact, putting money into a savings account is one of the best habits a tween can pick up. For every $10 they earn, try encouraging them to put $1 into savings.

If you’re curious about savings and spending accounts for your tween, take a look at these new options.


Get them a debit card.

Our world is a lot less reliant on bills and coins. And a debit card prepares your child for money handling in a largely digital world. Think about it this way; when you can control the spending limits and access, a card becomes safer than giving your kids cash—especially when you can set limits on the card.

Debit cards for kids? Yep! You can learn more here.


Help them make online purchases.

Making an online purchase is a fairly common activity. Kids should be as comfortable buying something on Amazon as they are making brick-and-mortar store purchases. Guiding them through this process demystifies this ordinary task.


Teach them how to monitor their account with an app.

Monthly paper bank statements are so 2006. It’s easier than ever to track your account activity. The ability to check in on your account from a mobile app adds a whole new level of security to banking. Your child should be able to monitor their account and their spending habits—and you should, too.

Learn more about mobile banking apps for you and your tween.


Help them make money outside the home.

At this age, they’re ready to start experimenting with work. Why not talk to family, neighbors, and church members about opportunities for doing yard work, babysitting, or helping others with chores? This not only helps them make money to deposit in their account, but it also instills a strong work ethic.


Give your tween a jump start.

You can’t teach the most important lessons in a day; they require consistent involvement and reinforcement. That’s why it’s critical to teach your child smart money managing principles and techniques early.


You want your tween to jump into their teens with boldness. The Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) will equip your child with the tools they need to manage their money effectively while offering you the right amount of visibility into every area. It’s confidence for them—and you!


Check out the Start Young Accounts today, and start preparing your child for their teen years.


Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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Aiming Arrows into Adulthood

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“Aiming Arrows into Adulthood”

As homeschooling parents, how can we prepare our children for adulthood? And how can we prepare our hearts (through prayer and effective communication) to release our kids, into a new season? There’s life after graduation– with college, careers, romance, weddings, and next-generation purpose. Let’s aim and launch our arrows to hit God’s mark!

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We’re Raising Grown Ups

How to Prepare Teenagers for Adulthood

By Carol Topp 

A concerned mother asked my advice concerning her 23-year-old son who was working 60 hours a week for a large accounting firm. “He doesn’t have time to attend Wednesday evening church services,” she said. “What can I do?” I told her as kindly as I could, “You need to stop being a homeschool mom.” Her son was a young, healthy adult pursuing a promising career. It was hard for this mother to let go, but the reality is that there was nothing she could—or should—do to interfere in her adult son’s work schedule.

Micro Managing Our Teenagers

Her question made me wonder if homeschool parents are prone to over-manage our children. We are accustomed to being very involved in their lives, but are we helicopter parents, hovering over our kids, even when they are grown-ups? Perhaps we parent too closely when, instead, we should be using their teenage years to be focused on raising adults.

Joanne Calderwood, homeschool mother of eight children and blogger at,  offers seven signs that you may be micro-managing your teenager.

  • You have to repeat yourself over and over.
  • You help your teen without being asked.
  • You step in before your teen makes a mistake.
  • You make excuses for your teen.
  • You run your teen’s daily schedule of activities.
  • Your teen has no privacy.
  • Your teen is afraid to make a decision without you.

Joanne cautions, “Micromanagement eventually kills the motivation of even the most motivated! If you’ve ever been micromanaged as an adult, you know this well.”

Give Them Wings Not Strings

Authors Dennis Trittin and Arilyn Lawrence (a former homeschool mom), saw many of the same problems that Joanne and I recognized. They saw parents over-controlling their teenagers and continuing that into adulthood. In Parenting for the Launch, they write, “We tie our kids down when we overly enable or control them…they are inhibited rather than equipped. When we fail to relinquish control, (our children) become weak in areas where they need to be strong because we exercised our own muscles in those situations and not theirs.”

Their advice is to give our teenagers wings, not strings. Several practical ways to do that include:

  • If they sleep in, don’t nag and yell.
  • If they spend all their money, don’t bail them out.
  • If they have a conflict, don’t jump in and try to fix it.

The goal of parenting independent teenagers is to incrementally release control and increasingly hand over the reins to our children. Trittin and Lawrence point out that, “Being an adult is hard work. Teens need to feel the weight of hard work incrementally, so when they hit the real world they can step into it gracefully instead of doing a crash and burn.” It’s not wise to give your teenager full control all at once. Start by requiring them to practice life skills they will need as grown-ups. Here are their top suggestions:

Earn Their Own Income and Manage Their Own Money

Discuss with your teenager how they can earn money from a job or, better yet, by starting a micro business. Fifteen-year-old Ethan was thrilled to be making double minimum wage by teaching guitar lessons. His mother was pleased that he was learning how to manage his time and money. My Micro Business for Teens books will help your teenager brainstorm ideas and launch a successful micro business.

Show your teen how to set up a budget, operate a checking account and live with financial principles. Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, offers books, a podcast, YouTube videos and live seminars. He also has a high school curriculum that is video-based, entertaining and informative. Also, have your student prepare their own tax returns (or show them yours). The IRS has an excellent website called Understanding Taxes with simulations of several taxpayers’ tax returns, including teenagers.

Practice Life Skills

There are many life skills that a teenager should be learning including laundry, cooking and cleaning. Children can start doing their own laundry as soon as they are tall enough to reach into the washer and pull out clothes. In Patricia Sprinkle’s book, Children Who Do Too Little, you’ll find a list of appropriate chores for all ages. Cooking is another important life skill. A teenager should learn how to prepare some complete meals. Not only will they learn to feed themselves, they may begin to appreciate your efforts in getting a meal on the table. My nephew, John, understood why his mother was so tired after cooking when he had to prepare a meal from start to finish! No one really likes cleaning, but we all like having a clean house. My daughters and I all learned together how to speed clean a house from Jeff Campbell’s Speed Cleaning books and videos.

Learn Time Management

Give your teenager a planner, calendar or an app for their phone so that they can manage their time and responsibilities. Follow up to see that they are using it and checking their calendars daily. To encourage independence, have your student make their own haircut and dentist appointments. Let them to go to the appointment alone, if it’s realistic.

Take Responsibility for Their Academic Success

Junior high is a good time to begin transferring the responsibility for academic success to your child. It can start by giving them a planner and helping them to track school assignments and plan projects in steps. By high school they may be preparing their own syllabi and academic plans. I found that when my daughters were in high school my role was reduced to grading tests and compiling a transcript. They had become independent learners. Joanne Calderwood has excellent advice on helping kids to learn independently in her book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence. 

Live Their Faith In The Real World

Encourage your teenager to begin learning about spiritual things and the culture in the way that adults learn. Rarely do we crack open a textbook anymore, but adults read newspapers, blogs and magazines. One fun and unique way I stay sharp on spiritual issues in the culture is by listening to the Phil Vischer podcast. Phil Visher, creator of Veggie Tales, joins co-hosts author Skye Jethani and actress Christian Taylor for a lively discussion of current events from a Christian perspective. 

Explore Potential Careers

Career exploration can be a lot of fun as your student begins to see how their unique gifts, talents and interests can turn into a career. My book Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students offers an 8 to 12 week course on exploring careers in a group or individually. Part of any career exploration should include job shadowing. Encourage your teenager to follow a professional for a few hours. One student, Erin, switched her college major from forensic science to marketing after shadowing a coroner for a day. She realized she wanted more social interaction with people than working in a laboratory would offer.

It’s not easy letting out teenagers try (and probably fail) in some of these areas. We’re homeschoolers and used to doing a lot for our children. Changing that can be very difficult. But if you want to raise successful adults, you must start gradually handing over the reins and increasingly let them take more control of their lives and responsibilities. In the end, it will be very rewarding to see your teenagers grow into happy, functioning and confident adults.


Carol Topp, CPA is the author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out, Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students and the Micro Business for Teens series. She and her husband live in West Chester, Ohio. They have two grown daughters, both who were homeschooled through high school and are now pursuing their first careers. Visit Carol at or  Make your plans to hear Carol at Teach Them Diligently in Atlanta and Columbus  in 2018. She will be speaking in the Leadership Summit as well as throughout the main part of the event. Learn more about Carol on her Homeschool CPA or Microbusiness for Teens websites.

This article was originally published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine, reposted by permission from Carol Topp.

Homeschool Guidance Counselor

If you have teens, you should definitely check out our FREE  Homeschool Guidance Counselor program and the Teach Them Diligently college fair. Learn more about those resources here.

Check out this helpful article about teaching your children to manage their money at all stages of their lives. 

If you are struggling with a child who seems to have a Heart Of Rebellion, you will definitely want to check out Chuck Black’s article on the subject. 

Carol Topp and Leslie Nunnery had a long discussion about this that is available exclusively to members of Teach Them Diligently 365. If you want to even more insight into this subject (as well as access to historic Teach Them Diligently audio recordings, weekly mini-workshops vis video, monthly member meetups and so much more) check out Teach Them Diligently 365 and join today.

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A Heart of Rebellion

By Chuck Black, for the Teach Them Diligently Blog 10/2013

In 1998 BT (Before Teens) I held to the ideological view that if we as parents immersed our children in the truth of God’s Word and walked fully in a real and tangible faith, that our children would emerge at eighteen as shining knights in service to the Lord, fully equipped and able to take on the attacks of a secular world. Fast forward to 2005 and our first child launched into the fray as a solid young woman of faith. Alas the formula worked, and all seemed right with our well-oiled soldier producing machine. Over the next few years however, I started to discover a few cracks in my shiny ideology. By the time our third child, a strong-willed boundary testing son reached eighteen, my godly soldier producing machine appeared broken and lying in pieces all around me. The spirit of rebellion had gripped the heart of my son so completely that I was forced to question all of the training and discipling I had diligently implemented into his life. At the pinnacle of his rebellion with dire consequences imminent, I looked up and asked God, “What happened? We tried to be godly parents and raise him in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. What did I do wrong?”

It was through the prayers of my wife, Andrea, that our answer came. God spoke to her and said, “I am a perfect Father, and I have children rebel against me all the time. What makes you think you would be exempt?” Then I realized that even the once perfect angel, Lucifer, rebelled in a perfect home with a perfect Father. I had failed to consider the will of the heart. Even with the extreme care of gardening and cultivating the heart of our children, they still must choose Christ and His ways on their own.

What then? Do we throw up our hands in despair, knowing that we cannot control the hearts of our children? God forbid! God is not mocked and neither does his Word return void. Although each child must ultimately choose Christ, we can guide, train, nurture, and help mold their hearts.

As parents we must become master discerners of the hearts of our children. Every time I walk by one of my children, my radar is turned on and tuned in, listening to their heart. When I first began to see Ian wander, I did not ignore the signs. The further he wandered the closer I got to him. I wanted him to know that I would not let him be content in his sin, and that I would do whatever it took to see him through it. During the two years that he choose to walk away from the Lord, the voice of truth kept calling him and so did our relentless love for him. Not the gushy, ‘it’s okay…we love you no matter what you do’ love. No, it was the tough love that said, ‘I will love you so much that I will discipline you, and I will not walk away from you.”

Through much prayer, the power of the Word hidden in his heart, and a phone call from a brother in Christ to my son, God pulled Ian back from the brink of his rebellion. By the grace of God, Ian returned and began to walk in the Spirit once again. It was a long hard journey and there were setbacks, but he did return to the Lord…and to us. Eventually he became the worship leader for Campus Crusade for Christ ministries at his university sharing the love of God to over four hundred students each week.

A heart of Rebellion Chuck Black,Teach Them Diligently ConventionThose were trying times for me. There were as many lessons for me to learn as there was for Ian. I learned not to judge families with a wayward child. I learned to walk in faith and cling to God in a way I never had to before. I learned to love my child in spite of the sin that was ruining his life. I learned that God is faithful, and that we must endure to the end. I learned that God never abandons us. The irony of it all was that just prior to experiencing the rebellion of my son, I had written the first book of the Knights of Arrethtrae, Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione. And do you know what the theme of the book was? That’s right…rebellion. Little did I know that the words I had penned regarding the spirit of rebellion would soon be tested in my own life.

Parents, my encouragement to you is to listen to the hearts of your children. Let God’s love spill out through you and onto your children and let it endure to the end, even through those tough times when your child is questioning everything you’ve taught him. Through prayer, call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to draw him back.

Tonight as I sat down to write this article, Ian called and wanted to Skype with me. My voice was not enough…he wanted to see my face. The image popped up and there was my son, looking at me with weary eyes from hours of studying. Before I could say a word, Ian looked at me and said, “I love you, Dad.” It was all the reward I needed for persevering through those tough years.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Galatians 6:9
Are you familiar with Chuck Black’s books? They are without question our family’s favorites to listen to on audio book as we travel. We have been known to drive around for an extra hour or more just to finish a book before we get out of the car. Click here to purchase your own sets!

Parents of Teens, Come Hear Chuck Black and Others Speak at Teach Them Diligently 2018

  • Chuck Black is first a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and in the Holy-Spirit-inspired, infallible Word of God. He is second a husband to his wife, Andrea, and third, a father to six children ranging in age from 30 to 20 (Brittney, Reese, Ian, Emily, Abigail and Keenan). Chuck and Andrea have homeschooled their children for the past twenty-four years. Register now and make your plans to hear Chuck Black at Teach Them Diligently 2018 ( Nashville, TN, Rogers, AR, Myrtle Beach, SC ), you will be glad you did!
  • Norm Wakefield will also be speaking at all six of our 2018 locations! ( Nashville, TN, Rogers, AR, Atlanta, GA, Mobile, AL, Myrtle Beach, SC, Columbus, OH ) He has spoken at homeschool conferences as a keynote and featured speaker since 1992. Having been a pastor for 10 years, he has a shepherd’s heart and a vision to be an instrument in God’s hands to turn the hearts of men to Him and to their wives and children.
  • Find out more about our Teen Program ( including sessions on “Christian Apologetics: Defending and Advancing Biblical Christianity in a Postmodern World” ) at Teach Them Diligently 2018

Register Today

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on

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