Use U.S. Debt Crisis to Teach Kids about Finance Pragmatic Mom Education Matters

U.S. Debt Crisis to Teach Your Kids About Finance

Personal Finance for Kids

Thank you to Capability:Mom for sending me this great article from the New York Times. It’s chock full of resources to take advantage of our U.S. Debt Crisis as a teachable moment for your children. Someone should be learning something valuable during this crisis and I’m not betting on our politicians!

Use U.S. Debt Crisis to Teach Kids about Finance Pragmatic Mom Education Matters

The National Debt and the Debt Ceiling

First things first: What is the national debt? What is the so-called debt ceiling? What measure did Congress pass? Use these articles and multimedia to get oriented.

Times Topics: National Debt
An index of Times articles and multimedia about the national debt and the debt ceiling; includes a helpful Times-written overview.

Q. and A. on the Debt Ceiling
A “crash course in all things debt ceiling.”

Comparing Deficit-Reduction Plans
This chart breaks down the proposals that were being made by leaders in Washington, including President Obama and Representative John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House. The top section explores how the final compromise would work.

Charting the American Debt Crisis
A set of charts illustrating how the national debt accumulated and other related topics.

Fill-In | The Federal Debt Ceiling
Test your understanding by trying to fill in the 20 blanks in the Times Topics overview correctly.

The Credit Downgrade

Once you’ve got the national debt and the debt ceiling under your proverbial belt, the next topic to tackle is the downgrade of the United States credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. What does that mean? Use these Times resources to find out more.

Times Topics: Standard & Poor’s
Explains what the credit rating company does and provides background, as well as indexes related articles.

S.&P. Downgrades Debt Rating of U.S. for the First Time
News article about the credit downgrade.

Anger Over Credit Rating Resurfaces in Washington
Article explaining the reaction among national political leaders to the Standard & Poor’s decision.

Stocks Slump in First U.S. Trading Since Downgrade
Breaking news article, subject to further update, on Wall Street’s response to the “unprecedented downgrade of the United States’s credit rating.”

The Caucus: 10 Questions for Geithner
Video Q. & A. with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, with a condensed, edited text version of the interview.

Credibility, Chutzpah and Debt
Op-Ed column about the S.&P. downgrade by the Nobel Prize-winning economist and Times columnist Paul Krugman.

FiveThirtyEight: Why S.&P.’s Ratings Are Substandard and Porous
Commentary and analysis by Nate Silver.

The Lede: Latest Updates on the Market Upheaval
Updates on the fallout from the credit downgrade.

Related Lesson Plans

Here are some lesson plans that might help you teach about the economy, economic policy, the national deficit and national debt, and the stock market.

Get With the Programs: Exploring the Implications of Federal Budget Cuts (2011)

Deficit Discussions: Understanding Obama’s Federal Budget Proposal (2011)

One Size Fits All? Reflecting on the Role of Government (2011)

A Big Task: Attempting to Solve the National Deficit (2010)

The Shape of Things to Come? (2009)

What Goes Up … (2009)

Bubble Trouble (2008)

Domestic Downturns and Global Woes (2008)

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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