Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Give Your High School Student Sound Learning in Personal Finances with PEM LIFE {An Online Course Review}

 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.

Financial literacy!

Have you ever noticed that many high school curriculums fail to offer students an opportunity to learn sound financial principles and neglect to teach them the knowledge and tools they will need in order to become financially stable adults? 

If so - and if you think this is as much of a problem as I do - then take a look at the comprehensive financial literacy curriculum Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition by PEM LIFE

Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition is a comprehensive financial literacy course initially developed for college students which is now available to homeschooled high school students as well.

Sound Financial Literacy Lessons

The Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition  by PEM LIFE gives parents and students access ttwo instructional paths:

1. The Proctored Path: This option allows your student to move through the content of the course more or less independently by watching the video lessons and completing the included reading assignments, quizzes, and other assignments. This process can simply be overseen by you, the parent, and provides material that was developed to meet all the requirements of a 3 credit-hour collegiate level course.

 2. The Instructional Path: This option allows you to take a more hands-on approach, using an Instructor Guide that has been developed for each Unit. The guide contains lesson plans, instructor coaching videos, key points, Powerpoints, additional documents etc., and is designed to help you deliver the curriculum to your student directly without any previous knowledge or experience required.
Of course, for maximum flexibility, these two paths can be combined in any way you and your child see fit and both work together to help your child gain the knowledge and skills needed for financial responsibility as an adult.

With 15 Core Units, 64 Individual Lessons, 30 Financial Calculators, and Hours of Video Instruction, the Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition is both thorough and completely customizable.

My oldest child and I have not made out way through the entire course yet, but we have completed enough of it to feel comfortable recommending it as 
a sound and helpful way to develop and deepen practical financial understanding for the real world! 

Our Experience with PEM LIFE

Since my 14-year-old son has begun working for pay this year, we were delighted to receive 6-months access to PEM LIFE to review.

My son has been working through the course - sometimes with me at his side - at fairly regular intervals around his other courses, commitments, and life happenings.

When I asked my son his thoughts for this review, he said:

PEM Life is an online high school / college level personal economics course. It can be done either with a parent/teacher or independently. 

The course is made up of videos, documents, quizzes, and resources which are put together to create the overall course.  

The approach I took to taking the course so far was to watch the videos, take the quizzes, and use The Personal Economic Model® and some of the other resources.  


I chose not to read the downloadable textbook yet nor to participate with the discussion forum. I also have not done much with the Instructor's Guide or written assignments.  


This may seem like a bad idea, but it is necessary for me right now, because I need to manage my time between another college level course I am taking that has an urgent and strict deadline, my paid work, other lessons, and some unexpected family responsibilities. Therefore, I have appreciated the flexibility offered by PEM LIFE.  

By just watching the video lessons, playing with the calculator, taking quizzes, and conversing a little with my maternal figure, I have been able to learn some new things and progress through the course.  

My favorite part so far has been the The Personal Economic Model®.  

I can interact with it and goof around to see what will happen if I do different things. I like that it gives a one-shot view of your financial life and that you can test what will happen if you make different choices.

Two things I have learned or had driven home by the course so far are: 

(1) Taxes are awful and tax rates can go very high.

(2) College may be a money-sucking machine that drains you of millions of dollars over time. Everything has an opportunity cost, and I am going to try to live without debt.

I like the course so far.

The only fault I find is with the way the course is formatted so that it is hard to find where you left off. Besides this minor flaw, the entire course is well written and well organized

PEM Life is a great resource for anyone who wants to better their knowledge of personal economics and money.

As you can see, my oldest son likes the course and is progressing with it even if he does not do every part of it and interprets things he is exploring in his very 14-year-old way.

Let me assure you, the course does not say anything bad about college. It just shows the impact of college loans as it does other life choices.

Also, it also does not place value judgements on taxes or much else. Rather, it gives background, offers facts, and allows students to apply scenarios through the calculators. It also shows an interesting factual history of tax rates in our country that shocked my son.

During the portions of the course that I have sat with my son for, I have been impressed with the clear explanations and content of the course.

I have also wished that the The Personal Economic Model® had been around when I was younger and that I had more time to play with the model/calculators myself and/or take the course. For, while I started my adult life with a basic understanding of personal finances and went into marriage with a decent financial footing, different life happenings have eroded some of our family's financial security. Thus, I know that my husband and I have some catching up to do with financial planning and prep before retirement, and I believe material in this course could be helpful as we do do.

The calculators and models in this course can make taking a hard look at where you are at, where you are headed, and what changes you can make easier. I do hope to utilize them fully myself before our 6 months access is up. I am also grateful that my son has exposure to them at his young age and is getting a head start with financial literacy through this course. It is a good one.

Learn More

Want more information, thoughts, and opinions about this helpful financial literacy course? Click on through to find links to over 20 blog, video, and social media reviews.

You can also connect with PEM LIFE online at:

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