Children don't just learn at school - their education continues at home too, whether that's through homework, asking their parents questions, independent study or simply experiencing what the world has to offer.

A subject like finance can only be taught so far in the classroom - and that's where you step in. As well as being on hand to answer any questions, you can use real life examples to help your children really get to grips with personal finance.

At Key Stage 3 (the first three years of secondary school, between ages 11-14), your child will cover percentage change, the function of money, budgeting and managing risk. We look at how you can support your children when they study financial education at that level.

Solve problems involving percentage change

Your child's maths teacher should cover how percentages work, but applying this to finance is easiest to understand with real life examples.

Start by looking at the interest rate on a savings account, explaining that an account that pays 5% interest would earn 5 each year for every 100 in the account over that period. Then ask how much interest an account would earn if it had different amounts in it, and try changing the interest rate you use too.

You could also look at percentage change. If you give your child pocket money, agree to increase it by 15% they can work out what the new amount they'd get would be.

Once you've covered the basics, you could look into some real world types of interest using your mortgage or savings account as an example.

The importance and practice of budgeting

Again, the best way to teach this is with real life practice.

Try to set your child challenges to achieve while still remaining within their budget. You could, for example, increase their pocket money but make them pay for their school lunches or clothes out of it.

You could also set them financial goals to teach them how to save money. For example, if your child wants a new game or outfit, offer to match how much they can save each week until they have enough to buy it.

Looking at other budgets can help too: perhaps consider planning the weekly or monthly household budget together.

If your child likes any professional sports like football, talk about how their favourite team handles their budget, balancing ticket revenue, sponsorship and selling players against the costs of buying new players and paying wages.

Computer games also often involve balancing a budget too, making the player use resources like ammunition or cash sparingly. They also usually make players earn whatever currency the game uses before allowing them to move on, improve, or acquire new items.

Examples include managing a household budget playing the Sims, running a football club on the latest instalment of FIFA, or using "coins" in World of Warcraft to buy items, top up their skills or advance in the game.

For more help, read our guide, How to Write a Budget.

Managing risk

Understanding risk is an important part of managing your finances.

Riskier financial products can sometimes be more convenient or more rewarding. For example, risky investments can have higher returns when things go well - but factors out of your control can cause their value to plummet too.

You could also explain risky lending like payday loans. The easiest way to illustrate the hazards of high interest loans is to show them an example using a loan calculator, like the one on the BBC website. You could use it to show the following example:

  • You borrow 500 to buy a new phone from a payday lender until the end of the month

  • The APR is 5,853%

  • The interest and charges after a month will be 203, meaning you'll have to pay back 703

  • You don't have 703 at the end of the month, so you roll the loan over for another month, for which you're charged 20

  • The interest at the end of the second month is now 488. Add on the 20 rollover fee and the 500 you've borrowed, and you now owe them 1,008 - more than double what you borrowed in the first place

  • Can you afford to pay 1,008 back if you couldn't afford the 500 phone in the first place? If not, you'll have to roll over the loan again, and the costs will keep increasing

  • Try extending the length of the loan to 12 months on the BBC's calculator - the results might shock you!

The functions and uses of money

This is such a wide topic, as finance can affect so many aspects of our lives. It's worth asking the teachers how they plan to cover it in the classroom, as well as making sure your child knows to come to you with any questions about money that arise.

Where else can you look for help?

You can find help on a huge range of financial subjects in the guides on

The Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) have a great array of resources for learning about money too. You can search for what you need on the PFEG website.

Finally, you can go with a tactic you might not have needed for a couple of decades: ask a teacher! Your child's school will know exactly how they plan to teach financial education; finding this out will help you to complement their lessons with your own sage advice!