The Lerning Curve

Mastering money, one lesson at a time.

Your child’s financial security and independence will play a key role in many aspects of their adult lives including health, happiness, and purpose. The key to financial stability is a strong understanding and mastery of basic financial management skills. Parents are the primary teachers and role models of these skills. Take the opportunity to encourage, enlighten, support, and have fun with your children as you help them build a strong foundation of financial literacy.

The “Lerning” Curve is our free financial education program for children from three to 18 years old. At the core of The Lerner Group program is a framework of financial concepts relating to earning money, savings, investing, spending, and giving. Parents and grandparents are provided guidance and advice, along with age-appropriate activities and information to give the children in their lives a solid financial foundation.

It is never too early or too late to start teaching children about personal finance and introducing them to the skills needed to succeed.

Teaching Strategies that Evolve Based on Your Child's Learning Plane

Lerner Curve program for 0-6 year olds

The Absorbent Mind

3-7 Years Old

Children learn primarily through observation and physical tactile handling of materials, and repetition. As their minds are like a sponge, they will be watching everything the parent does and says, including subtle cues like attitude and patience.

Learning opportunities:

  • Mastery of counting

  • Learning U.S. currency denominations

  • Observing commerce

  • Responsibilities and opportunities to earn, save spend, and budget.

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Financial learning for ages 7-12 lerner

The Observers

8-12 Years Old

With certain cognitive milestones developed, children are developing a sense of self. Important factors include an increased desire to play with friends, questions about the right way to conduct themselves, and efforts to figure out where they fit in the world.

Learning opportunities:

  • Goal setting

  • Advanced budgeting concepts

  • Supply and demand

  • Intrinsic value, interest, and investing

  • Understanding the banking system

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lerner financial education 13-18 year olds

The “Lerners”

13-18 Years Old

During this period of rapid physical and mental changes, adolescents are looking to find their place in the greater community of the adult world. As they become young adults, they are accepting more responsibilities and dreaming about their futures.

Learning opportunities:

  • Investing basics

  • Getting a job and earning money

  • Budgeting for major expenses (i.e. cars, college)

  • Understanding credit

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Lerner Lerning Curve Ages 3-7 financial education

The Absorbent Mind

3-7 Years Old

Children at this age are going through the greatest developmental growth spurt period of their lives. They are learning to move, communicate, and identify themselves as independent, yet part of the family unit. The Absorbent Mind plane of development is characterized by learning through observation and physical interaction. Parents play the primary and critical role in child development during this period.

Conscious preparation of the learning environment, purpose-driven activities, and positive parental modeling will lay a foundation for joyful, successful child development. Teaching the role of money and its ubiquitous presence in every aspect of our lives, as well as our own responsibility and ability to control our financial future starts here.

The FUNdamentals for Ages 3-7

What your child will learn at this stage:


As your child grows through this development period from birth to 6 years old, the learning environment that you prepare will have a crucial impact on their understanding of the world around them and their ability to learn increasingly complex concepts. Creating a fun and prepared environment for your child to learn and grow is the key to successful development.

Talk About Money

Talking about money gives your child context and understanding of things that they are already observing. It is important for your children to know that you earn money, have a budget that supports the family goals and provides a framework for everyday spending, saving, and giving.

Introducing Commerce

While the home is “home-base” for learning, exposing your children to real transactions will give them a first-hand look at how purchasing occurs. This helps build the foundation they will need to better understand budgeting in the future.

Learning About Money

Even at this young age, your children have observed the transactions between money and products and services. Physical money is an exciting new concept and a powerful learning tool to develop math skills, as well as more subtle concepts such as value, and the basis of our monetary system.

lerner ages 7-12 financial education

The Observers

8-12 Years Old

With cognitive milestones developed, the next stage is a developing a sense of self. The increasing desire to work and play with friends, determining the correct way to conduct themselves, and figuring out where they fit in the world around them will all be important factors in how they see themselves.

This is the time for parents to work with children to understand broad concepts such as personal and financial responsibility, while also thwarting increased negative peer influence and pressure and helping establish disciplines for lifelong success. Parents often don’t appreciate the enormous potential for learning and capabilities of children at this age. Keep in mind, what you do has a far greater influence on your child than what you say. You, too, will benefit from modeling good financial skills and decisions!

Key Basics for Ages 8-12

What your child will learn at this stage:


The basis of financial independence and wealth accumulation is the ability and desire to earn money. Children in this age group are happy to start developing and demonstrating individual capabilities that will provide ample opportunity to help them find ways to earn money.

Saving & Investing

Children are ready to move past the “piggy bank” method of saving and start learning about more conventional savings techniques and institutions. It’s time to also introduce the basic concept of investing.


Children are looking to create and support a satisfying and accepted self-identity. Building a framework for responsible and disciplined spending habits is a lifetime skill that will strengthen them in many areas of life. This skill is key to financial security no matter their future income level.


Giving has a variety of meanings ranging from taking care of people in your community to donating your time or money to support those in need. Help children find opportunities to help out in their communities and boost their sense of belonging and independence. It’ll also deepen their appreciation of money.

lerner financial education ages 13-18

The "Lerners"

13-18 Years Old

During this period of rapid physical and mental changes, adolescents are looking to find their place in the greater community of the adult world. The financial learning opportunities include deepening their investment understanding, getting a job, earning money, understanding a paycheck, building credit, and the process of borrowing money for a large purchase.

These skills will increasingly become interesting and relevant to this age group because they will recognize that these skills are needed to succeed in the adult world.

Key Basics for Ages 13-18

What your child will learn at this stage:


These skills and disciplines will help teens confidently understand earnings and help them decipher their first paychecks. These skills will lay the groundwork for a responsible, prosperous, and independent lifestyle.


Investing is an important tool used to build financial independence and security. However, investing is not without risk. It requires an understanding of investment vehicles and products, and the risks and reward tradeoffs of each.


The ability and process of finding a job, learning the skills needed to perfect various tasks, and multitasking priorities are one of the best developmental experiences for this age.


Building a framework for responsible and disciplined spending habits is a lifetime skill and is key to financial security. It is important to understand prioritizing needs versus wants, as well as healthy ways to splurge.

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The Lerner Group