Final Week

I cannot believe that it is my final week. All of my hard work is finally being pushed into this last week where I am producing my podcasts. This week, I am spending my time recording and uploading my podcasts. It is honestly such a great feeling to get them out there and have a finished product. By the end of today, I will have covered all of my topics up to Avoiding Financial Scams. I will only have two topics left, and I am on set t finish by the due date! This is such a great feeling, and I hope you get the chance to listen to some episodes!

Week 10/11

Hello blog!

I am sorry I haven’t been as active as I have hoped to, but I hope to write more in the next few weeks. I have about a month until my project is due on May 14. I am currently in the process of making my outlines that I did on my topics into scripts. It is really exciting that the majority of my hard work is done and I get to move into making podcasts.

With that said, I hope to open up my podcast channel this week. I think that I am going to post the scripts for my podcasts on the blog so people can also look. at the script to review the info or follow along. Also, I saw a cool clip on the news this weekend. It talked about how financial literacy is really only a few states teach it in high school. I thought this was interesting and was wondering if there was a way for me to spread my podcast to other places or even get it inputted in the DA curriculum? I think this would be really cool and I definitely want to look into it.

What do you all think of this idea? Do you think I should try to get it implemented at school? Maybe a club? Please comment and let me know.

Also, I am going to attach my first script so you guys have an idea. I wanted to use this for the intro episode of my blog.

Welcome to my podcast: Manage your Money! I am Charles McCain, a junior at Durham Academy high school. I have been at DA since preK, so this is now my 13th year here. I have an older brother, Davis, who is 19 years old and is going to be in his first year of college next year. Because of the block schedule at school as a result of COVID, I found that I had a lot more time after school than I realized. This is why I decided to do an independent study. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to learn about and how I would go about this study. But, after many conversations with my parents and friends, I decided to do my study on financial literacy: basically, the understanding of everything in the financial world. I knew that this would be information that I would need to know as I grew up, so I decided to spend a semester learning all of the basics. Given that I found many teenagers were in the same boat as me, I decided to create a podcast, so other people could learn too. Of course, without having to do the three months of research. Now that you know a little about me and why I decided to do this project, I encourage you to listen to all of my episodes! As of now, this podcast will be 10 episodes, including this introduction. Each episode will explain and talk about the components that I researched and why I think they are important. With this said, week one will be Financial planning, week two will be Financial planning,  Careers, Savings and banking, budgeting and spending, Credit and debit, Investments, avoiding Financial scams,  Insurance, and Retirement. Thank you so much for listening and I will see you soon!

As you can see, the script is pretty basic. Let me know what you guys think. See you soon!

Week 8/9- Quarter Reflection

This week, I decided to post my blog on my reflection at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Give a brief summary of content that you have learned so far.  

Up to this point, I have learned the topics of financial planning, careers, savings and banking, budgeting and spending, credit and debit, and avoiding financial scams.

What has stirred strong emotional responses?  Anything shocking, pleasing, fascinating, appalling?

I think that for me it has been so cool to see how much of this truly applies to the real world. I have seen the effect it has had on my daily life and the understanding of the financial world. It has helped me to see how much money I spend in my daily life and the importance of saving money. It is also interesting to see the impact it has had on my family. Because I now see the effect of spending and budgeting, I have been able to help my family pay more attention to this, and I have seen how much our weekly spending consists of. For me, it is so interesting because I feel like I see the world in a different way now that I understand the importance and use of money.

What new questions do you have about this topic?

What is the best way for everyone to understand this material?

What is the best way for this material to be learned?

Should I start focusing on budgeting and spending now? 


What has worked out as expected?

I think my note taking process has worked out just as I expected. I would say that my notes are very organized and are in place to be a perfect way to translate into a podcast. I think my notes are also great for a final curriculum that anyone could use.

What has been challenging?

The most challenging part for me has been understanding that there is nobody that will punish me if my work does not get done. This has been challenging because it has forced me to stay on top of my work and has at times let me slack off.

What are you learning about your learning process? 

With the most challenging piece, I have learned that I need to give myself deadlines for when certain things must be done. I think that this works for me because it does not allow me to push my work aside and makes me continue to stay on schedule. I have also learned that I work best when I have no distractions or stress level. It allows me to be most efficient and enjoy what I am learning, rather than seeing it as something that must get done.

To what extent are you meeting the expectations of IS students?

I know that I am meeting the expectations of the hours needed to be put in, but I would say that I am struggling on doing it during the week. A lot of times I end up pushing my work to the weekend and working for hours then, rather than consistently during the week.

What do you need help with?

I would say that I need help just being reminded to work during the week, so I do not do most of my work on the weekend. I think this will help me to be more consistent with my work.

Looking ahead

Does your initial plan for the second quarter of this project match your current intentions?  If not, or if you can make it more specific at this point, describe needed changes or attach a modified plan.

Yes, my plan is matching up and I plan to finish my entire project on time!

Week 6/7

I’m back! I wanted to hold off on this post until after spring break. I have been doing great and keeping up with my weekly workload. I am actually excited to share a cool experience I had over my spring break. For me, it is really interesting to learn about finance and how important it is in our world. So, over spring break I wanted to apply these ideas. Because I was interested and learning about the ideas of budgeting, I asked my family if I could plan our spring break. While we only took a three day trip to Florida, I planned the entire trip. I made us a meal budget, travel budget, and lodging budget that we had to follow. It was really interesting to do this because it showed me the importance of budgeting and how one’s spending can truly accumulate quickly. It made me understand the importance of planning ahead and how much really goes into a vacation. This was an awesome experience for me, and I definitely learned a lot from it. As I continue with my study, I hope to share more real world applications of my learning like this one!

Week 5

As I continue this blog, I have begun wondering how I should structure the post. I was thinking whether I should share the information I learn each week or if I should just save that for the final product. As I continue to question this, I wanted to at least give a small taste of what my research looks like. So, I am going to show the format of my research, and show you all part of my week one outline on financial planning. For all of the table of contents, I have subtopics of what is covered within those larger subjects. For example, this is the subtopic “what is money?” as a part of the larger subject of financial planning.

  1. What is money?
    1. Medium of Exchange
      1. A way to get the things you want and need
      2. Value that you can use to purchase and trade
      3. An item that is acceptable for an exchange in goods or service
      4. System used for sale, purchase, and trade
    2. Store of Value/Unit of Account
      1. Money that is not being exchanged or used
      2. Used to measure and value certain things
        1. Income, debts, outcome, worth, etc.
      3. can be saved, retrieved and exchanged at a later time
      4. Can be money, currency, gold, capital
    3. Barter system
      1. System used before money
      2. Direct exchange of two things or services
        1. I’ll give you this candy if you give me your brownie
        2. I’ll make your bed if you let me use your car
      3. Used in everyday life
      4. No use of medium of exchange
    4. Gold standard
      1. Transfer of money to gold at a price
      2. No longer used
    5. Commodity money
      1. Money made from valuables like gold and silver
    6. Flat money (what most people use)
      1. Paper currency
    7. Money supply 
      1. Total amount of money in the economy at a certain point

This is the basic format for most of the research that I do. When I decide how I want to share more of my research, I will continue to post, but here is just a small piece for today! I hope you enjoy!

Week 4- Interim reflection

I cannot believe that I am already 1/4 of the way done! This week, I wanted to share my interim reflection about my progress in this study.

What is exciting to you so far?

The most exciting part of this is that this is my own interest and that I have my own hours. I feel like that makes it so much more exciting and allows me to be much more engaged. It is cool because if there is a day I do not want to work on it, I don’t have to. And then when I want to work on it I can. I just really love this flexibility in knowing that it is all under my control.

What is surprising or frustrating?

I think that what is most surprising to me is how on top of myself I have to be. While I do enjoy the freedom and flexibility I talked about in the first response, it can be difficult to not have someone constantly grading something or giving a strict deadline. It can also be frustrating when I have a lot of other schoolwork to do. Because this is something I’m so interested in, it is hard to not always want to work on it instead of other work.

What are you learning about learning?

I think I am learning that I work best with a strict deadline and a punishment when the deadline is not met. Although this can be stressful, it forces me to be more productive and know that it has to get done at a certain point. I think that this is something that I am going to discuss with Mr. Slack and have us come up with a system that forces me to do things at certain times. 

Where are you recording information, ideas, questions, resources, etc.?  And how do you anticipate using this material, either in this project or in the future?

I record everything on paper and on google docs.  I plan to combine all of these notes for the final document, but I also plan on using the notes when it comes the time to record my podcast.

How is your time management working out?  When and where have you been doing the IS, and have you been meeting the 5-7 hr/week expectation?

I honestly think that my time management has been pretty bad. I think it needs to be better and I am not on a consistent schedule. Mr. Slack and I talked about this, and we decided that I am going to do an hour and a half during my free period that is twice a week and come into school to work with him on it on fridays. 

Is there any need for change in the way you’re approaching this course?

Yes, as I said above I need to be more consistent and on a more regular schedule. Mr. Slack and I talked about this, and I think that going forward I will be a lot more productive. 

Refer to the proposal you submitted for approval.  In what ways does the reality match the proposal, and in what ways does it differ?  How would you adjust the proposal to reflect what you’re doing and expect to do between now and the end of the semester?

I think that the main thing that changed is the Youtube Channel. Mr. Slack and I decided that it would be more effective to do a podcast and that it would work better for me. So, I think I would change this and then add my more recent calendar for when I will get things done and the table of contents for my study.

Week 3- Table of Contents

After 3 weeks of updating my page, ordering books, and organizing my thoughts, I have officially finalized the table of contents I will use for my study. This was honestly a pretty difficult process because it took a lot of narrowing down and trying to decide what was most important to cover. I started off this table of contents with about 14 different topics I planned to cover. Because of the time frame that I have with this study, I felt that I would not be able to cover all of these topics. With this said, I narrowed my 14 topics into 9. Here they are:

  1. Financial planning 
  2.  Careers
  3.  Savings and banking
  4. budgeting and spending
  5. Credit and debit
  6.  Investments
  7. avoiding Financial scams
  8.  Insurance
  9. Retirement

I am not 100% sure on the order I plan to address them, but I know that my goal is to research one topic a week. Doing so will take me into mid April with 1 month left in my study. After talking to my content advisor, Mr. Slack, I think I am going to actually do a podcast rather than a Youtube channel. While this is not official, we decided together that we thought this would probably be more engaging and fit better for my goals. It will most likely be a 9 episode podcast for each of the topics that I discuss. I am super excited to start researching and I will keep you all posted on how that goes!

Week 1/ Week 2

I am so excited to be writing my first post. My blog will serve to show my weekly progress of my Independent Study on Financial Literacy. After the first two weeks, I have spent most of my time organizing my blog and setting up a calendar to track my progress and manage my time wisely. I also spent this time to research books that I will use for research on Financial Literacy. I have decided to use “Financial Literacy for Millennials: A practical guide to managing your financial life for teens, college students, and young adults” by Andrew Smith and “Why Didn’t they Teach me this in School?” by Cary Siegel. These two books will be the main resources I use for research, but I also plan to use many sites on the internet. Some of these sites can be seen in the pages tab of my blog under my proposal. As I move into week 3, I am going to start research and begin compiling a table of contents for the aspects of Financial Literacy I plan to study. I cannot wait to get working! Thank you for subscribing and I’ll see you next week!

PS–In case you did not get a chance to view my proposal, the main questions of my Independent Study are below:

  • What is financial literacy?
  • Why is financial literacy important?
  • Why should students understand financial literacy?
  • How does understanding financial literacy prepare you for the real world?