I showed up to college in the fall of 2006.
My parents gave me a debit card and checkbook as they were dropping me off. I was literally given a crash course on how to write a check at a breakfast diner.
My head started to swim as my mom pulled out the checkbook register and went over things like account number, account balance, and check number. I had enough on my plate with starting college hundreds of miles from home, and all this “adulting” checkbook stuff seemed overwhelming at the time.
To be fair, my dad had been deployed to war throughout most of my high school years. My mom definitely had her hands full because of that.
I also had a very busy schedule as a student. I probably took studying too seriously and would have been too tired to sit down for some “life skill lessons” from my parents.
So I learned this archaic but crucial skill on the fly.
Why Do Kids Need To Learn How To Write A Check In the Age of Debit Cards, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, and Apple Pay?
I am old enough to remember seeing someone pull out their checkbook in a grocery store.
That is rarely seen these days, but check writing is still a necessary adulting skill that your kids are going to need.
Here are a few examples of times I have needed checks in the last year:
- Checks were needed to pay the power company until autopay could be set up for the monthly electric bill.
- A voided check had to be submitted with taxes.
- A check had to be written to a handyman who repaired some pipes in our new house.
- Checks had to be mailed with registration paperwork for classes my kids were taking. No professional organization wants to receive cash in the mail.
- I had to mail a check for taxes after buying a car.
- We had to bring a check to the DMV when my husband got a new driver’s license and tags for the car.
- I had a hair appointment and they didn’t have a credit card reader. You had to pay with cash or check. Yes, these places still exist.
- I received a medical bill in the mail and had to pay by check.
Checks are still used today by many businesses as a simple, cost-effective way to keep records. Not everybody wants to handle cash or go through the hoops of getting your Venmo information.
That may change in the future, but as for right now, your kid is going to need to know how to write a check to function in our current society.
When Should Kids Learn How To Write A Check?
Learning to write a check is definitely a high school skill.
They could learn it in middle school, but you risk forgetting the skill by the time they actually need it.
Take your high school student down to your local bank and set up a checking account in their name.
Set some time aside and go through the below worksheets with them to learn the parts of a check and how to fill one out properly.
Check Out Your Printable Writing Checks Worksheets!
This first money worksheet is a step-by-step guide that explains the parts of a check and how to fill them out.
Show your student that the check is meant to pay $63.78 to the West View Water Company. Follow the arrows to see what each part of the check is for and what is written.
The name and date are self-explanatory. You may point out to your child that their real checkbook already has full names, address, and the bank name printed on each check.
After going over the different parts, your child can now practice what they’ve learned.
The best part is that there is no pressure of ruining a real check. They can practice and learn on these sample checks!
This printable worksheet does not have a sample to follow, so quiz your child on each check part before moving forward.
For example, point to the signature line in the right-hand corner and ask the student what should be written there.
What is the memo line for?
What goes in the white box with the dollar sign?
What should be written next to “Pay to the order of” section?
What should be written on the line below that?
As an added activity, have your child teach the lesson to you to see what they have learned. Intentionally make some mistakes while writing the check and see if your child corrects you.
This is another worksheet full of opportunities to practice.
Be sure to point out what the checks are for and why these companies might not take plastic cards or a phone app payment.
If your child seems to have caught on quickly, save this sheet for future lesson plans or review.
This printable blank check worksheet is a fun way to do money activities with your kids or review concepts.
Print out as many as your need and cut them out. Give your student a certain number to keep track of and use to buy things around the house.
You might ask them to write a check to get their dinner plate – $10 paid to mom for dinner!
How about paying for folded laundry – that’s worth about $100, right?
Of course, this is play money and meant to be a fun activity to retain learned information.
FAQ About Writing Checks
1. What Is The Check Register For?
A check register usually comes with the package of checks ordered from your bank. It looks similar to a checkbook, but it is used to keep track of each check you write.
It is a place to record the check number, the amount of the check, and the date it was written. This helps you to remember the checks you’ve written and keep track of your bank account balance.
2. Does My Kid Need To Know Cursive?
I was taught to write the dollar amount in cursive, but that is not necessary.
Today, I print that portion of the check and only use cursive for my signature.
If you want to know more about this, check out this article from Annuity.
3. How Do You Write A Check With Cents?
You can see in the first example check of the worksheet packet, you do not have to print out the number of cents. You just write the number of cents as a fraction over 100.
For example, let’s say you have to write a check for $12.28.
You would write “Twelve & 28/100.”
4. Why Is A Line Drawn After Printing The Amount of Money On A Check?
It is best practice to follow the printed amount of money with a horizontal line to the end of the block.
This is to prevent the check from being tampered with, the written amount being changed, or other fraudulent things.
5. Where Do I Find the Account Number and Routing Number On A Check?
Your child will need to know where these numbers are located to set up things like online autopay.
Show them on an actual check that the numbers are located at the bottom of the check and clearly labeled. It is very important to note which is an account number and which is a routing number.
6. What Should I Write A Check With?
Always a pen.
Pencil could be erased and your check could be altered without your permission.
Pencil marks also might not be picked up as well when the check is scanned for deposit.
7. What Is A Bounced Check?
A bounced check is when you write a check, but you don’t have that much money in your account.
The check will “bounce” back to the person who tried to cash it. This will likely result in fees from your bank and lower your credit score.
If you keep close track of your account balance and set up an overdraft with your bank, it should not be a problem.
I hope these check writing worksheets help you teach your child with confidence!
Remind your student that people may have email and texting, but you still need to know how to address an envelope and keep a book of stamps in your wallet.
We may have computers and printers, but many things are still handwritten.
Spell check and Grammarly are helpful, but we still have to know proper spelling and grammar to catch their mistakes – yep that happens!
Skills like check writing may be used less often, but they are still regular parts of an adult’s life.
Learn and get comfortable with them now – before you leave the nest.