I posted, recently, about the chores & allowance issue with my boys. Quick recap: Together, we devised a points system for them to earn points for completing tasks on a list of their own design. The points are kept in a points bank, which we keep track of similar to a bank statement, with deposits each week and withdrawals when they redeem points for money.
This has been going remarkably well. The boys are consistently adapting their lists to provide themselves with more and more responsibility and more ways to earn points. I took the opportunity to encourage them to utilize the program to save money for something somewhat expensive. My oldest is saving for a video game and my youngest is saving for a horseback trail ride.
With their interest in money & saving piqued, I decided it may be time for a bit more financial education. I found this website, Orange Kids, which they are thoroughly enjoying. In the Kids section, there are games and opportunities to earn “Obux” which is the currency on Planet Orange. In the teachers section, there are lesson plans and worksheets to print. I have found that when the boys take an interest in something, it’s almost impossible for me to cover all the bases and think of everything. Relying on a little help from others’ lesson plans, or activities is a great help. The lessons we have completed get them thinking creatively about earning money, which is something I like. In the first lesson, they make a journal entry with a list of things they are good at doing. The boys listed things like, “playing with puppies,” and “making pizza.” They had a great time thinking of activities they enjoy and consider themselves good at doing. After that, we went thru their lists to see which skills could be useful in different types of jobs. For example, being good at playing with puppies could come in handy if you decided to be a dogwalker, or pet shop owner/worker, veterinarian or other worker in a vet office, training dogs for services, pet groomer, and many more. Being good at making pizza could be useful if you owned or worked in a pizzeria or restaurant, develop or write recipes. Anyway, the lesson goes on with a research project to find out what kind of education you would need for certain careers such as veterinarian, waitress and a space to research your own dream job. We even discussed owning a business and how to conduct an interview. One of my sons pretending to own a business and going to hire a worker, and the other being the applicant. My sons enjoyed thinking of all the questions they’d like to ask their future employee and found the process very interesting… especially, I think, because they’ve recently witnessed their uncle being unemployed and having to hunt for a job. This sort of opened up the process he had to go through so they could understand it. The last part of the lesson, we haven’t done yet… is to write a letter to the employer of your dream job describing your skills and talents and why they should choose to hire you.
The boys are enjoying these short activities and we’ll go as far as they want. There are several more lessons on saving, budgeting money, shopping smartly, and investing money.