This back to school season, remember that financial literacy is for YOUth. It can enhance professional development and instruction in all subjects. The results are amazing – even with five-year olds! As a financial instructor, it has been my experience that young students have a high level of cognitive development (the ability to think about, understand and express) financial concepts. Providing an age-appropriate financial literacy curriculum is the cornerstone of that development.
Translating the adult language of money into tangible concepts is where the fun begins as we endeavor to raise money smart kids. Many times the paraprofessionals and educators in PD workshops comment on the validity of the robust money curriculum in understanding every day finance and how “on target” we are with the common core standards. The compliments are delightful, but the biggest reward is from engaged and enlightened students.
A five-year old student named Blake wrote me the letter in this post. We had a fun day at World of Money, and Blake volunteered to read out loud from “Can I Have Some Money?” and we were talking about credit cards and FICO scores. These concepts were included in our ongoing discussion about ‘financial etiquette’.
With every line that was read in the book, Blake made associations and the light of financial understanding began to shine in his eyes. He was burning to share his insights – and that is why I got the letter from him regarding his etiquette in class. He was not in trouble or anything, he just loved class so much that he decided to write the letter on his own. WOW.
Here is what a Brooklyn teacher had to say “As a first grade teacher the concept of money is rather difficult for my students to grasp, however reading the book “Can I Have Some Money?” by Candi Sparks was a great motivational tool for my students. Many of my children can relate to the experiences of Max, the main character in the story. The book expands on the basic concept of money by introducing the importance of saving, credit and budgeting; skills which I am sure will be an asset to my students even this early in their lives. I placed the book in my classroom library and it is very popular during the Independent Reading periods. “Can I Have Some Money?” by Candi Sparks has taken a rather difficult concept and help make it fun for my students and myself. Keep up the good work and I look forward reading your next book.”
Parents like reading financial literacy books with their children too. “We read with the children. Nicole, 9 years-old, and Charlie who is 8, love reading alongside us with our Kindle.
We like to pick books that have practical value as well as a good story line and characters. The CAN I HAVE SOME MONEY? series is a hit with the kids. They like the tips the author presents on how to earn and save. They identify with the illustrations that look great both on the Kindle and in the Kindle for PC App. The children can use Kindle for PC when they want to read on their own and the Kindle is otherwise occupied.
Charlie likes Volume 2, Educating Children about Money! It has 17 short sections that give simple examples that are explained at his level. The sections cover such financial concepts as earning his own money, spending wisely vs. impulse buying, budgeting and goal setting.
Nicole likes Volume 3, Max Gets It! She thinks Maximillion is cute. She said, “He’s a smart dude.” Nicole takes pride in her school grades and likes the story sections about Max’s class assignment to learn about money. Volume 3 has 25 sections. She feels they give even more ideas on how to be successful.”
You can sample a chapter of my new book LEMONADE SOLD OUT if there is a young budding entrepreneur in your cirlce who could use a little inspiration.