Monday, May 23, 2011

Creative Ideas for Teaching the Value of Money


Have you ever struggled over how to handle chores, allowance, and teaching children the value of money? I know that I have at times and am always on the look-out for creative ways of teaching good fiscal habits to my children. Recently I was sent Earn It, Learn It: Teach Your Child the Value of Money, Work, and Time Well Spent by Alisa T. Weinstein. It is a nice-size book and I was interested to see what approach Ms. Weinstein took on the topic of allowance and chores.

What It Is:

One subheading in the books says, “Not Your Mother’s Allowance Program,” and that about sums it up.  Ms. Weinstein wanted a way to teach her daughter to value money and hard work.  She didn’t want to give an allowance for chores that were part of helping the household run smoothly (like making the bed, setting the table etc.) Those were jobs that were expected. Instead, she came up with a creative twist on traditional allowance and chores:

Earn My Keep is an easy-to-do parent/child program that helps kids ages 4 –12 earn money for exploring and experiencing real careers. Kids pick a task from one of the fifty career profiles, complete it within a set amount of time, and earn a set amount of money.

What We Thought:

The homeschool teacher in me loves the premise of this book. How fun to have children look up careers, participate in activities related to that career and get paid for it? The book has a listing of 50 career profiles with activity ideas included.  Some careers are accountant, chef, geologist, travel agent, and more (click link for a sample). I think this is a perfect way to get kids thinking about and experiencing (on an age-appropriate level) various careers.

How It Works for Us:

Having multiple kids in the chore-age-range makes it difficult for each one of them to pick a career path. So currently I’ve picked one career for all of them that lines up with what we are already doing at home----gardening. The career is Horticulturist and I’m having my children complete various activities listed in the book on their age level. Many of the requirements are part of what we are already doing (like identifying new plants, looking at the leaves, caring for gardening tools etc.) The difference is that I’ve put a specific career name to the job. Now that they are being horticulturists, weeding isn’t half that bad. :)

Even if you already have an allowance system in place or don’t give an allowance, this book can still be a wonderful resource.  It provides so many wonderful ideas for testing out careers with children. You can use the ideas as a springboard for a mini-unit on specific career fields (which is what I will be doing this summer with my older kids.)

To find out more information check out the Earn My Keep website.

If you are interested in winning your own copy, Tonya from Live the Adventure is having a giveaway of the book.

Disclosure: I was given a book for free for review purposes only. Opinions are mine.



Blogger NaomiG said...

What a genius idea for teaching about money! I love it. Putting this on my wishlist. I've been trying to come up with a way to pay my kids for stuff, and teach them the value of money without paying them for stuff they should just do because they live here, and they're my kids. I've really struggled with it, because I'm sort of mean, and I think everything falls under the "You wanna live here? Then you work." category. :-)

May 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Rachel E. said...

I am also one of those parents who does not believe in paying allowance for helping a household run smoothly. I love the idea behind this book and think it probably gives kids a better perspective about what different occupations are. It may also, like in your case, give them a sense of pride in what they do. Awesome! I am definitely looking more into this book.

May 24, 2011 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Thanks for mentioning the giveaway I'm hosting! I really appreciate it- it's such a great resource. :)

May 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM  

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