My third grade son has spent a fair amount of time learning about economics in school this year. During the first semester, they created a product as a class and had “Market Day” to sell their item to the other classes who did the same. They learned the art of an advertising campaign, pricing and about product demand.
His class is rewarded with “bucks” for doing their class “jobs”, turning in homework, outstanding behavior, etc. They have to pay weekly class “taxes”, but can spend their remaining “money” on items out of the Treasure Box (orange pencil grippers are HOT) or save them for “No Homework” and “Extra Computer Time” coupons.
[Remember, the "air quote" is your friend].
My son is a spender.
(Christmas money from Grandma that didn’t get to meet his wallet).
He has three orange pencil grippers. I know this because I vacuumed up one and saw our black cat batting another one around the house. Several times this year, he has borrowed Bucks from friends just to pay his taxes. I encouraged him to save and plan ahead, but mostly, I’ve let him learn the hard way. (Plus, I’ve been busy trying not to suck up orange grippers with the vacuum).
The unit ended with the semester in early January.
But my son was just getting started.
He came home last week and said, “Mom, I’m starting a biz. You know, a business.”
Then he explained: “Some kids are cleaning desks for extra Bucks, others are selling erasers. I’m thinking bigger. Since those orange pencil grips are 20 Bucks in the treasure box. I’m selling mine for 10 to get startup money for my big idea.”
Um, okay. Donald Trump.
“I used the money to hire a couple of friends to advertise for me, you know to get the word out. I talked to my teacher and she said I could sell my leftover Lego necklaces on Fridays. I’m gonna put everyone out of business.”
KAPOW. (I wasn’t sure if he should be grounded or commended since this was new territory for me).
Who was this 68 pound, 8 year old entrepreneur?
When I picked up my son from school on Friday, the first thing I noticed were more than a dozen or so kids wearing familiar Lego necklaces. I could see my son’s smile before I saw him.
“Mom, I sold OUT in 5 minutes. I have loads of money, wads and wads of Bucks. Plus, I’m not in debt anymore,” he said excitedly. “I’m going to come up with a new product.”
He had me at debt. What??
“I told you Mom, I’m taking care of business.”