Taking Care of Business

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.”

Well.

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.”

Air quotes.


Comments

  1. says

    My husband was a young entrepreneur as well. His business was to gather up all the pencils in his house –every single one– and keep them sharpened. Then, if a family member wanted to use a pencil, they had to go to him and borrow one for 5 cents. It frustrated his older sister to no end, who couldn’t believe she had to pay for a pencil in her own house. :)

  2. says

    as a fourth grade teacher, i am loving his passion! i also think this is hilarious! your house must be a riot to be a part of. my husband started his business in high school and he is now 30. great to have passions early.

    i love your blog! thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    This was my brother in fifth grade. They had the class businesses and all. He simply *wiped out* the competition. Wiped. It. Out.

    One year ago, my brother started his first business at the age of 25. He intended to clear $X profit for the first year.

    Now, just one year out of the gate, he has cleared twice the amount of profit he intended, is entertaining a buy-out offer, and just purchased a second building for his growing business.

    Clearly, God gifted my brother to bankroll the Kingdom. ;)

    Encourage your son. Praise the gifts his Father has placed in him. :) It’s amazing to watch.

  4. says

    This is so funny! My daughter’s 6th grade teacher did something similar and she made extra money by illustrating kids’ names on their arms. So she was basically a tattoo artist. At Christian school. Still can’t believe I didn’t get any phone calls about that one!

  5. says

    “Mom, I’m starting a biz. You know, a business.” ….he is the cutest!!! And I know that first hand!

    Hey….tell him I’ll pay him REAL money to come answer my email. A 3rd grade boy answering email about cookies…I think it could work.

    • says

      oh NOW you are thinking!

      Yes, Kristen is he for hire? I am in the process of hiring someone take care of our shipping and receiving. I pay well. The commute would be bad though.

  6. says

    LOVE IT! Reminds me of when my little brother used to walk door to door with our small kitchen appliances and try to sell them to our neighbors. Until the phone calls would start. “Mrs. Ware, your son is walking around with your toaster again…” ;)

  7. says

    Oh that’s TOOOO FUNNY! The stuff they come up with. Wait until he’s a 91 pound 14 year old DRIVING YOUR SUV. AHHHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHH Wait, let me get my heart rate back under control…..

  8. Maria says

    I have a “money boy” too. Has your son read Lunch Money by Andrew Clements? We had lots of great discussions about kids and money from this book, and the girls enjoyed it as well.

  9. says

    When my son was that age ( twenty years ago) he knew how to make balloon animals and boy did he make a killing on that at school (o:

  10. says

    I think I have been inspired! My son (age 2) has eczema, and I recently found a cream that really helps. It’s made by a network marketing company, and the only way we can afford to meet minimum requirements is to work the business part. Your son’s enthusiasm has inspired me to just jump in and do what needs to be done! Thanks for the smiles and tell him thanks for the inspiration!

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