My daughter is in fourth grade and her class has a financial literacy program this year which I just love. It’s a great idea and is adaptable to homeschool too.
I think financial literacy is one of those life skills that gets skipped over in school. I remember in 7th grade we learned about balancing a checkbook and making a budget, and while I don’t know if my school still does this, I suspect most schools don’t.
Sass’ teacher gives each student a $10 salary each week (all of this is done with fictional money). From that, they are charged rent for their desk and health insurance. They receive extra money when they turn in all of their homework on time and for good behavior. Likewise, they have deductions for missed homework and poor behavior. It’s a great way to hold the kids accountable.
During the week they keep a balance sheet to track their deposits and withdraws. I always enjoy looking at these when they come home on Friday.
Twice a year the students hold a Market Place. They each have a budget of $15 (in this case the parents pay up) for supplies and have to make items for sale. Half of the kids can make a food item and they switch so the other half can make a food item for the second Market Place.
The kids have to track their expenses and decide on a price point. They can post one or two advertisements around the school and have to pay for those. Just like the real world, the better locations on the walls are more expensive. Sass decided to have one advertisement in a good spot.
She was very excited about her project. She decided to make Handy Holders (she came up with that on her own) made out of pop (soda if you prefer) and wrapped with decorative duct tape. Since I have a serious Diet Dr Pepper addiction (something I should really do something about), the supply of cans was not a problem. The hubby removed the top of the cans with a sander which made them safe without sharp edges.
She decided to charge $1.75 each. During the Market Place students in her class and all of the teachers in the school who can stop by receive an envelope of fake money totaling $15. When the Market Place is over the kids tally up their sales and then determine their profits.
Sass sold 17 Handy Holders (the mustache design was the most popular, followed by the s’mores design). She spent $16 of supplies and made 40 handy Holders. We determined that each can used 3 pieces of duct tape, 9 inches each – 27 inches total. The cost of the duct tape was 1 cent per inch, so each can cost 27 cents (we didn’t count the cost of the can because it wasn’t an added expense).
According to her school tally she made a $11.75 profit. Her sales were $29.75, minus $16 in supplies, which comes to $13.75. Her advertising was $2.
I love this project. It’s so fun to see the excitement of the kids and how proud they are of their products.
If you homeschool, this is a great way to introduce financial literacy to your kids. You could even tie your kid’s allowance to it.