Did you see all those back-to-school pictures on social media this past week? Perhaps you were one posting pictures of your kiddos heading back for another year of school. Many parents celebrate the returning of school being back in session while others are sad to let their little ones go and be independent.
As a former IT teacher at the high school, I too struggled going back after being off for the summer. Once we got past the first few days, I would slip back into teacher mode and take on the responsibility to provide the students in my class with an education.
Unfortunately, some students no matter how much time and energy spent in the classroom, if the child didn’t want to learn – they didn’t.
One approach that I found very useful in my instruction, which poured over into my parenting, is providing evidence in how the material being taught will serve them in a positive way once they leave school.
Here are two examples I used to teach life skills during the traditional lessons using Excel spreadsheets.
One was amortization charts for purchasing cars and homes, and the other was on budgeting.
Students created the formulas, and learned how the interest was applied, along with taxes on income and money being spent just to survive.
It was mind blowing for most. Seeing how money worked, especially when budgeting expenses and had to include toilet paper, shampoo, and other items they thought magically appeared, gave them a bigger picture to making money.
As a parent, I encourage you to work with this idea outside of the school. Get engaged with what the student is learning and find ways to show them how it relates to life. For example:
Make the connection. Offering a better understanding in a real-life situation allows for a longer lasting imprint on the mind and a new way of thinking.
Teach a child about money in a positive manner. Any age can have fun with “money” so begin now to teach ways they can understanding the value of having money and how money is used. Little ones can even practice counting and saving money. Make it fun and add more challenging activities as the child becomes better at the lessons learned.
Learn together. If you feel you aren’t able to support your child with this knowledge beyond the classroom, then learn it together. The connection will be priceless.