Without a doubt, pretty much everyone I’ve met thinks that society as a whole needs to do a better job (any job?) teaching our young ones about money in general. Throw in a financial crisis and education on money matters is more top-of-mind than ever.
But where and when do you start? The earlier the better I say.
Clearly the material taught has to reflect the life stage of the pupil, and since I have no kids and only recently starting hanging out with babies, I have very little working knowledge of how to effectively engage children. However, ING Direct has just launched “Planet Orange” which is designed as an interactive way to teach young kids (Grades 1 through 6) about the very basics of money.
They sent me a press release and I checked it out earlier tonight. I signed up for an account and completed about 25% of the program. It is set up as a website/game that kids log into and they control a spacecraft that can travel to four different worlds. On each world are four different lessons/stories about money ranging from the origins of money and budgeting and eventually getting up to the very basics of portfolios. They earn money for hearing stories and completing quizzes and they have to budget their money in order to buy fuel to go to the other worlds, etc. So not only do they learn about money’s history, they actually get to put budgeting into practice.
Like I said, I don’t know what works with kids, but perhaps some readers with more experience with children would like to check out the site and let us know your thoughts? Here’s the site: http://www.orangekids.ca/