Talking to our kids about money is a responsibility of the
home and school. In fact, building
financial literacy is a lifelong process and students as young as kindergarten
and younger can benefit from early discussions about money.
To bring attention to the importance of talking with our
kids about money and to help get the conversation started, Ridgeview students
participated in the “Talk With Our Kids About Money Day” held this past month
(and celebrated the third Wednesday of each April).
Talk With Our Kids About Money Day is an initiative which in
the past year saw 2,020 schools and over 400,000 students across Canada
participate. Classroom and subject
teachers were encouraged to engage in conversations with students about
money. A comprehensive, creative,
collaborative approach to healthy financial conversations was encouraged. Some ideas discussed included:
can we save money and help the environment?
do you balance a personal budget?
Language Arts: Read
a newspaper article and discuss countries and currency.
Social Studies: What
motivated the start up of the Hudson’s Bay company?
Arts Education: Listen
to a money song and create a collage depicting needs versus wants.
Health Education: Compare
and contrast a weekly menu: eating
out versus eating homemade food.
Career Education: Conceptualize
and implement a small enterprise in your school…Dragon Den style.
A cross curricular approach to teaching financial literacy
was also explored by Mr. Blackburn’s grade 6 students who participated in a
program called Start Up Skool.
Start Up Skool is a program designed to work with teachers
in the classroom to help transform youth into critical thinkers, problem
solvers, creators, and ethical entrepreneurs. Start Up Skool challenges students to make a pitch, Dragon’s
Den style, in order to apply for a loan that they can use to start an ethical
The grade 6 students pitched a smoothie business, which they
called “Instasnacks” (follow them on Instagram!). After some research, the team decided that they would donate
the profits from their business to the Free the Children charity. The pitch was a success, and the
marketing, operations, finance and product design teams worked hard to turn a
$200 loan into a successful business.
After their very first sale, Instasnacks was not only able to pay back
the loan, but also raised over $600 for Free the Children.
Together, the students learned about entrepreneurship,
collaboration, leadership the importance of giving all components of financial
There are numerous resources for parents to support the
teaching of financial literacy.
One site, Money Coaches provides quick tips to get you started.
Gail Vaz Oxlande’s blog, Making Money Make Sense, is also an
excellent resource .
Gail emphasizes that teaching kids a healthy, balanced
attitude towards money begins when kids are young. She provides lots of tips and strategies so support raising
It is no surprise that Kindergarten teachers
Mrs. Daudlin and Mrs. Campbell promote many Money-Smart strategies learned from
Gail in their recent blog post Talk to Our Kids about Money on their website The Self Regulated Teacher.
There are many storybooks that emphasize
financial literacy for primary students.
Staff top picks are:
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, and
Bunny Money written by Rosemary Wells
Research shows the importance of starting the conversation
about money early in order to promote the development of positive skills,
attitudes and behaviours toward money.
Financial literacy, like all other forms of literacy needs to be taught
explicitly and practiced in real life contexts both at home and at school. Here’s to raising the next generation
of money-smart kids!