Street Smarts at an Early Age

Gabrielle Blair is a super blogger and has a series on her site featuring home tours from other cool families. This bit from the most recent one really stuck with me. Rebecca Brown has two kids (7 and 5) who she also home schools, and this is what she said about that:

I’m also a big believer in kids getting their street smarts at an early age, so I make sure we spend a lot of time out of the house working on handling money, visiting house-bound church members, crossing streets, reading street signs, etc. This summer we’re doing a transportation unit and will spend a lot of time learning how use our local bus and train systems, so when they backpack through Europe or Asia one day they will have no fear of public transportation or reading a subway map.

I love that: “street smarts at an early age.”  I can remember playing cashier in elementary school and counting out fake change and balancing a checkbook in middle school math class, but that’s about the extent of the proper education I had about money as a young kid. Having your 5 and 7 year old kids use the bus and train and buy things with cash seems super cool and progressive. Also: A mom who expects and hopes for her kids to backpack solo abroad? Awesome.

---
---
---
---
---
---

9 Comments / Post A Comment

Genghis Khat (#584)

I am a cashier in DC and I notice that this happens a lot with people I suspect are lower income, that they pay for their stuff and have their kids pay for their stuff and tell them to count the change and thank me. Even though it sort of messes up my scores I like it. I think it’s important for kids to learn how to deal in the world. I suspect it happens in the group I think it’s happening in because learning to deal with money is pretty make it or break it. For some people even getting into credit card debt is virtually impossible if you can’t get credit.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Genghis Khat Scores?

EternalFootwoman (#1,096)

@bgprincipessa Cash registers can keep track of how fast the cashier is and will give the average per-transaction speed. Usually there is some sort of goal, and it can be tied to bonuses, salary, etc. So a customer who is slow can negatively affect the cashier’s rating, which is one reason a cashier will give you the stank-eye if you write a check or pay in pennies.

Genghis Khat (#584)

@bgprincipessa EternalFootwoman is exactly right. At this point I’m fast enough that I don’t really worry about it, but it is one of those things that brings out my inner Marxist. It would be sooooo easy to make it so that the register only scores you on what is in your control (ie, scanning and bagging). They could make it so it stops tracking when you move to a payment screen, but they don’t. I personally cynically believe that this is because they always want to make sure they have something they can yell at you about and/or fire you for, even though it is out of your control. I never, ever take this out on the customer, because they don’t know, and I try to remember that [huge company] and capitalism are my enemies (employers) not the customer, but sometimes it’s hard. Especially when people are rude.

Megano! (#124)

Yes! I actually took financial level math in grade 11, but it was optional, and for the “dumb” kids. If you wanted to get into a science or math program in university you couldn’t even take it! Considering the mess that so many people have gotten into with money these days, I think this sort of class should be mandatory.

AmandaA (#936)

@Megano! Well, except that I took that financial math class (I was a dumb kid, sigh) and it didn’t really teach me anything about financial math at all. I still don’t know how to balance a chequebook!

There really ought to be a USEFUL finances class (let’s not call it Math or count it as such — the kids who are killer at calc aren’t necessarily great with a mortgage!) in … I don’t know, when were those Careers and Civics classes? Mandatory and not counted toward Uni grades.

Megano! (#124)

@AmandaA Oh, I don’t think I learned about cheques either but I have literally maybe used a cheques like 10 times ever. But we did learn about interest, and the importance of having RRSPs and stuff. I don’t think we did basic budgeting, but that is definitely something it should include.

Megano! (#124)

@Megano! Oh also Careers and Civics were in Grade 10.

florabora (#123)

Yes! Please take your kids on the train/bus. Encountering people in college (from the suburbs OR the city, depending on which city) who were basically afraid of public transportation and/or thought they were above it was awful.

Comments are closed!