It turns out returning to school in your 30s, as an educated woman already a decade into her career, brings back that unmistakable sense of dread. Did I forget my homework? Was my skirt tucked into my tights? Would I be late? Lauren Davidson, finance editor of The Telegraph reports.
The reason I found myself voluntarily going back to school on a grey morning in June was to join a class of eight-year-olds at Ark Brunel Primary Academy in west London for my very first finance lesson.
“Hands up if you like money!” Shane Franklin, the enthusiastic educator, asked the cross-legged crew sitting on the floor. Every arm shot up – including mine, although I thought he was talking about Money, this newspaper section.
The kids weren’t lying. When Franklin asked them what they would do with £1,000 in free cash there was palpable excitement in the room – actual gasps and giggles – at the thought of having so much money.
The answers were varied, from the heartwarming to the hilarious. Among those who said they would use the money to buy a holiday or a house, there was one who said he would donate the full amount to a care home.
Another said she would spend it on working at Kidzania, the job-based play centre (one day she’ll learn it’s the other way around) while an eager boy piped up that he would splash the full grand on Pokémon cards.
The point of this exercise was to get the children thinking and talking about the value of money. Why do we want it? What do we use it for? And how do we get it?
School sessions like the one I attended, run by financial education charity MyBnk, are not just refreshing reminders of how kids think but vital in teaching people about earning, saving and value from a young age.
There are simple ways to continue this education at home. Never make your children feel like money is a dirty or private subject. Show them cash and help them understand how much of it buys what – a chocolate bar, a T-shirt, a weekly shop. Turn earning, saving or even investing into a game you play together. Talk to them about your work; I still remember the excitement I felt as a child going with my parents to that magical faraway place, The Office.
Read the full article Kids say the funniest things: what I learnt in a finance class with eight-year-olds
What would your class do if given £1000 each? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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