Just as parents look for great resources to teach kids about personal finance, educators are searching for tools they can use to help students grasp economics in a broader scope. Bankaroo has set out to address this and now is incredibly easy—and affordable!—to integrate into your school.
What Is Economics?
Economics is a science that focuses on how goods are produced, distributed and consumed. It includes a study of how money or general wealth shifts during these processes.
Why Should Kids Study Economics?
Kids today face a world ripe with significant problems, such as high unemployment, pollution and the rising cost of goods. Studying economics shows children—and adults—what truly contributes to those issues. Understanding those problems lets kids make a plan for how to protect themselves and their larger communities, ultimately making them more conscientious and responsible contributors to society. Often, the understanding of the world that comes with economic study makes kids feel more secure, as they can grasp why certain circumstances arise or estimate how likely it is that they’ll face particular situations.
What’s the Student Problem?
Traditionally, teachers and parents alike expected kids to learn personal finance and economic instruction at home, as parents/caregivers could offer children hands-on training in stores and other financial institutions. Educators thus focused on other social studies areas, such as history or geography. Modern curricula still favor this model, leaving economics out of textbooks and general social studies programs. In fact, many social studies instructors feel they aren’t prepared to teach finance or economics, especially as school budgets get tighter and restrict which training sessions teachers can enroll in. Unfortunately, many parents feel the same way. They also are facing increased logistical demands that rob them of the time they want to spend teaching economics to their kids. Many schools are responding to the demand for economic instruction by including economics lessons or classes in what they offer, but effective tools have an enormous influence on how effective those plans and courses actually are.
Bankaroo for Schools: Filling the Unwanted Gap
Bankaroo for Schools is a new version of Bankaroo designed specifically for educators and academic administrators. It allows you to create individual student accounts to teach not only personal finance, but economics, as well. You can add multiple administrators and classes, customizing every student account you create.
As an example of how Bankaroo for Schools can be a valuable resource for teaching economics, your class might create its own economy with a currency (e.g., pencil erasers or candies) and jobs (e.g., passing out papers or feeding the class pet). Once you create accounts for your students, you can use Bankaroo for Schools to track the earning and spending balance for each child within the class economy. Each student can have their own goals, such as saving enough for an item at the class store, or you can have your students create collective goals, such as “producing” x erasers or candies to sell. In this way, the service can let you cover everything from basic budgeting to the complexities of reducing national debt. Opportunity cost, supply and demand, inflation and job value are additional topics you could use Bankaroo for Schools to address. You also can use two different units to create two different economies and compare them, or you can have different classrooms “compete” with each other, analyzing the accounts to see which economy is more stable or enjoyable. Students also can track the success or failure of individual economies over time, connecting to social studies lessons about history and government. The fact that Bankaroo for Schools is so customizable and hands on puts it a head and shoulders ahead of other economics resources, which often give criteria that are overly strict or become dated over time.
Economic study is necessary for kids to feel secure and empowered in today’s world. Parents often find it difficult to teach their kids about money as thoroughly or consistently as they’d like given their other responsibilities, however, and although many schools now include economics in their curricula, a large percentage of teachers don’t feel ready to teach it. Bankaroo for Schools offers a solution to this conundrum, providing a platform through which instructors can supplement home lessons and cover a huge range of economic topics. With its ease of use and cost-effective implementation, it’s worth including in your lesson plans!