I think that for many people, the idea of teaching young children about money feels a bit odd. I can understand that, because at first glance, I think that's how I would feel and I'm an economist saying this! Unfortunately, a lot of people associate money with greed, selfishness and other "bad" values that we generally don't want to pass on to our children. But money itself, and the role it plays in the world, carries none of those values inherently; all of those negative associations arise from people spending money in particular ways. One thing I find interesting is that there are also plenty of values that most people consider "good" that could also be associated with spending money in other ways (such as 'frugal', 'generous', 'good provider') but I don't think that's the first thing that comes to most people's minds.
At any rate, however you feel about money, I think most people would agree that those who have a better understanding of economics are probably more likely to spend their money wisely. Understanding trade-offs and incentives, that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and how to compare costs and benefits are crucial for making good decisions (and not just about money). I'd also argue that understanding markets, both when they work and when they don't, is crucial for being an informed citizen. So I am excited that some teachers, like Mrs. S. at C. Wayne Collier Elementary School in Hope Mills, North Carolina, are trying to expose students to these concepts as early as possible. Ms. S. wants to give her first graders the experience of being producers and consumers in a simulated market where they will make and 'sell' crafts. However, she needs some help with buying the materials. You can help her out by donating on the DonorsChoose website. You can also check out the other economics projects I'm promoting, or search for other worthy projects.
Welcome new readers!
The "New to the blog? Start here" page will give you an overview of the blog and point you to some posts you might be interested in. You can also subscribe to receive future posts via RSS, Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right-hand side of the page, or via email by entering your address in the box. Thanks for reading!