Connecting School to Material Wants

Many children are ill prepared for the real world because they do not know the cost of things or that doing well in school is correlated with how much money they earn as adults.

Kids today handle more money than their parents did as children and some do not yet know the value of a dollar.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | February 25, 2015

When I first left home as a teenager, I was totally clueless as to how much things cost. My parents neglected to teach me about one of the most important life skills I needed – managing money. The earlier a parent ties money and cost to things they want in life the better prepared they will be when they go out on their own. While you are at it, throw in combining education with pay or salaries.

Some kids love going to school and some do not. Goal setting can help but many have difficulty connecting the now to the future job and earning power. Here is a simple, low-tech way to get your kids to want to go to school, a visual wants poster.

You will need:

• 1 Sheet of poster board, any color
• 1 School glue or glue stick
• 1 Pair of scissors
• Several old or discarded magazines

The poster board can be whole or divided into parts for NOW, the NEAR FUTURE and DISTANT FUTURE. Have your son or daughter look through magazines to find pictures of things they want or would like to have at some point in the future. For example: a cell phone, game system, brand name sneakers or clothes for NOW or perhaps a car in the NEAR FUTURE, and a house, family for the DISTANT FUTURE. Children can also clip words to add to the poster board.

When the children are finished cutting out pictures, help them arrange them on the poster board according to the NOW, the NEAR FUTURE and DISTANT FUTURE. As kids begin to glue the pictures in place you and your child can talk about what is needed in order to obtain these things. Locate prices and add the figure to the poster. Studying and applying will get better grades, better grades will get them into college and a college degree is more likely to get them a better paying job, which may mean more money. Cha-ching!

If your child wants to play football in high school, glue the picture of the football player to the NEAR FUTURE section. You discuss the grades requirements that you and the school have in place. If your child is taking driver’s education and is thinking about a car, they can add the picture of her dream car to her poster board. You and your children can discuss the different prices for a used or new car and rules you will have about school and driving.

Hang the children’s wants poster to their wall or door where they will see it every day. They can add new wants as they see fit and who knows, family may get ideas for birthdays and holidays!

You can expand or modify the wants poster to fit your needs. If your child wants friends they can cut out a picture and words that will lead to having friends like: truthful, honest, confidential, fun and be a friend. If your child wants to eat healthier, they can create a good food/bad food poster. You are only limited by your imagination!

PHOTO: Courtesy of Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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3 Responses to Connecting School to Material Wants

  1. kcg1974 says:

    So important! How I wish I had done something like this when my boys were young.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      I wish my parents had done more to connect school education to life. When my girls were 8 and 12 years old they teased each other about the type of old rusty car they would have if they received a less than satisfactory report card in school. I smile remembering this… and I hope it doesn’t embarrass Katie or Chelsey. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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