This past weekend, my family planned a party for my birthday in Peckerwood Hills, where one of my sons lives. It was a lovely affair, barbeque, swimming, cake and music.
The two girls on the verge of teenage, played beautiful music on the baby grand. One granddaughter is already in state level piano competition. Younger Livey is not far behind and even Prince William can already rap out 3 little tunes.
I always cry when I hear Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art, and Livey surprised me playing Amazing Grace. Her older sister is more into the classics.
Sunday was an extremely hot day, and after lunch, everyone but me donned their bathing suits and jumped into the pool. I sat on the screened-in back patio with the fan going, just watching the children play in the pool. All of a sudden, I heard Prince William yell, “No I don’t want to go in the deep end.” Earlier I had watched him swim under water in the shallow end.
Then I noticed his father swimming around in the deep end, trying to coax William to dive in. Telling him he would give him $100.00 if he would take the plunge in the deep end. William sat on the edge of the pool as they chatted back and forth about diving in the deep end. He really wanted that $100.00 reward, but could not bring himself to take the plunge.
Now Prince William can filibuster and argue like a Philadelphia lawyer at five years old. Sitting on the patio observing, I was very amused at this dialogue, when I heard William say to his dad, “Is there any other way I can earn that one-hundred dollars?” Cracked me up. However William never took the bait to dive in the deep end, and lost his chance at the money.
Tuesday when his mom dropped him off to stay with me, I told him we were having Money School and I would teach him how to obtain one-hundred dollars in other ways. On my dining table I lined up 100 pennies, 4 quarters, ten dimes, and 20 nickels, and two-one dollar bills.The two bills he had earned previously doing a chore, cleaning the glass on pictures.
First I instructed him to count each one, and he did, then explained each set of coins made one-dollar, and it took one hundred of each to make up one hundred dollars. He was fascinated by this, and we went over several times. Then I put each denomination in a tiny plastic bag, into a metal coffee can, and printed “William’s Bank” on the can. I explained to him this six dollars was his “seed corn” which he could multiply by doing chores until it grew to one-hundred dollars.
The next day his mom brought him again, and as he walked through the back door said, “I want to go to Money School this morning.”
As readers of my articles know, Prince William is in his second year of gardening, and recently harvested popcorn from plants he started from seed in kindergarten. A few days ago, I showed him how to shuck the corn, then shell the corn, put it in a pan and popped the corn he grew. He sat watching, “Sponge Bob,” eating the popcorn he grew!!!
So in his second lesson to learn how to acquire one-hundred dollars, I explained the “Seed Principle” to him and we had planted, the five different denominations the day before to attract more money. He had taken the coffee can of six dollars home, so I rounded up more change and spread out on dining table for him to sort, name and count. He remembered everything I had explained the day before.
I’m beginning to suspect this child has total recall and a high comprehension level. Because he is in his second year of garden planting, and ready to plant a little fall garden, he could easily understand the exponential scale, by planting one seed proliferates into many others. He had already tasted the rewards of his harvest by eating a bowl of popcorn.
After his second lesson about money and what constitutes one-hundred dollars, he asked me how he could earn some money. I told him I would pay him one-dollar to pick up the small sticks in my front yard. And he happily picked up all the sticks to earn another dollar.
Recently I saw a program about a young man from England here in the United States implementing a program of nutritional lunchroom programs in the government school system. With concerns about the health of young Americans eating junk food. Very revealing, most of these students have no idea where a tomato, bean or potato come from. This is what I term pathetic ignorance.
It’s my very firm belief, the parent is the natural teacher, along with siblings, grandparents and other family members. It’s an opportunity when a person is in a position to teach a child, and children love learning about everyday things in their lives, which forms a basis of higher learning.
The very simple task of teaching a child about growing food from seeds, counting money, how to earn it and increase it, teaches a child about universal law, simple arithmetic and economics plus survival skills. It’s not rocket science, quite simple and provides a lot of joy for the teacher, and expands the curiosity of the child.
My expression of this joyful experience, came as a result of sitting on the patio, and hearing a five year old inquire of his Dad, “Is there any other way I could get a hundred-dollars?”
From Leaves of Gold, The Harvest: “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a charactor; sow a charactor, reap a destiny.”
Let Freedom Ring