With lockdown the new norm, many parents are learning to juggle jobs, kids, partners and sometimes parents from the confines of their homes. Some schools are hosting online lessons due to the uncertainty about when schools will reopen. This has resulted in parents having to assist their children with schoolwork while some have to work from home.
Lockdown is requiring more from all of us, not least from parents who have to juggle working from home with home schooling along with their other home and family commitments. For this reason, the Department of Basic Education has developed a list of online, broadcast and radio resources to help caregivers and learners.
The economic realities linked to the COVID-19 pandemic also present parents with an opportunity to teach children valuable life and money lessons.
“Talking about money with your child may be considered taboo and quite challenging, particularly now when there is so much uncertainty about what the future holds. However, as challenging as it is, it may be a valuable time for parents to teach their children about the value of money; how instant gratification often goes hand in hand with short-term happiness at the expensive of longer-term plans that can lead to better outcomes.‟
There’s never been a better time to teach children how to plan and allocate a budget to the 3 S’s – spend, save and share.
Listed here are some tips on how parents can teach their children about money management as part of their home-schooling “curriculum”
Earn and set a plan for the 3 S’s to develop bosses of budgeting
Consider paying children a small sum of money for extra chores so they can learn to value what they earn. Help your children create their own budget and allocate it to what will be spent, saved and shared with others. Make this fun and track the budget together.
Spending – get creative, do more with less and focus on essentials
Government has identified essential items that may be purchased during lockdown. Even when the lockdown scenario moves beyond this phase, take the opportunity to teach children about smarter spending by helping them prioritise their needs vs wants.
Saving – get savvy with saving
Teach children how to get savvy with saving by guiding them to plan for the future or budget and save towards something special. Then help them draw up a savings plan. Make it fun! Do the maths together to demonstrate that more chores and smarter spending habits mean they’ll have more money to save. Make saving visual by considering using a transparent money box, or an online savings account for an older child where they can also learn how to manage money digitally.
The best learning takes place in day-to-day living and lessons learnt in context. School ultimately helps us prepare our children to thrive in life. As parents, we have the opportunity to use this precious time to teach our children everyday money lessons and cultivate work habits and the 3 S’s of money: spending, saving and sharing.