>> April 2, 2020
>> Blog Post #52
This is a perfect example of what getting sidetracked is like. I wrote the 1st part of this post back on January 24th, thinking the follow up would come within a couple days. Here it is, 2 months later…. That January evening, as I was planning on having the pizza discussion for dinner, I got an important call just before dinner and the discussion with the kids just never happened.
This time, I put my kids to bed after having read to them “Nobody know how to make a Pizza” and discussed it a little bit before kissing them good night. Here are just a few comments about the discussion
I don’t know how other children react to the story, but when I asked them beforehand if they knew how to make a pizza, they all said yes. What was interesting, is that I asked them separately, so they wouldn’t influence each other. Their answer was as expected, they just gave me the recipe, how to mix the various finished ingredients together: dough, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings. I proceeded to ask them if they knew how to make the dough. They said yes, you have to take some flour. Instead of asking them if they knew what else you needed to make dough, I asked them if they knew how to make flour. I believe I did this unconsciously as I wouldn’t have been able to actually know if they were right or wrong had they given me a longer list of ingredients for the dough as I am incapable of making dough myself. Now that I think of it as I am writing, I must make the effort to remember this tomorrow and tell them, just to show them how even parents don’t know everything (just in case they were wondering, which they probably aren’t).
Did they know how to make flour? Yes, they did! Or actually, they didn’t respond that way, they were unanimous in reframing my question and answering with – and I must say the complacent tone was pretty funny – “well you just go to the store and buy it”.
Anyways, we read through the story and they pretty much got the point that there is more to a dish or even a specific ingredient than meets the eye. The story will be helpful in that I will be able later on, to refer back to it and say, “see just like in the pizza story, try to see behind what seems so common”.
But that was it. No economics, no human action, none of that. That didn’t come spontaneously and maybe it just wasn’t the right time. Maybe they’ll ask questions later, or I will try to introduce the discussion again, but the first read was literal and all about pizza.
Originally, I had planned on teaching them some of these basic economic principles by reading The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible to them. I have met the author, Ken Schooland and like the approach a lot. But I opted for a simpler story by going with the pizza first. Maybe it was too literal and too childish after all.
I’ll obviously compare and write about it in the future. Now if anyone has experience with these books or others, please send me ideas or comments below or by email. I’m very much interested in what people have to say about teaching economic principles to children.