This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and 2.
My husband and I live in different time vortexes. I live in the near future. More like the Jetson’s. My husband grudgingly lives in the 1950’s. I think he would be happier in the Flintstones era. This difference rarely effects our marriage as we care very little about the other’s passions.
One of Andy’s clients shared a brilliant money idea. Their kids have fake checks, keep a register for their savings, writing checks to the parents for account withdraws. Andy loved this, since it teaches kids to see money actually being spent, and how to write a check.
But I wonder whether when my kids are older, will there even be checks? I personally haven’t used a check since 2004. I do not use a check register since it did not stop me from bouncing checks. I have dyslexia, so doing math did not guarantee I was keeping the correct amount in my register.
So instead, I check my bank account daily to make sure that where I went and spent yesterday is showing up today. The computer does the math. I’ve stopped bouncing checks. In fact, I stopped reconciling my account each month. There is no need when the computer does the job for me.
I am 33 years old, and I do mean old. I don’t keep up with technology like my kids do. They can do things with Minecraft that I’m not sure are legal. I sit down to the computer to discover they have done things I have no clue how to change. Like changing the keyboard to German.
There is no need to teach the kids an old system. Andy disagrees and points to a mysterious $77 transaction. I told him I did not spend it. I asked if he did. He cannot remember and says this is why we need a register, so we could know. I told him if he was that worried I would simply stop payment on the check. He said forget it.
It does not matter if we each think one way is better than the other. The fact is, technology has rapidly changed our society to the point that even the some of the Amish use computers.
Our problem is not whether to write checks with or without a register, it’s that Andy and I never talk about money. We just hope for the best. The kids need to learn how to communicate delicate issues.
And this is a microcosm of the whole problem with our schooling; the issue with education is not how to teach the kids– the tools are not the point. The issue is what to teach the kids, because that stays with the kids long after the tools have changed.