It may come as a surprise to you, but our family is just a leeeeeeetle bit out of the box. In fact, we don’t even remember where the box is anymore. So when people ask our kids what they want to be when they grow up, and nobody actually says something normal like doctor or lawyer or accountant or teacher, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Channeling those creative minds into something that will 1) make use of their God-given talents and 2) put food on their tables someday (or at least pay for their own children’s homeschool materials) is where Steve and I feel the challenge lies.
Recently we were given a tool to aid us on our challenge. It is from The Kingdom Code. They gave us The Complete Starter Kit with the textbook, a consumable student packet, and a teacher’s guide for our middle schoolers (Elijah, 13, and Rebecca, 10). For Eliana (7) they sent their JR Budget Kit and The Kingdom Code Coloring Book which admittedly Judah did abscond with…or with which Judah did abscond.
There’s a ton of information in those tools, and my head is still spinning a little bit. Getting everything ready and figuring out how it all works is time-consuming. It also consumed some of my brain cells, because I have learned that I am not good at learning curves, a.k.a. starting new things, anymore. You might find it easier to launch. Regardless, I’m going to share with you what I have learned thus far. If you want to skip my blahbity blah blah blab and see a sample lesson, they are free on the website. Free is excellent. Am I right? Also, you can read what other parent reviewers thought by clicking right here.
Now, let’s get down to brass roots…tacks…brass tacks. I wish there existed a business model for mutilators of cliches, because that would secure my future. Onward!
The Kingdom Code teaches young people how to budget, manage money, and operate their own business. In other words, they will learn useful skills in a hands-on manner. It is for the middle grades, about third to eighth, but can really be useful for older children, too. The addition of the coloring book draws younger children in as well.
I’m really not entirely sure how to categorize this course. It’s like a business, economics, personal finance, budget, character building course. Wowzers and zoinks!
The textbook is made of an impressively sturdy material. Even though it is spiral bound, it has endured six weeks of trailer life with nary a lost page. (I know most of you homeschool folks love your spirals, but in the trailer they just mean missing pages. Boo hoo!) It’s 27 lessons span 240 pages packed with information. Seriously, they’re packed. They recommend a lesson a week broken into two days. I like a lesson a week broken into three or four days, because we keep our lessons down to about ten minutes. The beginning lessons are teacher intensive (not the later lessons, however), and this teacher has a tiny little problem with the important life skill called staying awake. So…short lessons it is. Thankfully, The Kingdom Code encourages adapting to fit your family’s needs and lifestyle…and stay-awake-ability.
The lessons begin with Bible verses to maintain focus on how we receive gifts and our ultimate reason for their use. A different aspect of the “code of honor” for Kingdom Code Kids is highlighted in each lesson. Some examples are thriftiness, generosity, courage, and wisdom. I particularly appreciate that the students are encouraged with practical examples to apply their code of honor to real life. (I love it when they hear this respectfully and lovingly from someone who isn’t Mom, Dad, or Big Sis.)
I’m going to pause for a moment to emphasize something vitally important. Th Kingdom Code teachers vitally useful skills in a hands-on format encompassing Christian values. Does it get any more real world than this?
Each lesson includes some independent activities as well as some extra work to really “drill” the concepts into them. It doesn’t really feel like a drill though. I lost my thesaurus. Letters, historical adventures, a treasure map, somewhat zany activities like writing a jingle–it all adds up to make this learning adventure exciting and fun.
Much of the work the student does can be found in the included consumable student packet. (You will need on for each student.) Each lesson contains forms and worksheets (planning, financial, etc.) that emulate similar activities they will encounter in real life, including the real life of starting their own business in this course. More are available to download on the website if you’ve already purchased the course. Students can use flashcards to help them with vocabulary words. (I’m allergic to flashcards, so this went unused here.) There’s a map they can use to track progress with stickers. (I didn’t use it.) There’s also a receipt book, which I have to keep hiding from the little ones–very tempting, that.
The accompanying teacher’s guide is 132 pages of loose-leaf and hole-punched goodness, so you will either need a binder or a maid. The introduction holds your hand as you set everything up. There are lesson plans to last the entire year. Goals, materials, reminders, suggestions, and answers are also included. There’s also advice for activities to take the lessons even further, but personally, I’d only feel the need to do that if I was working with older students.
The JR Budget Kit is a separate product. It can stand alone. It’s for young students to understand budgeting and begin using their money accordingly. It teaches budgeting using the following:
- budgeting percentages sheet
- budget poster
- six coloring pages
This is an extremely valuable tool for training children to be good stewards of their finances! Of course, you can do this on you own, but The Kingdom Code helps guide you toward success. One thing my kids noticed came out like this, “Hey, they get to put more in spending than we do!” Uh, look away, kids. Look away. Wink wink.
Finally, a 32-page coloring book will occupy younger students (ours is 7 and a half) with knights, shields, and Biblical truths while the big kids work on their big kid projects. It’s excellent for tag-alongs who are part of the lessons (maybe using just the JR Budget Kit), but not ready for the activities involved. There’s a little overlap between the coloring book and the JR Budget Kit.
The project begins with service-based businesses. Elijah is interesting in signing, which you concert attendees know by now. He is thinking of making a career of being a sign language interpreter. Making this happen on the road as a business apart from signing at our events is our challenge, but even if he can’t make it happen now, he can still make a sort of feasibility study or business plan for the future.
(Above are some shots of Elijah and Rebecca signing at some of the hundreds of churches where they’ve signed.)
Rebecca wants to be a baker, so her plan belongs more in the goods-based business section. She is trying to figure out if selling cookies at our concerts will take money away from CD sales and our family and ministry budget.
Eliana is attentive to her budgeting needs, such as what to do with that Christmas and birthday money her grandma sends her, and where to send her gift dollars. She is thinking about offering bracelets or something also. We’re not sure where we’re going to go with these business ideas on the road, but at least the life skills will be firmly entrenched.
I am taking a little break from all school for a couple of weeks, and then sticking with the basics for a bit, so this will be put on the back burner temporarily. That is merely because I can’t handle any extras right now. I see its value and my kids are super excited to keep moving on this path, so I definitely want to keep going once I get a few more things prioritized and rearranged.
Learning the Christian and financial principles of business and budgeting and applying them in a safe real-world setting is invaluable. This is how The Kingdom Code helps parents take life skills to the next level. What do I mean? It’s great if a child can mend and cook eggs, but if they can start a mending business for tired moms or sell eggs Benedict to local tourists, they’ve got it made. Having a marketable skill and being able to market that skill while maintaining Christian integrity are two different things.
This course is rich! There is much in it that I haven’t accessed yet, but have only looked at. We review a lot of products, but we are now beginning to share the products we love and use consistently. This one will definitely make the cut. Please come back for another review when we’ve completed this course so we can give you a broader scope…and so you can hire my kids through whatever business they’ve finally settled on. Ha ha!
If you’re interested in getting 10% off The Kingdom Code, use this big bad code: 10TKC33
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