The school routine during the COVID-19 lockdown has been pretty solid at our house. The boys get their schedules from the teacher the night before, they have set times they need to be in various video calls with teachers, and then they spend the rest of the time crunching out their assignments on their own – or on more video calls with friends.

This system has not been perfect to say the least, but as a short term fix it’s worked for us. But is it enough?

Even with a good roster of assignments, my boys are fond of “just taking a break” while they pop into a YouTube rathole, or build something on Roblox, or just get lost on the couch in Netflix.

So while they plow through their workload, and I’m looking for something enriching rather than couch potatoing (so I can get through MY workload), Shaw and EVERFI have teamed up to provide a roster of courses that are ‘not school,’ but also aren’t ‘wasted time.’

UPSKILL DURING A DOWNTURN

From health and wellness to financial literacy to entrepreneurial spirit, the EVERFI digital education platform has a wide range of programming for students from Gr 1 – 12 – for FREE. The Vault with financial literacy is good for Grades 4-6. Ignition offers digital wellness and safety for grades 6-9. Venture offers an entrepreneurial expedition for older kids in grades 8 – 10.

I’ve locked my boys in on the financial literacy and entrepreneurial courses. Since the early days, they’ve had bank accounts and have learned to save with their piggies for things they want down the road, with #ShawHelps and EVERFI, they take the dad lessons and amp them up with more detailed information, lots of fun quizzes, and real-world examples.

VAULT: UNDERSTANDING MONEY FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

This module really broke down the basics of money while explaining complicated real-world financial situations. Everything from inflation to opportunity cost to goal setting was tackled.

While the program is easy enough for kids to do on their own, I sat at the table next to Charlie to half-listen to what was going on and offer my own insight into the lessons from EVERFI.

Opportunity Cost was a great one we tackled – is it worth it for all these people to wait hours in line outside certain stores during the outbreak? We paid a small premium for delivery from one of these stores and when I explained the hours in line, plus the driving, plus the stress vs getting the item delivered for a few extra dollars, was the opportunity cost worth it?

YES! Came the reply. The kid gets it.

VENTURE: ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPEDITION

A few summers ago, the boys thought they would start up a door-to-door scone selling business. They did the math on costs for the ingredients, they calculated the time, and then they went out into the neighbourhood to ask people if they would be interested in buying homemade scones from kids who lived around the corner.

It was a great exercise in business planning that didn’t really go anywhere. Still, the seed was planted. In the summer the boys like to visit garage sales to look for valuable items they can flip online. When spring cleaning comes around, they’re eager to take toys they no longer use and earn some money to replace them.

So I assigned that to him, and he instead went to the High School Financial Literacy course.

Hey, no harm no foul. He can explain that stocks are like buying a piece of a company and getting a share in the profits. He knows bonds are used to borrow and pay interest. He “understands” how monetary policy affects exchange rates, and he knows that inflammation is what causes prices to rise.

Okay, so maybe the inflation section went over his head, but hey – he was taking a high school level finance section in grade 7. We’ll try again with the Venture segment next week.

#SHAWHELPS PUTTING IN THE PRACTICE

I love the #ShawHelps and EVERFI partnership because it’s that bit of real-world education so many parents wish could be integrated more into the school curriculum. It’s learning, but it’s not school. It’s work, but it’s not homework.

The #ShawHelps program is designed to keep individuals, families, and communities connected and supported while they observe physical distancing and self-isolation. Other initiatives include donating $1 million to Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), giving two months of free internet service to Shaw customers on the Government of Canada’s ‘Connecting Families’ program for low-income households, and opening up Shaw Go WiFi — Canada’s largest WiFi network — to all Canadians, regardless of whether they are a Shaw customer.

When the boys finish off their science and math and social studies assignments, diving in for an extra few minutes or an hour on a module with EVERFI is easy. There are status bars to keep them on track and knocking off another segment each day is an accomplishment. It’s not a never-ending classroom assignment, they can measure their success immediately.

They’re learning valuable skills that immediately translate, they’re putting in the practice that will help them keep their heads, and get ahead.

This post is sponsored by Shaw

 

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