Who Knew? TBB is Curriculum Compliant!

It’s been an interesting year at the Gifting Sense project. Prior to the pandemic, we spent a lot of time reassuring people that our digital platform was indeed safe and free – two things thought to be mutually exclusive. Then physically visiting schools became almost impossible which inadvertently paved the way for increased comfort with digital platforms – and in a full circle moment we are now experiencing demand for Zoom classroom visits – often being scheduled with the proviso that if in person is possible, it is preferable.

Teachers always had our respect and admiration, but even more so now – as we can’t help but appreciate how much harder their jobs are – as we try to do ours. A Zoom workshop is definitely better than no workshop, but also challenging:

  1. There’s no walking amongst the desks, which allows us to quickly see who has completed what stage of calculating the DIMS (Does It Make Sense?) Score for a possible purchase.
  2. If the class has more students then fit on one screen of participants, you don’t get the visual power of everyone giving a show of hands for who thinks their possible purchase might make sense – or who came to understand that it may not.
  3. We can’t just lean over a student’s shoulder and give them instructions on how to load an image into their potential purchase questionnaire.

All of that said, we’re still hearing some really great things from parents and educators who are witnessing students experiencing genuine moments of reflection as they are introduced to, and then began to practice, TBB (Thinking Before Buying)! And we’ve even come to understand that the Gifting Sense platform is almost universally compliant with Financial Literacy Curriculum Guidelines throughout North America. And that is what this post is focussed on, the many ways conducting a Gifting Sense workshop (in a classroom, online, with their own Teacher, parent, or a visit from us), can help children develop the very skills Educators have concluded will prepare them for a better life.

Here are just two examples:

1) The 2020 U.S. National Strategy for Financial Literacy, on pages 7 and 8, describes the lessons we witness occurring on a regular basis: That effective “…financial capability building blocks focus on building, over time, young people’s executive functions (such as self-control and perseverance), financial habits and norms (such as the value of planning ahead), and financial knowledge and decision-making skills (such as finding and using trusted sources of information), starting in early childhood…” Anyone familiar with our process (which has been successfully undertaken in all three of classroom, home and community settings), understands that we are all about helping kids learn to plan ahead, avoid buyer’s remorse and equip themselves with financial language comfort – ensuring they will be able to ask relevant questions when they are faced with higher-stakes consumer decisions as they age.

2) The Ontario Ministry of Education’s new K-8 Math Curriculum Expectations by Strand also clearly illustrate how learning about and then adopting the habit of TBB (Thinking Before Buying) is wholly aligned with the Social Emotional Learning Skills (SEL: Expectation A1) and Mathematical Processes that Educators in that province are tasked with delivering. A child who calculates the DIMS (Does It Make Sense?) Score for a potential purchase cannot help but move their thinking forward in each of the six main areas of development identified within Expectation A1. For ease of reference these are that to the best of their ability students in each grade will learn to: 1. identify and manage emotions, 2. recognize sources of stress and cope with challenges, 3. maintain positive motivation and perseverance, 4. build relationships and communicate effectively, 5. develop self-awareness and sense of identity, and 6. think critically and creatively. NB: In Grades Four through Eight there are also several grade-specific criteria that Educators can meet for Expectation F1 (Financial Management/ Consumer and Civic Awareness).

Thanks to the pandemic we no longer have to convince people that we are free and safe. We’ve even uncovered that our process is almost universally compliant with financial literacy curriculum guidelines in both Canada and the United States.

Who Knew? TBB is Curriculum Compliant! Content Image
TBB is Curriculum Compliant Zoom

As a testament to our commitment to financial literacy for children, we at the Gifting Sense project are truly “platform agnostic”. That is to say that if you get the young people in your life “game ready” for all of the personal finance decisions that lie ahead of them using our tools, or someone else’s, we’re good. Obviously we believe that birthday and holiday gift giving provides a regular and easy way to deliver engaging lessons on how to plan and spend wisely.  (Recall our platform is age and content flexible thanks to our many silos of potential purchase questionnaires.) But what we really care about – is that parents and educators everywhere are able to deliver these lessons however they best see fit – because we’ve got an awful lot of hardworking people struggling with personal finances right now, in part because, for no doubt many good and understandable reasons, they did not receive those lessons when they were younger.

We are so committed to financial literacy for children that if you get the young people in your life “game ready” for all of the personal finance decisions that lie ahead of them using our tools, or someone else’s, we’re good.

Visit the Teacher Tab or Virtual Café to learn about some of the ways you can exit the pandemic with money-smarter students, daughters or sons. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want help delivering your own workshop, or would like us to deliver one for you, via Zoom for the time-being. But don’t worry, when we eventually get Covid-19 under control, we’ll happily wear “Visitor” name-tags at schools and community centres everywhere. Until then, know you don’t have to be anything other than someone who cares to ask a kid “What’s the DIMS Score?” the next time they want something. It just might be the easiest way ever to get them to learn about the AP (Awesome Power) of TBB.


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