Pocket Money vs Math for my 5 year old.
By Madhurie Singh, December 21, 2009
My son came running to me asking me for pocket money. He was watching some cartoon channel and was suddenly inspired.
I was busy setting exam paper for my MBA batch. So wanted to handle this situation asap.
This is how our conversation went.
Son: "Maa, I want pocket money"!
Me: “ Do you know all the numbers?”
Son: “ Yes”
Me: “ Ok count till the LAST number you know”
Son: “one, two…twenty, hundred, two hundred, million, trillion”.
(My two boys somehow always end up counting or discussing millions and trillions, nothing less will do)
Me: “ Ok but if I give you Rs 500, and the mall guy gives you only Rs100, back, how will you know he gave you the right amount?”
Son: Thinking for a few seconds. “ok then teach me now”
Me: “ Go get your doodle board. “
He ran and got his doodle board. (Earlier I have had to coax him to bring it out!)
Me: “ Write down all the numbers you know.”
My son was never so fast and obeying like now.
Son: “Here, see, I have finished writing all the numbers upto 20.”
“Now give me my pocket money.”
Me: “But you have to learn addition and subtraction before I give you pocket money.”
“ If you learn now, I will give you your pocket money right now”
I could see the excitement in his ever so naughty big eyes.
Son: “ Teach me addition and subtraction now.”
Me: “ Now?”
Son: “ Yes, now”. “ I am now five years old, I can learn anything!”
Wow, that is called confidence and the real urge to learn and what was motivating the whole excitement was that same thing that keeps all of us motivated.
Looks like my boy was getting to know the fundamentals of money matters rather earlier than my generation did. Hmm! Robert Kiyosaki will definitely be proud of my son. Time to read Rich Dad Poor Dad again !
Me: “ Ok, I will teach you addition”
“ How many fingers?” I waved three fingers of my right hand.
“Three, Coins”, he shouted.
I thought I heard it wrong. So I again repeated my question. But again he replied, “ Three Coins”!!!!
He was already sold to the pocket money and was seeing coins instead of my fingers! 😀
“How many fingers?” I waved two fingers of my left hand.
“Two Coins”, he was excited.
I changed from fingers to coin by now.
“Now add all the coins and tell me how many coins you see?”
“FIVE COINS !”, he shouted.
I tried the same exercise with various combinations, till I got bored.
I tried subtraction too, similarly.
I was now equally excited and took out a few one rupee and two rupee coins.
Spread them on the bed and asked him to separate out all one rupee coins and two rupee coins.
He did that quickly.
“Now tell me how many one rupee coin you have?”
“Great, and how many two rupee coins?”
“ Do you want to write how many coins you have ?”
And before any answer from him, he was writing down.
“Write down how many one rupee coin you have.”
He wrote the number seven.
“Write plus sign.”
He did that too.
“ Now write how many two rupee coins you have?”
He wrote down three.
“ Good, write equal to sign.”
Again he knew it, surprisingly.
“ So how many coins you have.”
He wrote down that too.
My five year old’s first mathematical equation was infront of me.
Proudly I hugged him.
I gave him all the coins and told him he can keep them.
After 2 minutes, my two boys came back to me. The younger had given 2 rupee coins to bhaiya. They wanted a wallet now!
So I took out the big plastic money bottle which was so heavy that it can only be rolled out, not carried.
Both of them found the real pleasure of putting the coins in the bottle.
"We are rich." I heard.
My younger one was very assured that his pocket money was kept safely in a big bottle.
He has seen it three times now just to make sure, the bottle is safe. 🙂