Here are a few suggestions that I see as a business owner (and a parent of a high school senior) that might make for learning opportunities as we move into the next few weeks of uncertainty:
1. Learn how to write a proposal letter. My first thought would be to write a letter proposal that asks someone for their business. Explain to the person in the letter why your product or service is valuable; explain why you are a trustworthy provider; explain why your cost is justifiable and why you will provide exemplary support – some might call this the value proposition. In this exercise, you would develop writing skills but also require some critical thinking.
2. Learn about your local economy. This could take several forms depending on the age of the child. At any age, it is essential to appreciate the factors that influence the local economy. Develop an awareness of the largest employers, local resources for job creation, and market drivers - such as tourism, manufacturing, healthcare, education, etc.
3. Understand local government. Pennsylvania has a strong form of local government, which can be difficult to understand at any age. Although a President or Governor may be more visible, our local county and municipal government system in Pennsylvania has a greater impact upon our daily lives than what is happening at the state or federal level. Have the student research who their local municipal and county elected officials are presently – identify what roles these officials play and how it is relevant to their daily life – planning, zoning, taxing, human services, utilities, etc.
4. Read a classic novel together with your child and discuss its relevance today.
5. Review your household budget with your child. Discuss how the budget is developed and how it is monitored throughout the year.
6. Review a copy of your pay stub with your child. Explain the various deductions from the gross salary – what they represent, how they are established and what they may provide (healthcare, retirement, unemployment compensation, etc).
I’m planning to try a few of these with my own daughter as we navigate the next few weeks.