Teaching kids resilience and critical thinking is hard. You have to let them fail and learn from their mistakes. You can't hand them the answers, or they won't develop the capacity to think for themselves. And you can't insulate them from consequences, or they'll have an unrealistic sense of risk.
Being good at business requires both resilience and critical thinking. The best way to teach kids about business is to have them start their own business. The second best way is...well, to have them read KidVenture. Book blogger Andi's Middle Grade & Chapter Books seems to agree in her review of KidVenture: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue:
The teacher in me really appreciates so many aspects of this book! It's an entertaining story that I think kids can relate to. I mean, everyone wants to try to earn money, right? And Chance has to work at figuring out how much money he needs for his prized bike and then how to make his business happen. His father isn't just handing him the money, nor is he handing him the answers to questions. "You can figure it out." I am a firm believer in guiding toward answers and not just giving them. You'll raise better critical thinkers that way.
And does Chance always get his way? No. Is it a super easy ride for him? Of course not. He's going to make a few mistakes. But being allowed to make mistakes actually allows for better learning experiences in the future.
I also like that at the end of each chapter, there are questions for readers to ponder. They can do so on their own, in their head or maybe in a journal. But these also make for some great discussion questions should this book be read with multiple kids at home or in a group setting at school. Lots of possibilities here.
We're very happy to see a middle grade teacher endorse KidVenture as a book that can be used in schools to teach critical thinking.
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