We are very excited. Today is the second day of training for International Towne!
One of our favorite yearly experiences in our homeschool is participating in Young Ameritowne. We’ve done Ameritowne for four years now, but this will be our first time at International Towne.
I feel incredibly lucky to live in a city that offers such a neat resource. Ameritowne and International Towne are usually offered to public school kids, but the organization who hosts them, Young Americans Center for Financial Education, is happy to work with homeschool groups, too.
At Ameritowne, the kids each have a job (police officer, bank teller, delivery person, disc jockey, etc.) in different businesses (the bank, the college, the warehouse, etc.) to help make the Towne run. The setup at the location is adorable and really cool. The kids also have to write checks, make deposits, buy stamps, and learn about money management, supply and demand, and other financial and civic concepts.
A huge curriculum is made available to teachers (and, of course, homeschool parents). Teachers at a school can use this curriculum over the course of the school year, leading up to Ameritowne as the culminating experience. In our homeschool groups, each parent makes the decision how much they want to teach beforehand, but we have two training sessions in the two weeks prior to the event, in which we have the elections, learn about some of the concepts (supply and demand, advertising), have job interviews and get training for the individual jobs, and learn to fill out a check and keep a check register. When the day arrives, the kids are excited and ready to buckle down and work! You’d be amazed at how hard even 6 or 7 year-old kids will work.
International Towne is different – it’s aimed at older kids, and the emphasis is on global economics. Instead of different businesses, the kids will each work in different countries. They will be working with exchange rates, international trade, cultural awareness, currency exchange. It’s still got a cute setup, and I’ll be sure to take pictures next week when we go for the actual event.
Last week, we had our first training, and the kids got to be interviewed (I got to be one of the interviewers – I love that part). They also did an international taste test, learned about some of the countries, and did a paper craft. This week, they’ll find out what their jobs and countries are and train for those. And next week is the big day, when we go to International Towne. If it’s even half as cool as Ameritowne, it’s going to be an amazing experience – and we hear from other homeschooling friends who have done both that it’s even cooler.
If you live in Colorado and you homeschool, please look into taking your kids to Young Ameritowne or International Towne. If you live in Colorado and you public school, find out if your school participates in one of these programs – and if they don’t, ask them to! It really is that awesome.