I love to teach. As obsessed as I’ve been with learning business for the past 14 years, it’s only natural that I like teaching my kids what I’ve learned. My girls are 8 and 10 years old so I love to find materials that really engage them. Much of the time, the things we talk about are as much about life as they are about business. For example, we recently read Jeff Bezos’ deeply moving graduation speech at Princeton. Nothing fires me up like watching them absorb the morals in a story like this.
So when I read about (thanks to Verne Harnish Kevin Daum) the out-of-print book “How to Become King” by Jan Terlouw, I jumped on it. There were only two copies available on Amazon and it was expensive, but wow, my kids loved it and had no idea that I was teaching them about business, politics and life. It is a funny and exciting fable that goes like this (in the words of a reviewer on Amazon):
The story is about a boy who lost his parents on the day he was born. That stormy night didn’t only take the life of his parents but his country, fictional Katoren, lost his beloved king too. The boy gets raised by his warm-harted uncle, who works hard to provide a happy life for the boy. In the meantime Katoren is governed by the late king’s cabinet members, for the king died without an offspring. Not wanting to give up the new-found power, these head-to-toe politicans keep postponing the day to appoint a new king.
Our hero is already 17 years-old. He decides he would go up to the ministers and ask them How To Become a King of the country. The ministers plan to dismiss him but the boy arrives with the press to the meeting. The cabinet is forced to make up a way to statisfy the press but they try to make sure that the boy wouldn’t be king. They tell him he will have to do 7 tasks. He would have to fight dragons and gnoms and misteriously swelling noses. How will he get to the towns in need? By train of course. So the adventure begins.
We had some great discussions about the hero Stark and they tied in beautifully with previous lessons about basic and advanced listening skills. It was very satisfying to see my girls understanding the concepts and the often clever language in the book. Highly recommended!
What would you suggest for teaching kids about life or business in engaging or fun ways?