The Kingdom Code is a course that teaches budgeting, financial responsibility and entrepreneurship from a biblical perspective. The text explains at the very beginning, “The Kingdom Code is the pathway to make and manage money God’s way.” Students will not only learn about money management, they will create and manage their own business. A secondary theme of being knights on a quest is also built into the lessons, and godly character traits are heavily emphasized throughout the course.
While the course is recommended for ages 10 to 13, the curriculum is used by families and Christian schools with students as young as age eight and up through high school. The suggested schedule for the course requires 36 weeks with two 45-minute class sessions per week. While the teacher’s guide presents information for a class group, the course can be adapted for a family or even just one child. Nevertheless, two or more students are ideal since there are discussions, student presentations, student evaluations of each other’s presentations, practice with telephone sales calls, optional crafts, and other activities that work best with peers. Keep in mind that with only one or a few children, class sessions will probably take less time. Also, the course can be easily taught once a week in a co-op setting with a free (downloadable) co-op teacher’s guide.
The teacher’s role is vital. This is not a self-study course. In addition, children will be encouraged to find an appropriate mentor as they consider different businesses they might start. For children taking the class with someone other than a parent, notices are included that are to be signed by parents so that they are fully aware of and have input regarding what their child is doing, including any mentor with whom they might work.
The Complete Starter Kit includes The Kingdom Code textbook; a teacher’s guide; a treasure map (for tracking progress); flash cards; stickers; a receipt book; and a student packet of pages that includes worksheets, activity pages, forms, and posters. The Student Starter Kit has everything except the teacher’s guide. A parent working with one child should be able to manage with only one Complete Starter Kit. Within a family, a parent can probably share a text with one or two students, but in a larger group, the teacher needs his or her own text and set of student pages as does each student. (Check with the publisher for bulk pricing for group classes.)
For each student, you need to supply two 3-ring binders with clear pockets on front and back, divider tabs for one of the binders, six zippered pencil pouches, a report folder with brads and pockets, and a one-quart resealable baggie. Small posters in the student packet slide into the binder covers, and student pages are placed behind tabs in one binder. One of the zippered pencil cases will be labeled with a sticker that says Business Money Keeper and will be kept separate. The other five zippered cases go into the second binder which serves as the KCK (Kingdom Code Kids) Budget Binder. Five others stickers that go onto the other five zippered cases label them “J is for Jesus,” “O is for Others,” “E is for Education,” “Y is for You,” and “S is for Savings.” They form the acronym JOEYS which is used throughout the program. Students learn to keep business earnings and personal money (e.g., from gifts or allowances) separate until the end of the course. Students learn the basics of budgeting with their personal money while learning simple business management and record keeping with their business earnings. They pay themselves from the profits of their business at the end of the course, and they can use that money to continue or create another business.
The 27 lessons in the course each have eight main sections plus occasional additional sections. The detailed, daily lesson plans explain what to do each day. The teacher will read aloud sections from the student text. In each lesson, students will participate in discussions, learn spiritual and financial principles, learn related vocabulary words, and complete one or two activity pages and a two-page worksheet. All of this is the backdrop for applying what they are learning. They will research potential businesses, guided by discussion and other lesson components, then they will actually create and run a business. A page of suggestions for students wisely steers them toward service businesses to avoid the expenses and complications of making products or purchasing some for resale. Along the way, students learn about such things as making sales calls and presentations, doing surveys, advertising, designing a logo, time management, the law of supply and demand, investments, simple bookkeeping, and much more. Every lesson includes a segment that reviews key points from the lesson. “Bonus Code Work” at the end of each lesson offers suggestions for additional, optional activities such as crafts, research, writing, and projects.
Assessments are provided in two different formats at the back of the teacher’s guide. “Feedback Cards” offer students a chance to evaluate their own knowledge. The other form of assessment looks like a typical test. You might use either or both of the assessments depending upon your circumstances.
One important element not addressed in the course is legal requirements. There’s no discussion of business licenses, permits, or other legalities that arise when you start a small business. I assume that the presumption is that these businesses will be so small that legal issues can be ignored for now, but that might not be the case as we know from news stories about children’s lemonade stands running afoul of the law. The article, “Is your kid’s lemonade stand legal?,” highlights some of the legal issues that might arise. I don’t say this to discourage fledgling entrepreneurs, but it is prudent to check things out beforehand if the business looks like it might attract the attention of government authorities.
Extras for Younger Students
The Jr. KCK Budget Kit can be used with younger students who are not ready for the complete course. Pulling elements from the main course, it very briefly teaches budgeting using the JOEYS system. It includes the stickers for children to apply to zippered pencil cases, coloring pages for the five categories, a pie chart showing percentages that go to each category, and a cover page to insert on the front of a binder. The Kingdom Code Coloring Book has line drawings, many featuring the knights and ladies theme. Most pages include Bible verses, and some pages include Kingdom Code principles.
I have reviewed other resources that accomplish some of the things that The Kingdom Code does, but this is the most comprehensive, thoroughly developed course for middle school students that I’ve come across. On top of that, it’s beautifully designed from top to bottom. The Kingdom Code’s strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and building economic independence, coupled with biblical values and Christian character, will make this course especially appealing to many Christian homeschoolers.