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FatBrain Coffee: Children's Business Curriculum

By Nicole Hunt
FatBrain Coffee

PO Box 2214
Lakeland, FL 33806

Do you have a child who is always trying to make money or sell things? Or perhaps you have a child who always wants to purchase expensive items. The Children's Business Curriculum from FatBrain Coffee may really appeal to him. The curriculum comes with the basic things needed to start a small business. There are some other expenses involved to get started, such as pre-ordering the coffee or tea, printing or ordering labels, and printing color copies of the sales presentation to create a flip chart (optional). Throughout the course, your student will learn skills in the areas of sales and marketing, accounting, business operations, public relations, organization, and communication.

This program was written for grades three and up, but there may be parts that need to be omitted, changed, or expanded in order to meet your child's level. The kit includes a 3-ring binder (which can later serve as the child's flip chart) with all lesson plans, forms, and sales presentation materials, a CD Rom (for printing extra forms and a color version of the sales presentation), a one-pound bag of coffee, and one box of MarketSpice Tea. The coffee is 100% Arabica coffee fresh from Columbia. This curriculum was created by a homeschooling parent for homeschool children. However, it could be used in a classroom setting and would make a great fund-raising product. It is recommended the student run this business for a year to fully experience what it is like to run a business and get the most out of it.

There are seven lessons that make up the entire curriculum:

1. Starting a Business
2. Marketing (Part 1)
3. Marketing (Part 2)
4. Accounting
5. Operations
6. Public Relations (Part 1)
7. Public Relations (Part 2)

Each of these lessons is easy to follow and requires little preparation on the parent's part. There are scripted questions in bold print to help get a discussion going about the skill being taught. The lessons are fairly short, usually three to six small objectives being taught, and shouldn't be very overwhelming to the student. However, for students who work better receiving small chunks of information, you could easily teach a lesson over several days. Each lesson is followed by some assignments that reinforce the skill taught and use real-life activities to make it more meaningful; most of these assignments utilize the forms included in the binder. The forms are well laid out and would really help a student to quickly get started with goals, planning, ordering, accounting, and more. There is not a huge amount of writing involved with the program. It is mostly just filling in the forms mentioned above. There is room for a little creativity though if you have a student who likes to make things more personal. An option of making up his own name for the business and designing new labels for the packages of coffee and tea is given.

One of the focuses of this program is charities. The roaster himself founded a program called Coffee Kids, which gives part of the proceeds to coffee-farming families in Latin America. The curriculum also discusses the importance of tithing 10% of the profits to the Lord. There are Scriptures references to support the concepts of tithing and giving to others. For a family that does not care to use the religious references, this program would still work. There are only a few Scripture references, and they could easily be omitted.

This curriculum, if done the right way, will be very time consuming and will require a 100% commitment on the part of the student. I do think it is a good program that would really teach real-world experiences and many useful business skills. A child's communication skills would definitely be enhanced as well. It is a fantastic way to learn how to work and save up for a big purchase, which is a life skill every child needs to learn. For the student that really runs with this program, there is an opportunity to turn this into an even bigger business by becoming a Regional Coordinator. This is accomplished by getting others involved in their own business. Regional Coordinators can earn free delivery every month as well as twenty-five cents on every bag others order.

I would recommend this program for families with very motivated children who have a desire to learn more about starting a business and earning some extra income. The program is set up in a very systematic approach and presented in an easy-to-understand format. Your child could have her own business up and running in no time, learn a lot of great life skills in the process, and have a really great extra-curricular activity to add to her resume.

The program is available in the following options:

Starter Kit with Curriculum and Coffee: $68
Curriculum: $20
PDF version of Curriculum: $18

Product review by Heidi Miller-Ford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2010

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