This morning, while taking my 8 year old son to baseball practice, I decided to use the time in the car to practice with him some simple math. He got a little more than math practice out of it.
I gave him an example. But first I asked him if he knew what he wage was. He didn't, so I explained to him.
Here's have the example went:
Let's say that a man works in a baseball factory. This man makes 2 baseballs in an hour. The wage that he is paid is 2 dollars every hour. And let's say that the owner of the factory needs to pay 1 dollar for the materials to make 2 baseballs. How much does it cost the owner to have 2 baseballs made?
He thought about it and answered correctly. "3 dollars because it's 2 dollars for the worker plus 1 more dollar for the materials."
Then I said, "let's say the boss sells each ball for 2 dollars. How much does he make after paying for the materials and the worker?" I reminded him that the 1 dollar of materials was for making 2 baseballs and the worker makes 2 balls in 1 hour. He thought about it and said "50 cents if he sells 1 ball for 2 dollars." That's right.
I gave him a few more mathematical possibilities and for the most part he got them right. Then I asked him, "how many hours does a person need to work if he wants to buy 1 of the balls that he made it work?" His answer was 1 hour.
I asked him what he thought about someone having to make 2 balls in order to earn enough money to buy 1 ball. He realized the strange nature of the situation any told me, "he's getting ripped off!"
It's interesting how clear things are sometimes to an unconditioned mind of a child.