AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students throughout the Austin area are still recovering from learning loss suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Texas fourth graders scored lower in math than they have since 2003, and eighth graders saw a 7% decline in their average scores since 2019.
While numbers and symbols may put most kids to sleep, there’s an app making math more intriguing for kids.
BusyKid pays kids to do their chores, using money concepts such as saving and budgeting.
Austin mom Jami O’Toole has been using the app with her two daughters for a few years.
“It teaches them what percentage of money you’re going to spend,” she described. “Are you going to share or save and how that actually applies on a weekly basis.”
BusyKid allows both parents and kids to set up a list of chores and what each task is worth.
“Chores like taking a shower, walking the dogs, feeding the dogs and brushing your teeth,” said Delaney O’Toole, a River Ridge Elementary student.
Gregg Murset is BusyKid’s founder. He designed the tool with the understanding that most children now rarely see anyone using cash.
“They’re not just earning it and burning it but teaching them how to save a little bit and invest it,” he said.
Each allowance payment can also be invested in stocks.
“I’ve invested in Coca-Cola, Disney and Amazon,” said Caitlyn O’Toole, who’s in school at Canyon Ridge Middle.
After earning income, we asked 9-year-old Delaney what she was spending it on.
“I saved enough up to buy the hoverboard,” Delaney said.
While making math more intriguing, the app is also teaching them the value of money.
“Teaches you a lot about saving money, which is useful in the real world. So, I think it teaches you like, real-world skills on like a base level,” Caitlyn said.
The BusyKid app also allows kids to donate a part of their earnings to local charities.
It’s free to download on the app store and costs $8 a year. Parents can set up a debit card for their kids through the app.