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How to prepare your child for the 21st century

We live in a time where the economy is radically transformed by technologies such as crypto currencies and robotics. Business models are turned on their head. Today, the largest hotel company in the world, AirBnB, owns no hotels. The largest taxi company, Uber, owns no cars. Recently an App was launched in South Africa called “Sweep South” that could radically transform the industry of domestic workers. With these new business models, priceless assets today could become burdens tomorrow. This transformation is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This revolution creates threats. A well-paying job today might be irrelevant tomorrow. In South Africa, these changes are on top of the existing problems of oversubscribed universities and labour legislation that discourages employees to hire more staff.

This revolution also creates opportunities. Somebody that understands this revolution will be sought after. Somebody that can apply new business models to other economic sectors. This is what Sweep South did when they applied the Uber business model to domestic services. Since homeschooling is a customisable form of education, homeschool families have the advantage that they can adapt their education to prepare their children for this new era.

In order to know how to prepare children, it is advisable that parents read books that explain how the new economy works. One of the best books on the subject is called "The Fourth Industrial Revolution". The writer, Klaus Schwab, is the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos each year. At this forum, business and political leaders come together to shape global, regional and industry agendas. This book summarizes the main developments in a concise and easily readable format. For more information on this book click here.

One of the game changing technologies according to Klaus Schwab is called "block-chain". This is a financial technology that allows people to securely exchange value globally without the involvement of an intermediary such as a bank. The most well-known crypto currency using block-chain technology is "Bitcoin", which is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa. A lot of information is available on crypto currencies, and to gain a proper understanding of these technologies requires many hours on Google and Youtube.

Another technology that drives this revolution is robotics. Robots increasingly replace manual labourers, but on the other hand it creates opportunities for people that can program and maintain these robots and apply the technologies in other economic sectors. Having your children exposed to robotics early could prepare them to exploit those opportunities. Click here for robotics kits and software that are designed to motivate students to learn about science, while providing a foundation for tech-driven careers.

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