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Ruben Alexander

The Bitcoin community has shown me that nothing can stop a group of people who are passionate in their beliefs. In our case, we believe everyone in the world deserves the right to financial freedom. My goal is to make sure everyone can see that this Bitcoin movement has the power to change the world for the better through every story we publish. Before working with Bitcoin Magazine I was involved in freelance writing, illustration, renders, making electronic music, and 3d print designs (http://www.behance.net/urbenz). I'm also a married dude and a father of 2 who loves to have fun with his family, cook, and travel. Contact me by shooting a message to: ruben [at] bitcoinmagazine.com

December 5, 2013
Adoption & community

Teaching Bitcoin To The Next Generations (excerpt)

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The Sabra Sisters are an excellent example of how a home school environment can adapt to the dynamic landscape brought about by technical advances, leaving those taught by more traditional forms of education in the dust.

Ponn Sabra homeschools her daughters who don’t walk into a class and buy books to be led by a teacher. They write their own books on subjects they are passionate about, and talk to multiple experts to release a deluge of knowledge to their readers in a digestible way.

Those who aren’t old enough to work in a traditional job and learn about a field or profession can highly benefit from learning how the Sabra sisters have been able to learn about Bitcoins by using it as a payment source creating a model for other kids in the world to find their vocation and be rewarded for their work from any Bitcoin owner in the world.

Ruben Alexander: When did you first hear about Bitcoins?

Ponn Sabra: May 30, 2013 was indubitably a life-changing day for my girls and I. The day we were introduced to cryptography by my younger brother. Aware that the girls and I were bestselling juvenile nonfiction authors, he challenged the girls to write a “25 Fun Facts of Bitcoin” book. The idea which has evolved to our groundbreaking “Bitcoin for Kids” book series. He gave them 24 hours to reply to him with their final answer.

Eager to follow-up on all the ideas he planted in their inquisitive, young minds, we immediately started researching the phenomenon called Bitcoin. Less than 24 hours later, we surprised him with the launch of their brand new blog dedicated to their Bitcoin learning journey: BitKidz.com. Their reply being the first blogpost, entitled, “Yes, we’re interested Uncle I.J.!” (http://bitkidz.com/yes-were-interested-uncle-i-j/)

RA: Have you always home-schooled your daughters? If not, talk about the decision to switch to home-school?

PS: Yes, and my husband and I believe that we’ve been homeschooling them since birth, if not before. During my pregnancy I read numerous books aloud, and listened and lulled to specific tunes. Believe it or not, when they were newborns they were all familiar to those tunes and stories. In short, it’s never too early to educate one’s kids.

RA: What are your thoughts on the public education system?

PS: Undoubtedly, there’s much room to be improved in both the private and public education system in the U.S. Rather than develop opinions without experience, we enrolled the girls into a private school for 9-months, and public school for 4-months. The girls actually preferred their public school experience over the private school case study, but all love homeschooling more.

The girls continue to expand their exposure to as many types of educational system this world has to offer, such as online classes at Stanford University EPGY (Educational Program for Gifted Youth), one-on-one tutors, domestic and international skype tutoring, overseas online classes, private, public and weekend schools throughout the Middle East, shadowing classes in Sweden public school, language schools, homeschool co-ops, after school academic and extracurricular programs.

RA: How do you approach teaching your children? How has this approach changed as they’ve gotten older?

PS: My husband and I homeschool our girls, first out of convenience since we travel a lot domestically and internationally. Second, we homeschool because we believe we can give each of our girls the most personalized, individualized, highly-challenging, eclectic, hands-on education possible. While I provide 99.9{ff8f5965cb071e38757f9d39ed4299533e3972006db663d44e0857aa4803add6} (percentage according to my girls) of the girls’ education, my goal is to meet each of the girls’ individual interests, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on where we are in the world, determines how I teach and how they learn. We strive to learn no matter where we are and what limited resources we may have at the time. That’s why we joke and say that we not only homeschool, but also carschoolplaneschool and boatschool. The girls hope to expand the list–RVschool, anyone?

We also conduct a lot of work online, as seen by the examples from the previous question. We find that we a very seasonal family that falls into 6-12 week routines. For example, in the Winter we may consume ourselves in textbooks. The Spring may be filled with daily field trips to museums, parks, and outings. However, we absolutely love Summer with the long days because the girls will spend hours reading classics and huge novels when it’s hot, then volunteer in horse stables or kids summer programs, and still have waking hours to build their online businesses. Fall, we travel a ton when crowds are limited and families are back in school.

RA: How did you present Bitcoins to your kids?

PS: My brother is an incredible storyteller — he’s very animated and extremely persuasive. He first showed us the WeUseCoins.com video, and started sharing many cool stories. We openly discussed the possibilities of this truly fascinating innovation, and he never got bored by our many questions.

My brother was worried that their interest was insincere, because they love him so much and maybe we’re just being polite and respectful. However, that wasn’t the case at all. Even though he tried to divert their attention to playing competitive Wii, ran sprints, practiced Karate, and enjoyed our 6-course meal; every conversation always reverted back to Bitcoin. The girls and I couldn’t stop asking questions.

In the Introductory book to our series “Kids Making Money Online – 12 Inspirational Stories That Will Motivate You To Action!” an amazing finding was that every kid shared that Bitcoin has changed their lives. The girls share enthusiastically that one of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin was that they became closer to their uncle, and that’s priceless!