The best thing about tools, is that if your result is disappointing, you can always blame the tool.  What’s in the Busy Dad tool kit? Just under 100 lessons/activities that may help your kid be awesome some day.  At least he or she can never say “Dad never taught me anything.”

Unique Format:  Think of secular Sunday school, or mini Ted Talks for kids.  “The Busy Dad Book” is a collection of stories, outings, games, and scripted lessons.  Each session is engaging, fun and relatively short (15 minutes to an hour) but also loaded with plenty of seeds for future discussions or dinner topics.  One topic per week, whether between soccer games, at the park, or before giving their allowance (sometimes a bribe helps), provides the most benefit.  The majority of these topics are important lessons of life that aren’t taught in school. The few topics that are also covered in school are offered to provide interesting context and perspective.

Try the Tools:  You can download a few selected topics from the toolkit.  The topics selected will change periodically.  If there’s a particular topic you’d like to use, let me know and I’ll send it to you.  Good luck. Have fun.



1.0     Introduction –  Learning to be self-sufficient and secure in the home environment
1.1     Bills, bills, bills – Understanding utility bills, meters, consumption
1.2    Where’s the flashlight? – What to do and have in case of emergency
1.3    OMG! Now what? – The how and why of insurance
1.4     What’s cooking? – Becoming a Master of the Kitchen
1.5     Let’s fix it – Learn about basic tools and easy repairs
1.6     How it’s built – Components of a house with comparison to human body
1.7     Down the toilet – Sewage conveyance – toilet to treatment plant
1.8     The shutoff – Hurry! – Explanation of water systems
1.9     That’s shocking! – Electrical – panel, outlets, switches, volts, amps
1.10   Pay me now or Pay me later – Maintenance of home, body, and possessions
1.11    Who to call – 911, outages, poison, service repair, etc.
1.12   Out of sight-out of mind – Waste Management – recycle or landfill


2.0    Introduction – Important things that aren’t taught in school.  The goal: healthy, wealthy and wise while young enough to enjoy it
2.1     The magic pot – Learning the value of saving and investing. Have your money work for you instead of working for money.  Become financially secure by age 45
2.2     You can stop now – Learning not to be a slave to the pursuit of money.  Developing a perspective of real happiness and goal setting
2.3     Gotta have it – How not to be duped by marketing and advertising.  Learn to discern between needs and wants
2.4     Quality or Quantity – Determining the difference and defining value.  Learning to be smart with your spending
2.5     Bank or mattress – The purpose of banks – safekeeping and a source of loans
2.6     Keeping Track – All about checking, bank statements, credit and debit cards.  An earnest discussion about the danger of extended credit and unpaid balances
2.7      Leverage – About borrowing and lending – mortgages, notes, collateral.  Learn how to be a bigger winner than the bank
2.8     Portfolio – Intro to investing – stock market, bonds, mutual funds, IRA,s, Replacing ignorance and confusion with excitement and anticipation.  Setting the stage for further exploration
2.9     Supply and Demand – Learning why things cost what they cost.  Learning why some people make more money than others
2.10   “It’s the Economy, Stupid” – The basics – a description of things we hear in the news everyday.  How the economy affects your personal life
2.11    Lemonade stand – Learning the basic elements of any business by building our own virtual business.  Developing a Business Plan – profit and loss projections, balance sheet
2.12   Can’t take it with you – A brief description of wills, estate, probates, etc..  A discussion of charities and the philosophy of giving


3.0   Introduction – How we can live with so many people – and be better off.      Our part in the big picture and who’s looking out for us
3.1    Is Freedom Free? – Types of freedom, limits and obligations
3.2    Inalienable rights – Basic protections in our western governments
3.3   “They” is “We” – Voting and our political process
3.4    Weird of Different? – Tolerance, equality and respect
3.5    Civil or Criminal? – Intro to Law (Part 1) Civil vs. criminal law
3.6    An Arresting Development – Intro to Law (Part 2)  Judge, Jury, Police, Lawyers
3.7    Why is your hand in my pocket? – Taxes (1) Description & Perspective
3.8    Got you coming and going – Taxes (2) sources and spending
3.9    How far do we care? – The international community.  The moral, practical and political implications of involvement
3.10   A little help? – Government Assistance, Medicare, Social Security
3.11    City Hall – Police (jail), fire, public works
3.12   Eminent Domain – Peculiar powers of government
3.13   Mother N. needs help – Environmental stewardship


4.0    Introduction – Setting the stage for studies in school, increasing curiosity and excitement, real life relevance
4.1    What’s out there? – Our solar system – now with personality!
4.2    The proper method – The scientific method – how we discover truth
4.3    Scientist or engineer – Who is inventor, who is discoverer?
4.4    Spinning Magnets – Electricity and magnetism: an amazing relationship
4.5    Can’t please a molecule – The what-for of chemistry
4.6    Rocket Science – Physics – forces and energy
4.7    What’s my cut? – Percentages – how to calculate and use them
4.8    The invisible nothing force – Air, weather, and atmosphere
4.9    It had to be you – Intro to DNA
4.10   Metamorphosis – larvae, pupae, adult –bizarre life cycle of insects
4.11   Elementary, Watson – Deductive vs. inductive reasoning and logic
4.12   None for me, thanks – The effects of drugs and medicine

Chapter 5 – BROAD KNOWLEDGE – Things everyone should know; Skills everyone should have

5.0   Introduction – In case you were out that day…Our culture expects a certain level of knowledge.
5.1    Pecking Order – What everyone should know about animals
5.2    A Fine Selection – The basics of Evolution
5.3    Pack your suitcase – Geography – broadening our world
5.4    Follow that banana – International commerce, distribution
5.5    “You can observe a lot by watching” – Discover the world and yourself
5.6    When in Rome – Learning how people do things in other places
5.7    Big theories – Big bang, plate tectonics, global warming
5.8    I didn’t say a word! – Body language and how to read people
5.9    How do I get there from here? – Maps, bus, train, plane schedules
5.10  2000 years, 2000 degrees – From ores to metals to new civilizations
5.11   I’m going for help – First aid and survival
5.12   Ladies and Germs – The basics of bacteria, viruses and fungi
5.13   Who’s who – Big players of history, those who shaped our world


6.0   Introduction – Virtue and good form
6.1    Feats of Strength – The better definition – strength of character:  Courage, Resolve, and Leadership
6.2    You can take that to the bank – Honoring your commitments
6.3    You’re so Welcome – Manners/Etiquette, Kindness and Courtesy
6.4    There, but for the grace of god, go I – Empathy and compassion
6.5    Half full or half empty? – Optimism & different perspectives
6.6    The Three P’s – Perseverance, Patience, Perspective
6.7    How can the whole world be wrong and you’re right? – Belief in yourself – aka Galileo
6.8    Aw shucks, it was nothing – Humility
6.9    I’m with you – Loyalty
6.10   My Hero! – Taking a Stand and developing your moral compass


7.0    Introduction – Learning to understand and relish life’s gifts.  Nurturing and balancing the emotional, physical and spiritual
7.1    Like a King – A different perspective of our modern lifestyle
7.2    That’s a good one – The benefits and techniques of humor
7.3    Down the hatch – Nutrition and overeating
7.4    Hooray for recess – Lifetime exercise for physical and mental health
7.5    My new best friend – How to make friends and be a friend
7.6    Serenity – The state of being calm, peaceful;, and untroubled
7.7    What’s the deal with that? – The joys and necessities of art
7.8    Can’t give it away – Smiles, good will and sharing
7.9    Your own Path – Finding your form, passions, and avocation
7.10   How do you do it? – Developing discipline, technique and form
7.11   Balance – The key to fulfilling life
7.12   Ageless – Youth with wisdom and old age with enthusiasm
7.13   Uh-oh!, Now what do I do? – White lies and bending the rules
7.14   Enough already! – Moderation in all things

Chapter 8 – WISDOM

8.0    Introduction – That special knowledge – the earlier the better.  Bringing joy not only to yourself, but to others
8.1    Serendipity – Stuff happens. Learn to see and take advantage of opportunities.
8.2    It’s the thought that counts – Giving, graciousness and appreciation
8.3    Eureka!! – The thrill of discovery.  The intrinsic value of learning
8.4    Joy bucket – Giving and receiving joy
8.5    People gardener – Bringing out the best in other people
8.6    He said What?! – The power of communication
8.7    Don’t be a dunderhead – Planning ahead and consequences
8.8    You say Tomato… – Different points of view
8.9    Makes no never-mind – Anger and Revenge
8.10  You talked me into it – Persuasion