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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Inspiring Financial Literacy: An Interview with ‘Tuttle Twins’ Creator Connor Boyack

'We often underestimate what children can understand. By using storytelling, we make complex ideas accessible...'

(Money Metals News Service) In a recent Money Metals podcast, host Mike Maharrey sat down with Connor Boyack, the president of the Libertas Institute and the prolific author behind the Tuttle Twins series.

This conversation aired during the Fourth of July weekend (Independence Day, July 4, 2024), a fitting backdrop for a discussion centered on instilling the values of freedom, individual liberty, and sound money in young people.

(Interview Begins Around the 6:42 Mark)

Who is Connor Boyack?

Connor Boyack, a Brigham Young University graduate and native of California, is the founder and president of the Libertas Institute, a highly influential think tank in Utah known for innovative policy reforms that have changed over 100 laws.

Connor Boyack
Connor Boyack

Founded in 2011, the institute focuses on education reform, civil liberties, government transparency, business deregulation, and personal freedom. Named one of Utah’s most politically influential people by The Salt Lake Tribune, Boyack is also the author of 44 books, including the popular Tuttle Twins series, which teaches children about economic and civic principles and has sold over five million copies worldwide. Additionally, he serves as the executive producer of the Tuttle Twins animated series.

A dynamic public speaker and advocate for freedom, Connor lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and two homeschooled children. For more information, visit Connor Boyack’s website ConnorBoyack.com.

The Tuttle Twins Series

Connor Boyack is perhaps best known for The Tuttle Twins, a children’s book series that introduces young readers to economic, political, and civic principles. Boyack, and co-creator and illustrator Elijah Stanfield, have helped make the Tuttle Twins the familiar household name that has become today.

This series has been incredibly successful, with over five million copies sold. The books cover topics such as property rights, individual liberty, sound money, and entrepreneurship. Each book is inspired by a classic work, making complex ideas accessible through engaging storytelling.

For example, the first book in the series, “The Tuttle Twins Learn About The Law,” is based on Frédéric Bastiat’s “The Law,” introducing children to the concepts of law, liberty, and limited government.

Other books draw from works like “The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich Hayek, “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt, and “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. “The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil,” inspired by Leonard Read’s “I, Pencil,” explains the wonders of the free market and how different people collaborate to create everyday products. “The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island,” based on G. Edward Griffin’s “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” teaches about the Federal Reserve, inflation, and the importance of sound money.

In “The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco,” inspired by Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” children learn about competition, protectionist policies, and their impacts on businesses.

“The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom,” based on F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” explores the dangers of central planning and collectivism.

“The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule,” inspired by Ron Paul’s “A Foreign Policy of Freedom,” teaches the principles of peace, friendship, and the dangers of aggression and revenge.

Further, “The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas,” based on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” discusses personal responsibility and the role of producers in society.

“The Tuttle Twins and their Spectacular Show Business,” inspired by Israel Kirzner’s “Competition and Entrepreneurship,” covers the basics of entrepreneurship and the market economy.

These books use relatable characters and situations to make economic principles accessible to children, encouraging discussions about individual rights, the free market, and sound money within families.

By presenting these ideas in a fun and engaging manner, the Tuttle Twins series helps children understand and appreciate the importance of economic literacy from a young age. For more information, visit TuttleTwins.com​​.

A Family Resource

Boyack highlighted that while the Tuttle Twins series is designed for children, it has also become a valuable resource for parents. Many parents have reported learning alongside their children, finding the books to be an educational tool for the entire family. This dual impact has made the series a unique and powerful method for families to discuss and understand freedom and economic principles together.

The Power of Storytelling

The success of the Tuttle Twins series lies in its use of storytelling to teach complex ideas. Boyack explained that humans naturally learn through stories, and this approach makes it easier for children to grasp and retain concepts. This method contrasts sharply with traditional education, which often focuses on rote memorization of facts without context or understanding.

Boyack shared a story about a nine-year-old girl who corrected an economist on a local NPR station, demonstrating that she had learned the true cause of inflation from the Tuttle Twins book on the Federal Reserve. This anecdote underscores the effectiveness of using engaging narratives to teach economic principles.

Beyond Books

In addition to the books, the Tuttle Twins brand has expanded to include a cartoon series on the Angel Studios platform, further broadening its reach and impact. This expansion allows the principles of the Tuttle Twins to be conveyed through multiple mediums, catering to different learning styles and preferences.

Addressing Criticism

Boyack has faced criticism from some quarters, with accusations of indoctrination. Initially, he resisted this label, but he has since embraced it, arguing that everyone teaches doctrines to children. He believes in competing for the hearts and minds of the younger generation, ensuring they are exposed to the principles of freedom and liberty.

Future Projects

Boyack is not resting on his laurels. He revealed plans for upcoming books, including one on cultural Marxism and another on the world’s worst ideas, aimed at debunking harmful ideologies. He also continues to write in the Tuttle Twins history series, which presents American history through engaging stories that emphasize the underlying ideas and their relevance today.

Conclusion

Connor Boyack’s work with the “Tuttle Twins” series represents a significant contribution to financial literacy and the promotion of free-market principles. By making complex ideas accessible and engaging for children, he is helping to shape the next generation’s understanding of freedom and economics. As Boyack aptly puts it, this effort is about more than just education; it’s about creating a foundation for a freer and more informed society.

For more information, visit TuttleTwins.com and explore the full range of educational resources offered by Boyack and his team.

Key Questions and Answers

These key questions and answers highlight the core of Boyack’s work with the Tuttle Twins, his approach to education, and his broader mission to instill principles of freedom and sound economics in young minds.

Can you give an overview of what the Tuttle Twins series is all about?

Connor Boyack: The Tuttle Twins series is a collection of children’s books designed to teach families about ideas such as property rights, individual liberty, sound money, entrepreneurship, and the Golden Rule. The books are based on or inspired by classic works, like Frédéric Bastiat’s “The Law.” They wrap political and economic concepts in fun stories to help children learn through observation rather than didactic instruction.

How did the Tuttle Twins series start?
Connor Boyack: The idea originated from a personal need to teach my own children about these concepts. When I couldn’t find suitable resources, I teamed up with illustrator Elijah Stanfield, and we created the first book as an experiment. The positive response, including a bulk order from Ron and Carol Paul, validated our efforts, and we continued producing more books.Inspiring Financial Literacy: An Interview with Connor BoyackWhat is the significance of teaching these principles to children?

Connor Boyack: We often underestimate what children can understand. By using storytelling, we make complex ideas accessible. Parents have reported learning alongside their children, making the Tuttle Twins a family resource. It empowers families to discuss and understand principles of freedom and economics together.

How do you respond to criticism that the Tuttle Twins series is indoctrination?

Connor Boyack: Initially, I resisted the label, but I now embrace it. Indoctrination means teaching doctrine, and everyone teaches some form of doctrine to children. We are simply competing for the hearts and minds of the younger generation, ensuring they are exposed to the principles of freedom and liberty.

What future projects are you working on?

Connor Boyack: We’re launching a new book on cultural Marxism titled “The Tuttle Twins and the Marxist Track Meet.” I’m also working on “The Tuttle Twins Guide to the World’s Worst Ideas,” which will examine harmful ideologies. Additionally, we continue to expand our history series based on Murray Rothbard’s “Conceived in Liberty,” presenting American history through engaging stories.

How do you approach writing for children?

Connor Boyack: Writing for children is challenging because it requires simplifying complex ideas without losing their essence. I started when my kids were young, which helped me understand how to communicate at their level. Beta testing with families also provided valuable feedback. More recently, I’ve used tools like ChatGPT to generate ideas and assist in the writing process.

What is your favorite Tuttle Twins book and why?

Connor Boyack: My favorite is our history series, particularly because it connects past events to current issues, teaching kids to apply historical lessons to today’s world. Inspired by Murray Rothbard’s “Conceived in Liberty,” these books emphasize the underlying ideas and their relevance, which I believe is crucial for understanding and learning from history.

How can people find and use Tuttle Twins’ resources?

Connor Boyack: The books are available at TuttleTwins.com, where you’ll also find bundles, parent guides, and activity workbooks. The cartoon series is available at TuttleTwins.tv. The resources are designed to be adaptable for different educational settings, whether for homeschooling or supplementing traditional schooling.

To learn more about investing in sound money and precious metals such as gold and silver, visit MoneyMetals.com. You may also call the customer care phone number to learn more: 1-800-800-1865.

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