Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

The Store

"...make the child practically familiar with the process of exchange; either by using money and getting twelve pence for a shilling, or by some game in which a red counter represents ten white ones. Begin teaching each of the four elementary operations, by giving a few easy examples in relation to the coins or counters to which he is accustomed..."
I bought a set of "Garage Sale Labels" from Walmart a few weeks ago when I was buying school supplies with this math game in mind. My youngest two boys saw them and have been waiting anxiously to see what the game was. When I asked them what they wanted to do first on the first day of school, without hesitation they said, "The math game with the money stickers." First I review money denominations with my 6-year old. I got him to sort them into piles and then to tell me what their names were and how much the different coins were worth. The only one he was a little hesitant on was the nickle.
We then matched up the coins with Math-U-See blocks to make sure he understood their worth. We also looked at their worth on an abacus.

I had printed out some blank addition cards, but I would have done better with these because they have the hundreds place. We talked about the difference between dollars and cents and place value. I wrote them above the correct positions. We also looked at the symbols for them and I added them to the right positions as well. This was all review, but I wanted to make sure we had all the piece in place before we played store.
In advance I had gotten out some of my school supplies and put on the money stickers. I tried to make them somewhat realistic. I used to hate it when in workbooks they had wildly unrealistic prices for things. This only hurts their concept of money and the value of things in the real world.
Now it was time to play store. I try to use real money when I can so that they can get the feel of it and a sense of how it really looks. We did use James' play bills for the dollar amounts as he was looking forward to using them and I didn't have that many spare real dollar bills. We took turns being customers and store clerks. We added up what we
were buying, and we paid the store clerk, who confirmed our totals. We had to decide the best denominations with which to pay and the store clerk sometimes had to give change.
With everything I did, I narrated what I was doing aloud. After awhile, I stepped back and just let them play on their own.
They played quite a long while, not because it was math time to them, but because they wanted to.
It was a game and it was fun.


  1. I keep intending to so that. Looks like they had a blast

  2. Terrific! Another one we have to do :)

  3. Love it when they keep playing b/c they WANT to! You are doing such a great job with the wonderful ones God gave you!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Fun,we have not played store in a long time.That could help us!Thanks.

  5. Phyllis, You make learning so much fun! I just was looking over your past posts and I don't know how you do it all! You find such wonderful ideas for your children, the school cone, making of the ocean keepsake ect.
    You are amazing : )

  6. I love playing store here too! My main beef with garage sales stickers is that, as I found out the hard way, they are very difficult to peel back off :) I also try to use real money most of the time.

  7. Hmmm...they must have gotten complains about the garage sale stickers because if we had any trouble with them,it was that sometimes we had trouble getting them to stay on!

  8. I thought I left you a comment but I guess it didn't go through. After I read your post, I picked up some stickers. I might have to set up a permanent store so she can play regularly. It's a lot of work setting up and putting everything away. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Oh, I LOVE this idea! I do believe we will be playing store soon...


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