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

Make Your Own Medieval Shoppe (and Practice Math Skills)

Day 1: Research Research what kinds of shops were available during the Middle Ages and then pick from them what kind of shop you want to make. You will start with 10,000 gold pieces. In this set-up 10 copper pieces equals 1 silver piece and 10 silver pieces equals 1 gold piece.

Day 2: A Sign To ensure that customers will know what you sell and be able to find you, you will need a sign in front of your shop. The sign maker has four sizes to choose from: the smallest will cost 25 gold pieces, the next size up will cost 50 gold pieces, one a little larger still will cost 75 gold pieces and the largest sign will cost 100 gold pieces. Which do you want to buy? You will have opportunities to buy larger ones later.

Day 3 Inventory Make up your inventory. What things do you want to sell? Decide on a price that you will purchase them for (generally it at least half the price you would expect to pay for the item if you were buying it.) The prices do not have to be historically accurate, but they have to make sense to you. You can't have a full suit of armor cost less than a knife, for example. Decide on about 25-35 items, and have a wide variety of prices, ranging from 50 gold pieces down to 7 silver pieces, with a variety in between, so that all 25 or so items equal about 240 gold pieces.
Day 4 Stocking the Shelves Now that you have your list of items available to you to buy, how many of each will you buy? Keep these things in mind as you decide on your inventory:
  • You don't have to have all of them. 
  • You do not want to miss a sale by not having the item in stock.
  • You will need to have money to pay your bills.
  • You will be able to buy more items at regular intervals as you go along.
Day 5 Determining the Costs Once you have decided how many of each item you want, multiply the costs you determined on Day One by the quantity you determined on Day Three. Add all of these up and subtract it from your start-up money (10,000 gold pieces.) You must have some left over, remember, for your expenses.

Day 6 Determining Prices Decide on your selling prices. Most stores mark up the prices between 100 and 150 percent of the price they bought the items for. Determine both 100 and 150 percent of the cost to you for each item, and that will determine the range of your selling price. Remember in the Middle Ages, people were much more likely to haggle prices than we are today, so you need to have a range for the prices. You want to offer the item for the highest price first, but then you may be haggled down to your lowest price before you can actually sell the item! Write down the range of prices next to each item.

Day 7 Preparing for Tithing You need to pay the church a percentage of your earnings so you have to make sure you will have this amount leftover at the end. You must pass this on to your customers. Ask your parent whether the church will be expecting a 5, 6 or 10% tithe and add this to each of your prices. (Mom- use the percentage that you want your student to work on or is in keeping with his skill level.)

Day 8 Bookkeeping You need to keep track of all the items in your store, what you have sold and what you need to order. Fill out a bookkeeping sheet as you go along. 

Day 9 Debt and Credit You will also need to keep track of all your transactions, your money out (debt) and your money in (credits) and keep track of the balance of gold pieces you have left.

Day 10 Fill Orders Now your friends and family can give you orders for you to fill. Have them pretend that they are people in the Middle Ages and have them pick from your inventory.
Mr. Baker wants 2 sets of leather boots, 1 steel shield, 2 short bows and 1 long bow.
Mr Carter wants 1 steel breastplate, 1 pair of steel boots, 1 Great sword, 1 long sword and 1 wooden shield.
Figure out how much each of your customers owes you.

Day 11 Pay Rent The Lord is collecting his quarterly rent. You must pay him 200 gold pieces ,40 silver pieces and 6 copper pieces (or $240.60).

Day 12 Additional In-store Sales Ask your parents to give you additional sales. (Mom -This is where you get to include some of the math problems from their texts or that you would otherwise assign them. If your student picked the smallest sign on day 2, give them one in store sale, the next size up will attract two in-store sales, the third size will incur four in-store sales and the largest sign will award your student five in-store sales.

Day 13 Fortune Life has its ups and downs. You will need to make these up (or for more surprise, you can get a parent to make these.)

Day 14 Pay your tithes Add together all the tithes you have collected and pay them to your bishop.

Day 15 Order Inventory Now it is time to replace the items you sold this month. Write down the quantities, multiply them times the cost, add all the extended costs to get your total. Write your new amounts on your inventory sheet.

Day 16 Ledger Look at all your money in and out and keep track of them on a Ledger Sheet.

Day 17 Profit or Loss? Once you know the total amount of debits and credits, determine which is higher. Did you have a profit or loss? By how much. Subtract the smaller total from the larger total to find the difference.

Days 18-on You may repeat days 7-16 as many times as you desire. If you do a full 12 mo the worth (each time you run through it is one month), you can determine your year's profit or loss by adding together/subtracting each month's profit and loss to see how you did running a Medieval Shoppe.


  1. I love this idea! My guys would have so much doing this, especially if we were able to actually physically set up a shoppe. What fun!

  2. What a great lesson in history, math and budgeting - looks like fun!

  3. Totally stealing this somehow. I just have to figure out how.

  4. Phyllis, this is so much fun that I kind of want to do the Middle Ages again now! I'm bookmarking it for a couple of years down the road with my youngest. Thanks for all the ideas!


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