Showing posts with label Charlotte Mason. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlotte Mason. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teaching Children About Money

There is no shortage of free printable worksheets to teach children about coins and money. But since doing school in more of a Charlotte Mason style, I have been trying to stay away from worksheets and busy work.  CM believed that the best way to teach children money was to let them handle and count real coins and bills. 

Printable Coins for Kids

As I thought about this approach I realized that I rarely have cash on hand. I have been using my check card for most purchases for over a decade now. But I did find this realistic printable sheet of coins. There are several pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and one half dollar on the page. (This is not a free site but you can print out the first 5 printables for no charge.) 

I let the children color the coins themselves.

Then I cut them into strips like so.

And I folded the strips in half and pasted them, matching up the front and back of the coins as best I could.

I cut out the first penny and then realized that I was in for quite a task of cutting out all of those coins. Thankfully, my 6 year old daughter offered to  help. I knew that the coins wouldn't be as neat as if I did them myself but I didn't want to turn down her help and hurt her feelings (and create extra cutting for myself.) So, I showed her and my 7 year old how to cut right outside of the black line and to take their time. And you know, they did great!

The coins aren't perfect but the children had a great time cutting them out (I would not have) and they got very excited when I told them that I was going to laminate them with my handy dandy laminator so that we could have them for a long time. 

Printable Play Money

I also laminated the full size play money that I printed out. I was going to print out the different denominations on different colored sheets of paper, like Donna Young suggested. But instead, I decided to make the play money look as realistic as possible. I opted to use white construction paper (which is really off white) for all of the bills.

Money Board Games for Kids

What I was really hoping to find was a free printable board game about money, something similar to this one:
This game isn't that much at Amazon but I try to use as many free resources as possible. If I spent just a few bucks on every new unit or lesson, that would still add up to quite a bit over the course of the school year.

So I kept searching. I have yet to find a printable money game but I did find instructions on how to make a game myself. I plan on making and laminating one "board" for each child. And we'll use the paper coins for the game. It looks like it will only take a few minutes to put together.

An Online Game to Teach About Money


Printable Money Games

These printable money flashcards  and money dominoes looked like they will  be very useful as well. Instead of laminating them I just printed them out on white card stock. They aren't as sturdy as the play money. But, I figure they'll last long enough for the children to master money.

Poems About Money for Children

Here is a poem about coins to help children remember them easier. 

Penny, penny,
Easily spent
Copper brown
and worth one cent.

Nickel, nickel,
Thick and fat,
You're worth five cents.
I know that.

Dime, dime,
Little and thin,
I remember,
You're worth ten.

Quarter, quarter
Big and bold,
You're worth twenty-five
I am told! 

Half dollar, Half dollar, 
giant size,
Worth 50 cents 
to buy some fries.

Dollar, Dollar, 
Green and long,
Worth 100 cents, 
You can't go wrong!!!

And my children always find educational rap songs fun to learn.

The Money Rap

Well, I know a song
It's really kind of funny
It's all about coins
And learning to count money.

Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters
Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters

Now a penny means one (hold out 1 finger)
And a nickel means five (hold out 5 fingers)
Dimes are worth ten (hold out 10 fingers)
And quarters twenty five (flash... 10 twice & then 5)

Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters
Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters

Five pennies in a nickel
(hold out 1 hand- fingers stretched)
Two nickels in a dime
(hold out 2 fingers)
Five nickels in a quarter
(hold out 1 hand - fingers stretched)
You'll know it every time!
(using both hands do a downward motion)

Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters
Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters

Playing Store

We will definitely be using Donna Young's suggestions for playing store. I printed out a sheet of price tags. The children cut them out and put string through the holes that I punched out for them. They already own 2 cash registers; so, we are all set. 

Fun, Fun, Fun

The play money turned out better than I expected. The children are having a blast learning about money.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Learning and Retaining More in Less Time - Or Why I Like the Charlotte Mason Approach

After only a few months of homeschool this year it became very obvious that what we were doing wasn't working. I had a reluctant writer who was frustrated to no end at the thought of having to practice his handwriting. I had a 4 year old who would wander off and get into things while I was working with his older siblings. And I had a child who seemed to be bored due to not being challenged enough.

Time for a Change
I have been familiar with Charlotte Mason's method of school for a few years. I even tried implementing it with my oldest but it didn't work for him because he was used to - and liked - the more traditional way of doing school. He was in public school for 2 years and he thrives off of learning from textbooks and having a school schedule and a set curriculum to follow. So by trying to switch to CM with him, I was attempting to fit a round peg into a square hole.

But given that the school year was not coming together for everyone else, I started revisiting the idea of giving a Charlotte Mason type homeschool a try. And I am so happy that I took the plunge.

What to Do?
I spent some time going over 3 free homeschool curriculum that seemed to like a good fit for us. They were:
I decided on Ambleside Online because EVERYTHING was available for free and I was able to find all of the books in PDF format on either Google Books or I spent about a week printing out the books and setting up a 4 day school schedule. I got each child a 3 ring binder and away we went!

The Change is Phenomenal
We have been finishing each subject in just a few minutes. But a lot of times the children go on talking about it long after that or they'll bring the subject back up again throughout the day. My son is OK with handwriting now because he only has to write a few words a day. He has to write his letters correctly, but it's not that many letters so he isn't overwhelmed any longer. My youngest listens to the reading in all subjects and it holds his attention. As a matter of fact, everyone seems to be learning something at his or her level.

Also, I've been feeling much more laid back about school because I know that adhereing to a strict schedule does not guarantee that the children will learn all that they need to. But exposing them to living books and a love of nature in a relaxed setting is proving to be much more effective. Homeschool will never be perfect but it has been soooo much better since making this change.