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Young children often have a terrible time remembering the value of money. Logistically it does not make sense. How does the value of a coin or dollar bill have anything to do with toys, games, food or anything else Mommy and Daddy bring home? There is no justification beyond memorization to learning what the different money values are for each coin and bill.
In your homeschool elementary school, a money unit is beneficial to children of all ages. However, if your child struggles with money, it might be a good idea to initially set him down with a jar of coins and let him investigate. There are many different money books and curriculum on the market to help facilitate your child's comprehension, but a bit of hands-on study at home will help facilitate an understanding.
Another great extension is to collect a number of different items from around your house and gather them into one spot. Make sure that some of the items can be purchased and others cannot use pictures to express friendship, love and other emotional qualities that cannot be purchased. Have your children identify which can be bought and that which cannot. Children often the concept that money can buy anything they want, so explain how this is not possible.
Bonus tip: As a way to relax and still continue the learning process, there is a fun money game that you can play with children to open up a discussion about the differences in coins. You will need a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. Put the coins on a table and look at them together. Discuss how the coins are alike and how they are different. Once you have discussed each of the coins, tell your child that you are thinking of a specific coin and he or she has to guess which one of the four it is. Offer different specific clues until your child guesses correctly.
Then switch and let your child choose a coin. This game is effective for helping younger children learn to recognize coins, learn their names and work on problem-solving skills.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|