Summer Fun with Money (freebie)

There is never enough practice in math for money. I have no memory for learning money or coin value growing up, I just know that I'm asked all the time how to help and build those money skills. I think in many times our math move faster than many kids are ready to move. Some need more practice other need that practice that always be part of their day as review.

For me, money practice can from my weekly allowance--sometimes I would try it get it twice week but there were times when the bank would have to owe me as well. (That didn't work out so well.) Summer is a great time for kids to work with coins plus gain some responsibility.

In class, I have set up a classroom bank and charged students for everything from borrowing pencils to renting the chair they are sitting in.

Ok some ground rules.

In either event, before they get an allowance, a child should be old enough to count money. The key to a successful allowance is structuring it right from the outset.

Make it clear to your children what kinds of expenditures the money is for, and that they are expected to save some of it. Younger children - ages 7 to 10 - shouldn't be held accountable for items like school lunch money as part of their allowances, but it's not a bad idea for older kids and has the added benefit of fewer payments changing hands.

Some experts think parents should not link the allowance money to household chores. Children should be expected to help out around the house and in the yard because they are members of the family, not because they are paid. That's your call, obviously, not mine. When my family moved, my sister and I were slave labor and charged riding the lard of weeds at 5 cents a pop--we were rich in no time.

Yet with children over 8 or 9 years old, giving an allowance doesn't preclude paying them for specific chores, especially the occasional type that you might otherwise pay outsiders to perform, such as shoveling the sidewalk or washing the car. Why not keep the money in the family?

So instead of grimacing when your children hit you up for a raise, decide when the time is right and then engage them in fruitful negotiations. How long since the last raise? Will new expenditures be covered? What amount of the raise will be saved long-term for expenditures requiring your approval?

The most vexing decision on allowances is how much - a decision affected by personal values, family income and common sense. Don't let your children influence the amount by saying what their friends are getting: Any normal child will bring in high figures.

Many parents like to give their children the equivalent in today's dollars of the allowance they received at the same age. Assuming that these parents have more or less the same means as their parents did, this can be a comfortable solution.

Something to think about trying. It seems easier than running a classroom bank. My freebie is designed to help you teach and reenforce learning the value of coins. Without knowing those, kids are sunk. Print it off and use it to reteach coin values and to help you in the class and at home.


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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