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Learning about Money

Oct 5, 2017

Children in Mustang, Yukon and everywhere else begin learning about money and the monetary system even before they enter school. Usually it starts when their mom or dad tells them they cannot get an expensive toy. Children continue to learn more of the complexities of financial literacy into adulthood, as they get their first paychecks, credit cards, and loans. Some people, like economists, make a career out of studying currency.  Children who learn to manage their money wisely will be able to limit debt, save, and invest.

Financial literacy takes strong math skills.  Unfortunately, some children really struggle with math problems and concepts involving money. The struggle usually points to a weakness in their mastery of one, or more, foundational skills.


How Money Skills Relates to other Math Skills

1.     Trouble distinguishing coins - This points to a lack of familiarity with the coins instead of a problem with a foundational skill. Provide opportunities for kids to use coins.

2.     Trouble counting money - Counting money requires kids to count in intervals of 1s, 5s, 10s, 25s, 50s and 100s. Often they must start counting from a number other than zero. Counting is often dismissed as a kindergarten skill, but it really reaches way beyond. If your child is still counting on their fingers, counting money will be a challenge.

3.      Difficulty Grouping - Coins and dollars represent the mathematical concept of grouping.  Grouping by hundreds,. tens or ones is a normal part of 10 base numbers.  Money provides opportunities to expand this learning into fives, 25s and even 50s with the right coins.  This expands grouping beyond 10 base counting and into the real world where there can be groups of any number to a math problem. 

4.     Trouble adding and subtracting money - Adding and subtracting money is needed to figure out how much money is owed and to make change.  Difficulty with these skills might be a counting problem (see above).  If counting money is not a problem, assess their understanding of place value. Place value refers to how the placement of the numbers and decimal points changes the value, such as 10.00 versus 0.10. Children who can’t add and subtract quickly will also encounter problems with making change. There are 293 different coin combinations that can be used to show 1 dollar!

5.     Trouble calculating tax and discounts - These skills require kids to have mastered multiplication and percentages. If they haven’t mastered multiplication and percentages, everyday financial decisions will be very difficult.

5.     Trouble understanding interest - Kids struggling with understanding interest may need help with proportional thinking. Understanding interest will help children make wise long term financial decisions.


How Mathnasium of Yukon Will Help

Our assessment will find any learning gaps so we can create an individualized learning plan just for your child. Our curriculum interweaves foundational skills throughout different units. Learn more about our process HERE, then give us a call about your FREE assessment. 405-324-4005.


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