Lesson 6: Inventory, Grocery Shopping, and Comparison Pricing

Lesson 6: Inventory, Grocery Shopping, and Comparison Pricing

A note about this series:

There are meant to be daily practices. Low-tech, low energy, but high leverage when it comes to maintaining your child (ren)’s intellectual growth, keeping a positive relationship forefront, and giving you time to ugly cry in the hiding area of your choosing. Once you start a daily practice (like storytelling) you keep it going every day, or to be more reasonable, most days. I don’t think families should be overwhelmed with trying to be their child’s teacher, especially when we are also trying to be parents and partners, and also, in theory working.

For context, I am typing this while my toddler expresses EXTREME dissatisfaction with my inability to hold a bowl for him. So, you know.

Okay, this is a foray into math! This is meant to be about as real world as it gets. I think rather than come up with activities for kids, we just employ them as assistants in the jobs that are happening around them.

Your younger child is now in charge of inventory. Give them a clip board and a marker and have them count how many cans of beans, how many bags of pasta. If you have a child who is comfortable with numbers over ten, but maybe wobbly when we get a little higher, you might have them counting the total of all the canned goods, or all the paper goods in the house.

You older, but not oldest child,  is going to be in charge of writing your grocery list and figuring out how much everything is going to cost you. They can use the prices in the circular, if you get one, or on amazon (even if you are not shopping online). For added difficulty, give them your budget, see what they can get you under that budget.

Your oldest child is going to be in charge of finding you deals by looking a per ounce prices. These are also shown on amazon and in circulars. Let them help you find the cheapest beans.

More ways to get math in each day:

  • cooking, baking. You have to do it anyway, outsource the measuring and scooping.
  • clean up. count the blocks as you put them away, set the timer together for clean up,
  • plant a garden. read those seed packs, figure out distance to plant, depth in soil, how big they will get. Let your older kid run the whole show.
  • When you can, across the day, ask questions during chores that get to “How many?”, “How much more?”, “How many left?”

Think of your job this way, your child is in apprenticeship to you. You do math, reading, writing every single day as a human being. Just point it out and let them help you figure the stuff out. School sometimes strips the context from learning, this is chance for kids to remember that we read and write and do math to LIVE.

Hoping this continues to be helpful, and that people continue to be healthy. STAY HOME. WASH HANDS.


I (and many like me) have lost their income source because schools are closed. There are lots of ways to support the people who do the work I do, buy their books, schedule an online PD for your school, reach out for online support for you or your child. If you are using the materials people are posting (myself included) you can also donate a few bucks, if you can. If you feel so inclined, you can donate for these materials on this website via venmo to Kristine-Mraz.

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