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Your Business Math
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You own a store. You want a profit. You do the math!
Your Business Math Series is a fun and “living math” kit that reinforces math skills for ages 8–12! Your student uses math knowledge to keep his or her very own store running and, hopefully, make a profit. But there are also some surprises along the way! Choose from three different store themes.
- Fun—Choose from a pet store full of fur and fish, a book store that carries the classic living books, or a sports store that caters to family fun.
- “Living” Math—Learn to write checks, figure sales tax, pay bills, and keep a bank account ledger current, all while practicing basic skills like addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
- Easy to Use—Conversational step-by-step instructions that lead the student through various tasks for each business “month.” Additional Teaching Tips and answers in the FREE 56-page teacher book.
- Exciting—Unexpected surprises from Chance cards that students select at random!
- Flexible—Complete the kit in just a few weeks or use it all school year. You choose your own pace.
- Effective—Students don’t mind doing the math when they’re working on their very own store’s success in a fun game-like approach.
- Comprehensive—An additional practice section in case your student needs more help on any skill used in Your Business Math Series.
Check out these ideas that correspond to Your Business Math. Use them to enhance your study.
Wyndee C. –
I bought the Bookstore for my oldest when he was in 4th grade as a little diversion from Math-U-See. He really enjoyed the chance to do something different and using the skills he learned in a real-life application. It is important, for boys especially, to be able to see that what they are learning serves a real purpose in their lives. This really helped him to hone his basic math skills. When he was done, he was ready to move on to the next level of Math U See.
Are these to all be used over the course of three years or do you just pick one and you don’t ever need the others?
All three books cover the same concepts. We just make them available in three different venues so each child can find one that interests him or her.
Misty A. –
I have 14 yr old daughter whose math skills are slighty below grade level. She very interested in the Pet Shop math, and begging me to let her do it for “summer math”. Would it be a good review, or is it way too “young” for an 8th grader? She will be going into a consumer math next fall, I thought this might gear hr up for it. Thank you for your time.
Great question, Misty. My first thought is that it would be a great confidence-booster. I don’t think the content and “tone” of the store would be too young. The orders that she would fill are typical of orders that any store owner would receive. And if she already knows the math skills that are used, it would give her good practice and encouragement. I’d say go for it.
Marcey G. –
I have two daughters ages 12 and 15. I am considering teaching this math series to both of them together. Has anyone else taught this to children who are beyond 6th grade level math? If so, did your student enjoy it? What did he/she like most about it?
Great question, Marcey. You might also want to post it on our SCM Forum to allow more people to respond.
I am doing it right now with my 12 years old daughter.
She is very good in maths and know how to do what is in the book but the reason I am doing it is for the business side of it. She is learning a lot about that and I think she will benefit from it.
Excellent book!! My 10 year old daughter had developed a sort of math phobia. This book had her sitting and learning new concepts without any fear or fuss. I love that she is learning skills like budgeting, bill paying, keeping a balanced checkbook, figuring how much tax goes back to the state – even how to fill out a check properly. These things will always be important. She can really see how math is applied in every day life.
My 10yo (5th grader) would like to do this as a curriculum for the year, would this be a possibility or no? Sounds really up her alley. She is a visual learner and my other is a asthetic learner (7yo).
Thanks, Wendy (Indiana)
It sounds like a good fit for your daughter, Wendy. I’m not sure that it will be enough to last a full year, but you could let her take a few weeks/months to do her store and then start into your regular math curriculum after that.
Are they all slightly different so one year they can do the ‘Pet Shop’ another year do the ‘Book Store’ etc.?
No, all three stores are the same. They just have different themes and inventory so you can get the one that best matches your student’s interests.
I recently purchased the “Book Store” kit for my three boys. They are really enjoying it. I think it is set up very well and encourages them to work on their own.
However, I do have one huge problem with it. I am an accountant and have been doing books for over 20 years. The problem I have with the math kit is that the ledger entries are being taught opposite of generally accepted accounting principles. Any increase (money in) to an ASSET account (your bank account) is always a debit and any decrease (money out) is always a credit. A positive bank balance is always a debit balance. The way you have the ledger set up is the way your bank statement would show the transactions. Your money at the bank is a LIABILITY to them so that’s why their bank statement shows money out as debits and money in as credits.
Although I realize this isn’t an accounting course, wouldn’t it be best to teach the kids the proper use of debit and credit? I have changed my books to reflect correct accounting procedures, I just thought you should be aware of this.
Thank you for the work you put into this series. As a business owner myself, it is really important to me to teach my boys how a business works. This series does a great job of that!
Thanks for the clarification. You’re right, I was thinking more along the lines of balancing a checkbook, but your explanation will be very helpful for anybody who wants to emphasize the accounting aspect. Glad your boys are enjoying the Book Store.
I purchased the “Your Business Math Series” for our three kiddos (ages 10, 12 and 13). This is our first year homeschooling so I thought it may be a good way to ease into math (and eventually move on to Math U See). Our kiddos are having such fun with this series. It has become somewhat of a friendly competition between the three to see which “store” can make the biggest profit. We all sit down together and work through the lessons. Thanks, Sonya, for making math such fun!
Hanover, PA –
My daughter is 17-1/2. She’s basically done with math classes and ready to graduate. I think this looks fun. Would it be too childish for her to spend 12 weeks going through this?
That’s a tough question. My first thought is that she might consider it a bit childish just because it explains how to do everything in the beginning. That part would probably be simple for her. The actual running of “her store” wouldn’t necessarily be childish. The material isn’t written in a childish way, and I’ve had some parents of older children use it just fine.
That being said, I wonder if it would be too easy for her. If she’s the type who would enjoy something fun and easier as a break, it would work. If she is a math wiz, she would probably do better to tackle something like Math-U-See’s stewardship course at her level.
I am considering using this for a co-op next year. I have two main questions. First, would all of the students be doing the exact same events? (For example, Mr. Smith bought a dog and a leash in January.) And, would each family need to buy their own ebook or is it something I can copy for them?
All of the Pet Store orders are the same, but the Chance cards and AISS cards that they draw at random, plus the advertising options that they select, will give students opportunities to have a unique experience. They won’t all end up with the same Profit and Loss balances. Plus, if you allow them to choose which store they want to do, they will have variations. Some may have Sports Store orders to process rather than the Pet Store orders or the Book Store orders.
Thank you! I hadn’t even realized I could do all THREE at the same time and let the kids choose. That’s perfect!!!
Could this math program work for a co-op class that lasted 12 weeks? How would you structure the class time? Is it mostly independent work or would they work as teams? I saw the post before mentioned each child could pick the which store they wanted to run. How would this work? Thanks for your insight!
Twelve weeks could work if you could assign a little “homework.” The book is set up in months so the student covers one “business year.” So you could do each “month” at each meeting. However, there is a Start Up chapter first that gets the student’s store set up. He designs his logo, names his store, orders inventory, sets his prices, and things like that. Then at the end of the book there is an End of Year chapter where the student figures his yearly profit or loss. That could probably be paired with the “December” month’s meeting. So technically, thirteen weeks would be ideal (Start Up and twelve “months”), unless you could assign one of the “months” as homework sometime during the twelve weeks. You would probably want to guide the students through the Start Up steps and the first couple of “months” of activities to make sure everybody understands what to do. Once they understand how to run things, each month usually gets easier and faster.
Students could select which kind of store each one wants to run: pet store, sports store, or book store. The Start Up and monthly activities are the same; the only thing that changes is the inventory and selling prices that are specific to each type of store. So each student would be doing the same steps, just with different products and numbers. Then the Chance cards add more variety and excitement each month too.
The books are set up for individuals to work independently, but I could see using a team approach just for fun. One idea might be to collect all the students with the same kind of store together as a Pet Store Guild or Sports Store Guild or Book Store Guild. You could keep track of how the Guild’s stores are doing collectively (total profit or loss) each month after they finish their individual work. Then if you wanted to make it a competition, the Guilds could compete for the best overall profit/loss. If you wanted to make it more cooperative, the Guilds could work toward a goal (for example, make a profit 9 out of 12 months) and if all the Guilds met their goal there would be a party or something.
This sounds like a terrific study…….might there be a forthcoming similar program, a little more advanced, for the grades 6-9 crowd?
We don’t currently have plans for a more advanced version, Cynthia. Sorry.
I looked over the sample from the pet store. I will be getting the sports store for my “sports-crazy” son :~D. My question is this, does it also start with January? It’s not a big deal if it does, but we will begin it in August. Thank you for helping me tie in a BIG interest of his with something as important as math!!! :~D
Yes, the Your Business Math stores are set up to go through one imaginary year of business, beginning in January. Of course, you can complete each “business month” any time you want to.
My dc are begging me to purchase this for them for math next year. Two questions: Can I use one printed copy for two children, or do they each need their own edition? Would it be better with 2 students to purchase the e-book version, so I can print multiple pages as needed?
It works best if each student has his or her own store/student book. If they both want the same kind of store, you are welcome to make copies within your household. (The copyright gives permission for making copies within one immediate family.) So you could either get the printed version and make a photocopy for the second child, or get the e-book version and print both copies.
So far, dd is having a really great time with her pet shop. One request, though:
Would it be possible to add a blank order form for each kit to the inventory tracker pages already available on pdf? We’re taking some extra “orders” from family and friends, and having bought the book edition this means having to copy them out every month. Thanks!
I love the idea of having friends and family add extra “orders.” What fun!
We’ve added the order forms to the Links and Tips page for Your Business Math, so you can download and print them. Enjoy.
I am currently using the Pet Shop Math with my two daughters. They are enjoying it and so am I. I have a question: When my daughters write down their sales in their ledgers should they write down the subtotal or the total? I know that they have another lesson where they have to pay the sales tax back to the government, so it would make sense to me that they should not include the tax amount in their ledger. Am I correct?
Actually, they should enter the Total amount, including sales tax collected, in their ledgers when recording their sales. Then farther down they will deduct the sales tax amount as a separate entry. Doing it in two transactions will help them track how much they have collected and paid in sales tax. If they had a real checking account, the bank statement would reflect total money taken in and deposited throughout the month, and then the amount of the one check paid to the government, giving them the sales tax amount. So it’s set up similarly.
Jennifer in MamaLand –
This looks fantastic! I wish my little kids were old enough (the other 2 are in high school); soon enough, I suppose… 🙂
Lori B. –
We bought this at the convention in Cincinnati. LOVE IT! I am waiting now on the music store version I suggested at the convention. My son is already planning on how many guitars to buy. LOL I wrote about how much we love this is a blog post. Would love for you to read it.
This sounds fun for my 8 yr old boy who dislikes math, strongly. I am thinking about trying Math U See next year. Would this be too much to do along side another math curriculum? Or would this better suited as a stand alone math? Maybe some summer fun math?
Sonya Shafer –
Some moms like to use the Your Business Math as a fun alternative on, say, each Friday throughout the year. They do their regular curriculum on Monday through Thursday, then “tend the store” on Fridays.
Other moms use it as a fun summer project, yes. Feel free to use it in the way that works best for your family.
Heather in Ohio –
I bought the bookstore for my daughter and we have recently started implementing it. However we’ve come to a part near the beginning of January where it says to pick a Chance card… where do we find the Chance cards?? They are not in the book. Is this an extra resource we need to purchase?
Sonya Shafer –
The Chance cards are in the back of the free Teacher book that comes with the Bookstore.
I am very impressed so far! My daughters are enjoying our business math each day! 🙂
I would also like to teach this in a co-op setting. I read your other replies above but I wonder if it would be possible to teach this in 16 hours? I would like to teach it in a 16 week co-op, each class one hour. How would you split up the lessons? I can also ask students to work on some at home.
Thanks for your input.
Sonya Shafer –
So glad your girls are enjoying it!
For the co-op, my first thought would be to take the 14-week option (listed in the teacher book around page 6, I think) and stretch the first two sections into two weeks each, so you could walk the students through everything. Then from that point on, they would be going through the same steps each week. So they could work in class at their own pace and finish up at home anything they didn’t get to in class. Here’s the possible break down:
Week 1—Start Up Business (begin)
Week 2—Start Up Business (finish)
Week 3—January Business (begin)
Week 4—January Business (finish)
Week 5—February Business (from here on, start in class and finish at home as needed)
Week 6—March Business
Week 7—April Business
Week 8—May Business
Week 9—June Business
Week 10—July Business
Week 11—August Business
Week 12—September Business
Week 13—October Business
Week 14—November Business
Week 15—December Business
Week 16—End of Year Wrap-Up (shorter and could be done in class)
I so appreciate your reply! Thank you! This is a big help.
I will let you know how it goes.
This sounds like a great program, one my children would enjoy. I am new to homeschooling so would I use this along with Math U see or can it be used on its own?
Jordan Smith –
We consider Your Business Math to be a math practice. It’s a way to do math practice in a way that relates to real life, but it’s not a substitute for a full math program such as Math-U-See.
Regina Lennox –
It looks awesome. I think the Sports Shop would work for my son. I have an idea for one more store, a Jewelry shop. Just an idea. My future Gemologist would love it.
I am very interested in this program for my 8 year old who is currently finishing third grade. She has finished Math U See Gamma level, but she hasn’t had any experience with division yet. How much division is in the program?
Sonya Shafer –
Very little if any, Laura. Usually I tell people that if the student can multiply with decimals, you’re pretty much good to go.
This sounds wonderful but what about the currency? Can we use it in the UK?
Sonya Shafer –
Good question. The stores and orders are set up to use US currency and the US system of sales tax. So I’m not sure that it would work well in the UK.
My daughter has LOVED Pet Store Math! But what’s next? This format is exactly what she loves, but she has mastered the concepts. What can you recommend that we do next? She’s going into 5th grade, well into 6th grade Horizons math, but she doesn’t “like” math – unless we’re doing her Pet Store. 😉 Thanks for any advice!
Sonya Shafer –
So glad she enjoyed it, Lisa! I’m afraid I haven’t come up with any ideas for a next-step yet. If anything comes to mind, I’ll be sure to let you all know. 🙂
Hi we live in australia, wondering if this would be appropriate for our different monetary landscape or easily adaptable. Thanks
Jordan Smith –
We have a section on the Links and Tips page for Your Business Math that describes what other people have done to adapt the books to other currencies. You’ll find it under “No Sales Tax”.
This is the best curriculum purchase I have ever made!!!! My 5th grade daughter hates math! She tells everyone she is bad at math, math makes her cry. I purchased this for her after she started selling handmade times at a fruit and veggie stand. I thought it would be good for her to understand things from a business perspective. She just finished Math u see Delta we are staring epsilon but I thought this would help her to retain when she has learned. My daughter loves it!!!!! She begs me to do more every day. Not only that but she taught her self about decimals and percentages from it!!!! So happy to finally find something that makes her realize she can do math and math can be fun!!!!
What a fun way for young students to apply math to the real world! I’ve taught this class at our co-op a few times now and it’s been a hit! I actually let the students use calculators for the math portion (we only meet once a week, one hour, for 10 weeks) and focus on the business concepts. They will actually work ahead at home and even contact me for their AISS or Chance card 🙂 So, even if your child doesn’t need the math practice, it’s a great tool for helping them see how useful math can be. Thanks, Sonya, for such a great program!
L. Angie a Hernandez Acevedo –
Greetings – This looks great and I have only one question: are both the student kit and the teacher book included in this purchase?
Tamara Bell –
Hi! Yes, everything you need to teach Your Business Math is included the kit.