Teach your kids how to count money

I got really annoyed today when I was helping Isaac with a maths worksheet. It was from his kindergarten and was on the topic of counting coins. Isaac has a vague concept of counting money but the worksheet wasn’t helping.

For eg. what kind of question is this: “10 cents less than 55 cents is ____ cents.”?

That’s a badly constructed sentence and doesn’t teach the kids the concept of addition or subtraction in a logical manner. It would have been more correct to say “____ cents is 55 cents minus 10 cents.”

A big problem with how schools teach mathematics, as well as test the students, is that it demands high-level English skills without realizing that kids take time before they can understand such sentence structures. Parents often criticize the PSLE for having math questions that test one’s English standard rather than their Math ability. So many teachers or curriculum directors would rather roll the word “pedagogy” around their mouth than actually understand what they’re doing.

To cut the long story short, I came up with a 3-page worksheet with pictures of Singapore coins to teach my son how to count different combinations of currency. It’s very basic, but I’ve saved it in a Word 97 .doc format so you can download it for yourself and make edits if you wish. It goes up to $3.00 but hey, you can bump it up to $100 if you wish, I think the page can take that many 50ct coins.

If your child becomes a financial wizard thanks to this document, please be sure to send a cheque my way!

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Please download it here

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7 Replies to “Teach your kids how to count money”

  1. I fully agree that the kind of sentences they use in math worksheets is complete bollocks! Who in the real world asks anybody finance-related questions in that manner?

    “Mr Soon, you have $2 less than $10 in your bank account…” Huh?? I have simply never heard any bank teller or customer service officer speak like that, ever.

    More often than not, we go, “You’re $2 short of $10.” or in clearer, simpler English, “You need to pay us $10, but you’ve given us $2 less.”

    Nobody in their right mind will string “$2”, “less than”, and “$10” into the same sentence without commas. Like you said, the sentence structure is too complicated for a 7-year-old.

    If a grown adult who has aced his English exams and graduated with a communications major takes 4-5 seconds to comprehend that sort of sentence, what more can we expect from a young kid?

    It’s just incredibly unreasonable and very unfair, especially for children who are not native English speakers. This is a math question and it should remain that way as much as possible.

    And if you thought that was bad, try the questions where they talk about A giving away 2/3 of something, and giving away another 1/3 of the remainder. Graphically it’s very easy to explain such a concept, but many children with weak English skills simply cannot comprehend and visualize what is going on exactly.

  2. Hey Ian, how about this for a lesson:

    If you earn $500, do not spend $600. Because you will be $100 in debt, and your life will spiral into oblivion.

    That’s a Math, English, and life lesson all rolled into one!

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