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Grocery Cart Math Review by Nicole Weiss

Jaye Hansen
Common Sense Press
(352) 475-5757
8786 Highway 21
Melrose, FL 32666

Grocery Cart Math is an exciting way to help children learn real-life math skills, stay busy during grocery shopping errands, and keep them involved in household management routines. It is a soft-cover, portable book that contains thirty-two different lessons that center around going to the grocery store. There are also four “Just for Fun” lessons that are not specifically math-centered.

Each lesson contains sections to be completed at the grocery store, at home, and sections to “Talk About It” with Mom or Dad. The lessons are appropriate for a third to fifth grade math level, or as a sixth-grade review, and include activities such as: learning the size of a gallon, identifying items that are sold by the gallon, and identifying price per gallon for those items. Another activity has children compare two different brands of the same item by price. Other skills that are covered are estimation, graphing, finding the price per item of packaged goods, sales tax and percentages.

This item came along at a perfect time in our homeschool. I homeschool one extremely math-phobic little girl, and a math-loving little boy, and we have recently entered a time when we have discovered how well unschooling works in our days. For all of these reasons, Grocery Cart Math was a perfect fit for all of us!

I typically grocery shop once a week, usually by myself, but for this review I started to bring one child at a time with me when I went on my outings. While I would prepare a grocery list, the child who was coming with me would go over the lesson ahead of time, so we would know what to look for while shopping. I was able to pick activities for each child that were both interesting and age-appropriate, as my son is working at approximately a third grade math level, and my daughter is working in or near fifth-grade math. Then we would head to the store. While I chose things from my list, my children went on their own “scavenger hunts” through the aisles, looking for the weight of meat, or for products shaped like a cylinder. Once we were both finished, home, and our packages were put away, we would finish up with the at home and discussion activities.

The store activities never held up my shopping trip, as they were easily completed by both of my children with only minimal instruction from me. The at home and the discussion activities were also easily completed and led to some interesting discussions about why prices on items change, or about why I choose to buy a particular brand over another.

We really enjoyed using this product. I liked that it was easy to implement, portable, and teaches real life skills in a way that made sense to my kiddos. And truthfully, being a new unschooler, I also liked that I could count it in my head as “math”. It was fun to take a child to the store when they had something there they could be excited about, and I think my kids did feel excited to have a “purpose”. Also, I really liked the simplicity of the pages, as my children tend to get distracted easily. However, some children may wish for more color, or more formal illustrations.

Both of my children expressed enjoyment for using the book. My eight year-old son said, “I really liked looking for which kind of thing was cheaper. And sometimes there’s not a lot of writing.” (He may enjoy math, but he hates to write!) My eleven year-old daughter told me, “I liked it a lot! It was fun to go on like a scavenger hunt in the store to find certain things, and it wasn’t too much math when we got home most of the time.”

I would highly recommend Grocery Cart Math for most homeschooling families. Unschooling families like ours should find this a wonderful fit, but if you are a family that uses a specific curriculum for math, I think you will find this an entertaining supplement to your regular days. It is also a very helpful tool to keep in your car and pull out during those “emergency” trips to the store, in order to keep the kiddos busy and learning. Grocery Cart Math is available for $10. I was given a copy of Grocery Cart Math in exchange for my honest review.

—Product Review by Nicole Weiss, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2015