Sunday, December 23, 2012

Using Grocery Shopping For Learning

Grocery shopping is one of those mundane tasks we all have to do on a regular basis. There is no getting around it for the most part, it is a chore that just has to get done. How often really depends on the family, some go every couple of days, once a week, bi-monthly or once a month but certainly is something that every family does.
For the homeschooling families, a grocery trip can be a fun hands on learning trip that happens every time you go!
The child can help prepare the lists, price compare, add up the groceries as they go into the cart. There are sales to figure out percentages,figuring out unit prices, estimating how much the overflowing will costs and in many cases even figuring out sales taxes on items.
A whole range of math concepts can be covered in any one shopping trip that can be presented in a fun manner that helps build good shopping skills at the same time. It is also a great way to demonstrate those math concepts in a way that is applicable to living, that is not seperate from our daily life.
Yet there is another angle that many miss here as well that a grocery store can open a new world up to.
If you keep an eye out for a new and interesting food your family has never tried before, this can lead to discovering something new you like. When you bring it home, this opens an opportunity to look it up online to discover what it is, how it is used and what country it comes from. Sometimes this leads to an in-depth study of a new country that has not been covered yet. Sometimes it leads to learning a whole new line of ethnic cooking, preparing traditional dishes of that country.
This can hold true of items purchased that are made in a different country as well. When this is discovered it can be a fun project to have a large world wall map and colored stickers or thumb tacks. Then go through your house with the kids and discover just how many items in your house comes from a different country, marking it all on the map!
You may want to keep it all fresh by visiting a new store once in a while too or even an ethnic grocery store. By using grocery stores in this fashion, many kids will get excited over shopping days and actually will enjoy going. The occasional visit to an ethnic grocery store will almost be like going to a museum with them where they are delighted by all the new items they see and try to figure out what it is or how it may be used.
By doing all this, it takes out the mundane factor and puts in the fun and exciting. You get a chore completed at the same time the kids are learning too. What could be better than all that?
Do you simply go shopping or do you use it as a diving board for learning?