15 Nov 2011

Pet Shop Maths - the verdict

So the Pet Shop made a profit. $6884.98 profit to be exact. Which isn't too bad over the 'year'.

I last spoke to you about Simply Charlotte Mason's Business Maths Pet Store on Day One of the course - right back at the beginning of term. We were pretty excited. Now that we're at the end I thought you might like to know what we think now.

And we're still happy. For us, this programme was a perfect choice. Let me remind you that I was becoming concerned that Jemimah was moving too far ahead in MEP maths. At the beginning of term three of AO4 she was more than half way through MEP Year 5. I could see her love of maths waning, and I really didn't want that. A term of maths practice seemed a perfect solution.

That's what Pet Shop Maths was for us - maths practice. Now at the end of term Jemimah's adding and subtracting of columns of decimals has improved dramatically. She is able to calculate a percentage by changing it to a decimal and multiplying. She can calculate a percentage increase. She can maintain a ledger and knows what one is for. Most importantly, she has regained a love for maths, and has some idea of how it is used in every day life. The programme was fun and quick. Most days we could get the work done in five minutes, allowing time for some multiplication practice in a quick game of Timez Attack, or to just relax.

In case you're wondering, Pet Shop Maths isn't a full maths curriculum. The skills I mention above are pretty much all it involves. It is best regarded as an adjunct to a regular maths curriculum - or a break from one - rather than as a stand -alone maths programme.

Each 'month' the tasks are the same. By the end of the book Jemimah was bored by them, but by then it didn't matter, she had mastered them and we were done. What she most loved was the random Chance cards that added an element of risk to each month. Would the card be a goodie or a baddie? Would it put us into debt or increase sales? Jemimah loved picking Chance cards.

For me the best bit was removing the angst that seemed to be accompanying maths lessons. I loved the way the books were set out, and I loved how quickly we could get things done.

For us, Pet Shop Maths served its purpose very well indeed.


  1. Cool...glad to hear it was a winner for you both! :)

  2. You know all the basic math anyone ever needs can be taught quickly & easily in about 3 years. The rest is just practise.

    These are the sort of programs I've had Star working on. She gets bored but appreciates the practical application!☺

  3. Sounds very practical. We did Grocery Cart Math--little math activities to do while or after grocery shopping. Anything practical I'm for! Not everyone will be an engineer, but we all have to keep track of money.

  4. We are just a little over half way through this Math and a LIKING it! We are really happy that we went this route for Math this year, and will be finished it by mid-January. Some good solid Math skills have been learned, or made more solid, as well as how to use those skills in real life. I highly recommend it as an interim Math. As was said in the blog, it is not a complete Math program, but still good.

  5. Thanks for updating us. Sounds like it served your our pose very well!

  6. That was meant to say "serve your purpose very well" :)

  7. We used Pet Shop Math in exactly that same way. Dd needed a break from her regular math lessons--I think we did the whole program in one term actually, doing one month per week. It was a nice break and a lovely review of some key concepts.


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