Free with a price…

I LOVE that I can home school my daughter through Kindergarten for FREE! There are so many great resources online! is one of my favorites! Even my three year old has something to do on that site! No more learning the abc’s without phonics included!
I have one small problem though. None of these sites, so far, have shown me how to get a new concept across. It’s great that I can go to and download a money unit in eight different themes but where are the instructions on HOW to explain why it is that 5 pennies make a nickel but only 2 nickels make a dime, and you can’t put any number of dimes into a quarter without having a nickel, and it only takes 4 quarters to make a dollar! My daughter also stumped me when she asked why the penny said “One Cent” and the nickel said “Five Cents” but the dime and the quarter just said “One Dime” and “One Quarter”. Huh… I don’t know Sammy Lammy… not sure why they did that.
Unable to answer her questions, I was forced to think fast and get her involved in learning it a different way. This is how we ended up with my money jar of the floor making a money tree.
At the top of our tree was a dollar. Under the dollar we put four quarters, in a line, like we were making a flow chart. We just called it our “tree”. Under one quarter we put two dimes and a nickel, under another we put one dime and three nickels, under the next we put five nickles, and the last she lined up twenty five pennies. Under all the dimes we put two nickles, and under each nickel we put five pennies. I’ll admit, we had a BIG tree on the floor. The result was we ended with 100 pennies. And she could follow them down from a dollar through the quarters and through the different combinations until we got to all cents (pennies).
This is when my brilliant daughter proceeded to pose another unanswerable question: “How do I know this is a nickel when it doesn’t have Monticello on the back?” UGH…dern federal reserve making special nickels and quarters!!! She found at least three different pictures on her nickels and I didn’t count how different quarters.
I’ve been told that purchased curriculums have teachers guides and textbooks that will walk me through teaching her a new concept. I guess I figured this early in the schooling game the concepts would be easy to explain. Boy was I wrong…. I take for granted the stuff I just seem to “know”. If anyone wants to explain to my fiesty 5 year old why there are three words that sound like “there” and three for “by” feel free to do so…. I’m just giving her a nice “deer in the headlights look at the moment”.