Math with Money

Math. We're on Singapore 2A, exercise 10 and I'm finding that St. Nick has no trouble at all doing math when we do the money-related problems, like Sam has $30 and wants to buy the book, how much more does he need? (The book costs $32 - must be a textbook - so he needs $2, obviously.) St. Nick hardly has to think about this, even when it's more complicated (like Sam has $86 and buys the pencil for $15 ...) and we break out the base ten blocks. Easy.

But working on the exact same types of problems using imaginary apples and pears or cupcakes and cookies? No good. Then it's tears and "I don't get it!" Which makes math about as fun as, say, handwriting.