Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shopping 101

I keep a grocery list on my fridge and write down things as I run out of them so I don't forget to buy them at the store. I never realized that my daughter picked up on what we were doing until one day I found this on my list.

There are other times I have found pancaks, straws and other various things my daughter uses. If we run out of, or low on, something, she lets me know by leaving it on the list. Well, this was my realization that Gess was ready for some more responsibility, so we have been working on letting her do her own shopping at the store.
By doing her own shopping I do not mean that we let her spend her own money, I have already been letting her do that. What we have started to do now is to break up part of the shopping list (unless I am only going to pick up a few things then she gets the whole thing) and give it to her to be in charge of. For instance today I made the following list:

Then as we shopped for them Gess would put them in the cart and then mark them off the list. If it's a short list like the one above, I also let her try to find the item by herself. I just follow her around the store while she shops. This was much easier before our grocery store recently did a re-model, but this is a good way to help her re-learn where everything is.
Shopping is a great lesson in reading for kids with special needs. When we do this we are not simply reading some random word on a list, but instead this makes the words relevant since they end up matching a tangible object that the child is very familiar with. Often times Gess already knows which brand/item we use but at other times I make it more fun for her by letting her choose what we buy. For instance, I put Cereal instead of Cheerios so Gess gets to choose which type of cereal we will get.
There will be times when Gess will actually write the shopping list herself. This will allow her to work on her writing and spelling skills. As you can see, she did not spell juice or pancakes correctly but this will be a great way to practice it. When Gess writes the list on her own I also want to help her understand the relevance, so during school I might say, "we need to buy the stuff to make cookies." We will then find a recipe and see what ingredients we need to buy. Then she can make her list and go shopping to buy those items. Of course we will also get to bake the cookies when we are done! There are tons of ways to make this fun as well as educational!
I also will eventually use this for lessons in math too. However I want her to first be very familiar with shopping on her own before trying to work on how much we are spending and how much it costs, etc. Her reading skills are definitely way beyond her math skills as it is. For now Gess is enjoying her time shopping, but then of course what girl doesn't?

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