Living Math Review: Your Business Math

Living Math Review

I ran across a living math curriculum a couple of months ago when looking for business math for Lindsey. It was too young for Lindsey, but I had a feeling Kathryn would like it. I didn’t even make a big deal when it came in the mail — I just set it on my desk to take a better look at it myself, and after a few days, Kathryn started asking about it. That week was rather busy, but by the following week, she asked if she could look at it. That’s all it took. She was hooked, and asked if she could do the first lesson, which included naming her business and designing a logo.

Pet Shop Math Review

Math can be fun!

Your Business Math from Sonya Shafer at Simply Charlotte Mason is geared towards grades 3 – 6 (or ages 8 – 12). I was afraid it might be a bit young for Kathryn, but it’s not. It’s fantastic for reinforcing all those skills that are usually so painfully boring in standard math workbooks. She has written checks to pay imaginary bills; she has figured sales tax, which helped a few things with percentages finally “click” for her; and she does long columns of adding and subtracting to  keep a bank account ledger current. And she loves it.

“Make me stop so I don’t do a whole month in a day. I want to savor it.” ~Kathryn

I opted for the Pet Shop version, but there is also a Book Store, as well as a Sports Store. If Kathryn keeps on loving this as much all the way through, I may get the book store version, too.

Sharpen basic math skills, have fun with real-life learning.

Kathryn’s first assignment was to name her store and design a logo. Then she started buying pets and supplies, keeping up with expenses, and then figuring up profit each month after customer orders came in. Each month there’s also a chance card to figure in. These “chance cards” can be good, like getting a big discount on supplies when a competitor goes out of business. Or they can be bad, like when a leaky pipe means the plumber has to be called.

I haven’t had to help Kathryn with instructions at all. She asks me to check it, but she can work completely independently on these lessons.

Pet Store Math Review

Not only has this had a very positive effect on Kathryn’s overall outlook on math, it’s helped sharpen her basic math skills, and has made her more aware of what goes into running a business. Now when we’re at PetSmart, she’s looking to see how their guinea pig or ferret prices compare to hers. When we’re in Target, she’s thinking how hard it would be to keep track of inventory for everything in a store that big. She’s thinking of all sorts of factors that influence how well — or how poorly — a business does.

It’s flexible.

We’re using this as “extra” math right now. Kathryn is still doing about three Teaching Textbooks lessons each week, plus Your Business Math whenever she feels like it. Depending upon your homeschool style/schedule, you could use this as your only math curriculum. If it’s not be beefy enough for your homeschool, it would be a good supplement or a nice change of pace from your usual math — maybe over the holidays, for instance. It’s flexible enough to stretch out over months, or squeeze into a few weeks.

You can download a sample lesson to get a better idea of whether or not this curriculum might work for your family. The books are available as ebooks or as printed books. I chose the printed book, as I almost always do.

Please note: This was NOT a paid review; I bought this curriculum myself for use in our homeschool and felt this review would be useful to my readers.

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We have this but am waiting to use it with my dd next year when she is in 5th grade {she still has some important math skills to learn first}. I’m not sure if we will use it as a supplement or take a half year off our regular curriculum to use it. Do you like it as a supplement? I can’t wait! I know my dd will love it!

Kayla Arrowood

I have thought of getting this for my oldest son, but the sports edition. Good to hear your review! Thanks for the insight!


I’ve been on the fence about this, but I think that I may just take the leap. Thanks for the review and love your note at the end :).


Thanks for sharing your experience. This has been on my radar for a while now but my son isn’t ready or it yet. Hopefully he will be soon!


Thanks so much for the review, Jamie. I love to hear how these little stores make math come alive for students. And I especially loved reading about your daughter’s forming those mental connections in real-life stores!

Heidi @ Home Schoolroom

Thanks for this review, Jamie! I’m putting this on my list for summer, when we drop the regular schoolwork but keep on learning. Our daughters appear quite similar (and we also use Teaching Textbooks) so I bet this would fit my girl well!