# Thoughts About Monopoly As A Teaching Tool

We have been playing Monopoly with my 1st grader.

### A hierarchy of useful lessons

• Arithmetic

I make Zak be the banker so he gets lots of practice making change. It’s harder than 1st-grade math worksheets so you can have fun AND cross an item off your homeschool list.

• Probability

Dice frequencies. The first-grader knows considers stretching to build houses when you are 6,7, or 8 spaces away from his property.

• Ownership and investment returns

Ask your child how many times a property needs to be landed on to breakeven on the purchase. For older kids, discuss investment returns as a percentage.

• Borrowing, collateral, and interest

The whole mortgage and interest mechanism. Borrowing against incomplete property sets to improve completed sets.

• Operational leverage

Do you stretch to buy houses? If so, your small cash cushion can get wiped out by a mistimed Chance card forcing you to fire sale your houses for half price. Throw in some dice probability discussion and the game fosters a rich learning environment.

​​