Why Math Matters outside of School

Parents across the globe are familiar with these words of protest:

  • “Why do I need to learn this math?”
  • “I’ll never use this math in real life.”
  • “I’ll just forget all this stuff after I graduate anyway.”

Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with an insightful response to such cries of despair. However, with a little preparation, you can make a powerful case in favor of math. What’s more, if you sound passionate about numerical operations, you might even get your kids excited to study the subject.

Math Is Everywhere

Many young people respond well to concrete, tactile examples. Fortunately, at any time, wherever you are, you can show your kids how vital math is to human life.

For starters, if you’re at the supermarket, you could demonstrate how you compare labels and estimate sales prices. When the mail arrives, you could pull out a bill and talk about how household budgeting keeps your lights on and your heat running and requires basic math skills. Even the simple task of learning to tell the time involves some math.

You don’t have to be explicit to get your children to appreciate math. For instance, you might try baking with them. Throughout, you could emphasize the numbers and measurements involved, and you could ask them to make simple calculations as you go along.

Indeed, the possibilities are endless. To name just a few more, you could:

  • Discuss tips and dividing checks when you’re eating out
  • Mention the physics of roller coasters at amusement parks
  • Explain how you decide how much fuel to buy at gas stations.

Focus on Careers

Kids of all ages tend to be fascinated by various occupations. Younger children pretend to be doctors, firefighters, astronauts, and more. Teenagers often shadow professionals, complete internships, and read about their dream professions.

You can use these interests to boost your argument for math. First, assert that many high-paying jobs require high-level math skills. Tell your children that pharmacists, engineers, accountants, and many others perform advanced computations every workday. On top of that, they often enjoy doing so.

Another persuasive method is to have your kids name any career they can think of. You can reply by explaining how that vocation demands math. Teachers calculate grades. Police officers use special formulas to reconstruct accident and crime scenes―to establish, for example, how fast a certain car was going. You get the idea.

Additionally, you can remind your children that even entry-level positions call for math at some point, whether it’s reviewing the bills that customers complain about or balancing a cash register.

Math Love: It’s Contagious

In all of this, try not to undercut your pro-math message by saying in front of your kids that you never liked math or aren’t good at it. Otherwise, you’ll reinforce their misconceptions.

Rather, if you stay positive about math, you might start appreciating the field more than you ever did before. So keep pointing out that math makes us better critical thinkers and that it’s necessary for progress and innovation. It’s a great way to be involved in your kids’ learning, and you and your children might never see numbers the same way again.

Finally, to help your children stay keen on math, you could sign them up for LearnBop for extra math support. LearnBop simulates one-to-one learning by providing immediate individualized instruction to the child’s needs. With step-by-step guidance from award-winning experts built into every problem, LearnBop adapts in real time to student interactions and breaks down larger math problems into smaller, more manageable steps so they can develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. View the website for more details. [schedule on=’2016-02-25′ at=”03:01″ expon=’2016-05-01′ expat=”23:55″] LearnBop will be available later this spring, but you can sign up now to receive a special 33 percent discount off the subscription price. [/schedule]

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