"But when am I ever going to use this Math thing in life?"
You might have heard this question from your child when they are learning new Mathematical concepts or word problems. Perhaps you have also asked the same question once or twice when you were schooling?
Well, it turns out that Math has a huge range of practical applications in most aspects of our lives.
Keep reading to learn some of the ways that Math is important in our everyday life, and how to explain to your child why it is worth studying to become better at using it.
"Doing Math helps you become smarter!"
Just like how exercising regularly can keep you fit, your brain needs to exercise too.
Math trains children to think more logically and become better thinkers. There is significant research to support the theory that that children who are good at Math have larger volumes of grey matter in certain part of the brain – these parts are generally associated with advanced cognitive tasks such as decision making and attention to visual stimuli.
Isn’t that already a strong enough reason to learn Mathematics?
Besides giving your mental acuity a boost, learning and practicing math can also improve your mental strength and health indirectly. While you exercise, you’ll need to count and do some simple Math calculations so that you can plan your exercise and set achievable goals to make progress over time. Exercise releases endorphins and improves focus, which in turn helps you feel motivated to learn and improve levels of productivity.
"Being good at Math helps to make sure you have enough money."
Without a regular budget, most people have a very limited idea of how and where they spend their money.
Knowing exactly how much pocket money you have, and figuring out how much you spent can make a huge difference between having enough leftovers to buy that toy that you’ve been eyeing or ending up broke.
Of course, being good at numbers can also help you spot a good bargain and make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. Without simple Math, how do you know if how much discount you are getting and whether it’s a good deal? Not to mention when you are out with friends and decide to split the bill. Think about how many friends you can impress by being the one who can always calculate the bill quickly.
Learning how to count money and plan their spending at a young age is definitely one of the most important life skills they can develop to put them in good stead later in life.
"You need Math to make sure that your family is ok, just like what daddy and mummy are doing."
This application is somewhat similar to the previous one, except that it involves a certain level of responsibility to others.
Share your family’s monthly expenses with your child so that they are aware of what you are paying for utilities, mortgages and taxes etc. Explain to them that each of these require some level of Mathematical aptitude to manage. Not only does this help them know about the responsibilities most adults take on, your child will respect you more and appreciate what you are doing for the family.
"You like to use your mobile phones, right? Guess how it came about. Math."
If your child enjoys computer games, uses the internet, they’ll be surprised to know that Mathematical application is responsible for creating the internet, and all the technological luxuries we have become so reliant on.
Tell them that all the applications that you use in your everyday life are dependent on algorithms that use mathematical logic and if they are aspiring to create their own computer games or invent anything on their own in future, yes, Mathematics is going to come in handy!
In effect, one could say that Math is a universal language that crosses cultural boundaries and contributes to bringing the world closer together.
"You enjoy good food, right? Imagine if the chef was bad at Math."
When you are cooking or baking, you’ll usually need precision of measurement to create something delicious. One easy example would be ratio. If you have a strong knowledge of ratio, you’ll have no problems adjusting the serving size that’s written in a recipe because you know how to scale fractions up or down easily. If you are good at Math topics like mass or length, you can also convert cups to grams or ounces, or the other way round anytime and get much better results.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Almost every type of profession requires a certain kind of Math skill – from basic cash-handling and commercial awareness, to complex numerical analysis. Scientists and engineers rely heavily on Mathematical formulae and analysis in order to test their hypotheses and assess the feasibility of projects. Even for jobs that are not considered so challenging, mental arithmetic is a highly valuable skill to have, you can’t avoid calculations. And of course, every job involves a paycheck.
"Math helps you understand how well you have been learning!"
To keep track of how close you are to reaching your goal in school, it’s always helpful to understand percentage so that you can measure everything equally. Things like spellings, worksheets and class tests have a different total grade, if you know how to use percentages, you’ll be able to calculate your marks and gauge how well you are doing if everything were over a 100 marks. In a way, it can motivate you to keep learning and reach those personal goals.
Make Math revision fruitful for your child
These are just a few of many ways that math plays an important role in our everyday lives.
Think about your own experiences. How has Math helped you so far?