Whether or not your child is an ace student in math, you can determine for yourself if they are mastering the math concepts that you feel are important. Teaching your children how the math concepts they learn in school apply in the everyday world will help them enjoy what they learn and remove the need for rote learning. The best part is that helping them to see the value in learning math only takes a few minutes, and you can demonstrate how practical math can be nearly anywhere. The more you expose your students to the value of learning math, the more likely they are to be cooperative participants in their own education.
One of the best ways to begin demonstrating the importance of learning math is to model the ways that you use math and point out the specific math skills that make this possible. You may be thinking that there aren’t very many opportunities to demonstrate your use of math during the day, but you haven’t probably thought about how often you use math. The first step, then, is to take a week or so and pay close attention to the situations in which you use math skills. Keep a list in a notebook if it will help you to remember.
Although the list is much longer, here are a few common math concepts that you might find yourself using in your daily life.
  • Probability – Have you ever stopped to figure out what the chances are that you will win a free soda if the label says, “One In Six Wins!” and you buy two? You are figuring out the probability. The same applies to any other “chance” occurrences, like flipping a coin or rolling dice, perhaps as part of a game.
  • Basic math operations – Try including your math learner in your budget planning or checkbook balancing session. Show them how you must carefully add and subtract the numbers, and why correct math is so important when handling money.
  • Percentages – Shopping for items on sale is a great way to point out how figuring percentages can be useful, such as finding 10% off of the sweater you want to buy.
  • Estimation – Help your student guess how many people are at the ballpark, how many hot dogs your family eats in a year, how much pizza to order for a party or anything else! Make sure to point out that estimation is an important math skill.
  • Measurement units – Pretty much everything we do in a day involves measurement units – time, length, weight, capacity, currency and temperature. In addition to day to day things, get your child involved in locating places on a map, finding distances between cities, read temperature in different cities from a newspaper, paying the cashier in a supermarket and collecting the change etc.
When you are showing your student how math is an integral part of everyday life, they are able to appreciate the value of math and also get rid of the feeling of abstractness when thinking about Math.
Be accurate and creative when you talk about math, and share enthusiasm with your young learner. The more aware they can be of their need to use math in regular life, the more likely they will develop a positive attitude about learning the math skills they will need later.
In Math Buddy, we have tried to relate every single topic in Math with practical real-life examples that students encounter in day to day life. A resource such as the Math Buddy parent guide will give you an idea of the concepts with which they should be familiar. You can download the parent guide for grades 2 to 4 from the “My Lessons” page when you login to Math Buddy.
Click here to learn more about Math Buddy.