Practical Math: How To Use Math Every Day With Your Children
Have your children ever wondered why they need to learn algebra, geometry, or even basic arithmetic? The answer is simple. Math is one of the many skills that people from around the world use every day. Whether it’s calculating how much interest their savings account can accumulate over a period of time or how to modify recipes to include enough servings for guests, or how to tell the time. Here are four examples of how you and your children can use math in your everyday lives.
- When your child needs to bake cupcakes for his or her class of 24 students
When a recipe yields 12 cupcakes and your children need to make 24 cupcakes, they will need to use their math skills in algebra to make adjustments the recipe to make enough cupcakes. In this instance, your children need to double the amount of ingredients, such as using 3 ½ cups of flour instead of 1 ¾ cups, and 2 tablespoons of baking powder instead of just 1 tablespoon.
Next time your children have to bake cupcakes or cookies, try providing them with a recipe where measures need to be doubled or halved in order to make enough treats.
- If your children want to know much longer it is until playtime
If your children want to know how much longer it is until playtime, they need to use their math skills. In that sense, the ability to tell time is one method of introducing your child to fractions while practicing their addition and subtraction skills.
Next time your children wants to know how much longer it is until dinnertime or playtime, help your them practice their math skills by providing them the current time and the time the scheduled activity is set to begin.
- When your family is shopping for new clothing or accessories for school
Most retailers regularly announce promotions offering 20-30% off the listed or retail price of specific items. In order to calculate the price that your family would actually pay for these items, ask your children to help calculate the answer to practice their math skills..
Next time you are shopping for clothing with your children, invite them to calculate the savings of items that are 20%, 30%, or even 50% off as one way to help them practice their math skills.
- When your child opens a savings account
One of the principle functions of calculus is its ability to help measure change over time in two or more variables. In that sense, one practical application for calculus would include determining how much interest your children would receive in six months by opening a savings account with $100 at a 2% interest rate. Using this equation A = p (1 + r/n)nt where p equals the amount your children would open the savings account with, r would equal the rate and t would equal 6 months to solve for A, they would be able to calculate $12.73 in interest.
Next time your children want to use their allowance or wages on a new toy or video games, try explaining how saving their money can help them in the future.
What are some additional real-life applications where you and your children use math?