When I was teaching, not a day would go by when I had one of my students say, “Why do we have to learn this?”, “How is this going to help me in my life?” They had a point – there are a lot of things that kids learn in school that they promptly forget as soon as they walk out the school gates for the last time. However, my answer was always the same: “School is about the basics that form a foundation for you to build on. How can you function in life without the basics?” Maths certainly falls into the category of ‘the basics’ and children often forget just how much Maths they use in everyday life without thinking about it!
So, the next time your child or teenager whinges about doing Maths, show them this article – 5 Ways that Maths Helps Us in Everyday Life.
1. Managing finances: Maths helps individuals manage their finances, including calculating or comparing interest rates, understanding compound interest, and creating and balancing their budget. It helps them to know if they’re getting a good deal when it comes to big finance decisions such as borrowing for their first car, or working out which savings account will give them the most interest.
2. Cooking and baking: Maths plays a crucial role in cooking and baking, where individuals must use maths skills to measure ingredients, convert recipes from one unit to another, and adjust cooking times and temperatures.
3. Shopping: Maths skills are essential for shopping, including calculating discounts, comparing prices, and determining the best value for money. This is my favourite reason! I use this every day and when my kids were little and we went shopping together, I often chose a simple product comparison and asked them to calculate (in their head!) which one they thought was better value.
4. Planning travel: When planning a trip, maths skills can help individuals calculate distances, estimate travel times, and figure out the most cost-effective mode of transportation. Essential in these days of high airfares!
5. Making informed decisions: Maths is vital for making informed decisions, including evaluating probabilities, interpreting statistics, and understanding risk. Maths can help individuals weigh the pros and cons of different options, which can lead to more informed decisions in various areas of life.