Math is all around us. When students start to understand this, they realize why it’s important to study the math curriculum. It can also make it more fun. Before your student starts to ask you “when am I ever going to use this?”, here are 7 examples of everyday math.
Baking and Cooking
Pull out your favorite recipe and let your student help you make something delicious. Along the way, you’ll see how often you work with fractions, addition, subtraction, and more. You need to get the measurements just right to make sure that the finished product turns out edible. If you want to give your student extra practice, try doubling or halving the recipe, too. This gets especially tricky when dealing with the fractions of teaspoons and tablespoons.
Managing Your Finances
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Whether you’re balancing a checkbook or putting together a budget, it’s important to know how to use math to help you. Have your child help you pay bills, allowing them to add up the amount you need to pay. You could also have them calculate the average amount paid each month, or how many hours they would need to work to pay the bill if they received X amount of dollars per hour.
Decorating Your Home
Purchasing new furniture takes a lot of math. First, you need to measure the space. Then, you need to figure out what kind of furniture you need to get to fill the space. How big should it be? What size should the furniture be? As you pick out the new pieces, you need to measure the doorways and angles to make sure that the furniture can get into the room, too.
On top of decorating with new furniture, you can use math when calculating how much flooring to purchase or measuring the wall space for a new picture collage. Whatever you decide to do, let your child help you with the decorating process to get a taste for everyday math.
Learning to tell time is part of the math curriculum. However, you also need to learn about fractions in order to tell others what time it is. For example, it’s important to know that a quarter of an hour is 15 minutes or that a half an hour is 30 minutes. Then, you know what people are talking about when they say, “It’s a quarter to 4.”
You may also find an understanding of math helpful to calculate time. Whether you’re trying to beat your mile time or deciding how long to grill a steak, you should know that there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day.
Next time you go shopping, think about how often you use math. You need to calculate prices, quantities, your budget, and more. You need to think about coupons and discounts, figuring out how much the shirt costs if it’s 30% off of the original ticketed price. As you walk through the store, discuss the math with your child. Let them help you calculate the prices and figure out how much the total will be before the sales associate rings you up.
Planning a Trip
When planning a trip, there are lots of details involved. First off, you need to think about your budget. Add together the cost of the hotel room, travel expenses, food, entertainment, and more. If you’re driving to your destination, have your student help you calculate the mileage and how much you should expect to pay in gas along the way. If you have a set budget, have your student help you work out the plan to stay within your budget and have money needed for extra expenses on the trip.
Whether you’re playing or watching a sport, you may find yourself doing math without even knowing it. For example, you might say, “we’re down by 5” or “we need two touchdowns to win.” If you enjoy baseball, you can use math to calculate the batting averages, too. As you watch or play sports with your student, identify ways that math is used by the players and officials throughout the game.
It may be surprising for students to find out that there are examples of everyday math all around us. Help your child identify the ways math is used from day to day, so they can understand the importance of mastering the important math concepts.