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At least 94 percent of American adults use some form of math in everyday life — and that’s just at work!
Not to mention that becoming good at math often leads to a less stressful, higher-paying career. In fact, the majority of the top 10 jobs in the United States require STEM knowledge.
While it’s easy for adults to see the daily benefits of developing better math skills, many kids aren’t so convinced. So how do you show a child that math is all around them?
Let’s take a quick look at a few ways you can teach your little one math in real life!
On the Road
If you’re anything like most American parents, you spend more than 5 hours per week in a car with your kids. Why not turn that idle time into fun teaching time?
One easy way to accomplish this is by encouraging your child to recognize patterns on license plates. For example, you can ask them to find square numbers (4, 9, 16, etc.), consecutive numbers, or even and prime numbers.
You can also instruct your little guy or gal to add up or multiply the first two numbers on the license plate of the car driving ahead of you.
Before a Visit to the Grocery Store
Coupons aren’t just one of the simplest ways to save money. They’re also one of the easiest ways to demonstrate real-world math to children.
After you cut out your coupons for the shopping trip, tell your child to calculate how much money you save by redeeming all of them. If a coupon shows a percentage, look up the original price for the item and ask your child to figure out the sale price.
Much like math learning programs such as Kumon tutoring and Thinkster Math, these types of real-life math problems can help your child grasp tough math concepts faster.
In the Kitchen
Kids who eat dinner with their parents not only enjoy healthier diets, but they also perform better at school and have more self-esteem.
Next time you prepare a meal for your family, put your child in charge of using the measuring spoons and cups. And if you’re on a strict diet, let them measure food portions with the kitchen scale.
Heating something up in the microwave? Ask your little one to determine when the food will be ready by adding the time on the microwave display to the time on their watch
Finally, after you finish baking a pie or a pizza, you can use the slices to practice division.
Opening Your Child’s Eyes to Math in Everyday Life
Whether you’re driving, shopping, or cooking, there are endless opportunities to solve real-world math problems with your child.
With consistent practice, your little guy or gal will begin to understand the role of math in everyday life. They’ll discover how improving their math skills can make them a better cook or help them save more money.
Want to find out what other steps you can take to help prepare your youngster for adulthood? If so, check out our guide on securing a healthy future for your child!