As a kid, it’s not always easy to see the “real life” application of the concepts that you’re learning. So it’s no surprise that we often hear the moaning and groaning of preteens who would rather not do their math homework. Our private math tutors have composed a list of responses for parents to use whenever they’re faced with this age old question: “When the heck am I ever going to use this stuff?”
- Finances and Budgeting
Budgeting is a basic skill that is crucial to learn at a young age. Explain to your child that the older we get, the more complicated our finances become. You can use these examples when talking about the importance of math in budgeting: compound interest on credit cards, annual percentage rates for a mortgage or the differences between buying/leasing a car.
- Calculators Are NOT Magic Wands
“I don’t need to learn algebra, my cellphone has a calculator!”
This is another common math objection we hear in classrooms and during tutoring sessions. In order to use a calculator on a math problem in real life, you have to be able to identify the variables and then plug them in to an equation appropriately. Although it’s likely that “word problems” are your child’s least favorite part of their Algebra or Calculus class, these problems are designed to help develop critical thinking skills so that children can encounter problems – audit what information they have, and use that to figure out the information they need.
- Income Taxes
That’s right, one of life’s only certainties – taxes. We all have to pay them, and we all better be positive that our numbers are correct! Remind your child of the severe consequences that Uncle Sam levies on those citizens who file incorrect income tax information. A person who is skilled at math is more likely to receive the full refund they are entitled to, and less likely to experience problems with annual tax returns.
Sure, you could rely on a service or software to do this for you, but when severe financial penalties or potential jail time is at risk, we find that it’s best to double check the numbers.
Christmas season is upon us and that means that there are sales in every store you go in to. It’s important in the real world to be able to calculate percentages quickly. How is one supposed to figure out how much they are saving, or whether or not they can even afford a sale item if they don’t have math skills?
When you’re working with recipes, you’re dealing with measurements and sometimes measurement conversions. If you don’t have a measuring cup that is equal to the amount the recipe calls for, you might have to convert the measurement to match the tool that you do have. Weight can also affects the amount of time you need to cook a dish.
Whether your child loves math or dislikes it, it is never too soon to impress on them the value of having decent math skills. If your child has asked you “what will I ever need math for?” it may be an indication that they are frustrated by mathematics. Seeing as how math concepts all build on each other, it’s important to act fast if your child is falling behind. Our private math tutors in Contra Costa County, Alameda County, Los Angeles and Orange County are standing by, ready to help. We specialize in Geometry, Calculus and Algebra. Call us today for a free consultation to see how we can help your child catch up, keep up and move ahead!