While mathematics is the foundation on which all sciences rest, and helps technicians, scientists and many professionals find answers to life’s big questions, it remains one of the leading sources of frustration for many students today. When it comes to mathematics, the simple truth is that some students love it and excel at it, and a lot of students find themselves constantly frustrated by it.
If you need help convincing your child of the importance of math, this article aims to provide a few talking points on how having a solid understanding of math can help you later in life.
Helps with Managing Finances Later in Life
This is undeniably one of the most important life skills. Even if your child doesn’t grow up to be a banker, it’s important that kids learn how to create and balance a personal budget, understand how investing money today can provide for their future, and how saving a portion of your salary for a ‘rainy day’ is a good idea. In fact, studies show that those who understand simple mathematical principles are far less likely to live paycheck to paycheck, or go into serious debt.
Improves Problem Solving Skills, Teaches Risk Management
Being able to apply logic and reason to solve a problem is a prerequisite for all jobs, whether you’re a hedge fund manager, a cashier, or have your own small cleaning business. It’s important to understand that knowing math in some capacity will play a role in whatever career they end up pursuing since it also strengthens an understanding of reasoning and logic.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to convince your child that parallels exist between solving an equation in a book and solving a problem on the job. To start, try to find moments to challenge them mathematically every day; whether it’s at the grocery store when they ask for their favorite cereal, or when they want a new pair of shoes. Starting with budgeting challenges may encourage them to think outside the box early; especially when it stands between getting something they want.
Helps You Be a Better Baker
Got a sweet tooth? Like to bake? Unfortunately, without a solid understanding of units of measurement or being able to convert between imperial and metric, your culinary creations might be less than appealing. Think about it: if a baker lost their half cup measure, how can they be sure they’re adding the right amount of flour to their cake? The baker that knows that eight tablespoons are the equivalent to half a cup would be able to complete their recipe without missing a step. Plus, it’s a cool party trick to measure without thinking twice!
Helps You Spot a Good Shopping Deal
Is it better to get one item at 70% off or is it better to opt for the buy two, get one free deal? For those capable of doing simple arithmetic in their heads and on the fly, knowing what deal is best to spend their hard earned money on is an easy decision. Not only that but without knowing how percentages work, how will you know if the correct discount is applied to your purchase? A simple understanding of arithmetic can be all you need to catch a deal or catch when the deal you think you’re getting might not be what it’s cracked up to be.
Understand How Things Like Banking, Credit Cards, and Mortgages Work
For the mathematically uninformed, some financial products (like credit cards) might seem like a good idea; and they can be. But if used without understanding of interest, cash advance fees and what the various percentages break down to, it will cost you a great deal more in the long run. Knowing how your bank’s amortization schedule works will also help you to know how much of your monthly payments go to interest and how much goes to the principle.
No matter how you count it up, an understanding of mathematics is beneficial to anyone’s future. It may be a stepping stone to a rewarding, high paying career, or it might help you maintain a solid personal budget at any tax bracket. Whatever the case may be, taking the time to understand this powerful subject while you’re still in school is definitely worthwhile. If you’re having trouble grasping some of the concepts on your own, consider enlisting the aid of a math tutor to help.