Everyday Math



“When am I ever going to use math?” is a great question!  Mathematics is everywhere!  It shapes the vast world around us in unique and fascinating ways. It is much more than the use of numbers, counting, or memorization.  It serves to maintain time, to follow a recipe, build a house, and is found in disciplines such as physics, biology, and virtually every career.  Math aids in our ability to solve problems, balance budgets, and plan a large gathering with family and friends.  When parents help kids explore everyday math, whether at home, at a store or playground, we help our children think through the process of solving real-world problems creatively, just like mathematicians.

Money

Young minds have high demands, especially involving money. Instilling proper money management skills at an early age helps children to become conscious of their cash-flow in the future.  It may begin with giving your child a coin and helping him or her decide what item could cover the cost.  Money must be saved and earned; therefore, give your child one of the best ways to start collecting coins—buy him or her a piggy bank!

Board games such as Buy It Right, Pay Day, Money Bags, the Allowance Game, Exact Change, and Monopolyoffer a multitude of skills, including counting, moving a pawn, making decisions, and taking turns.

Shopping

Perusing shopping ads is a purposeful way for young children to understanding that food items cost money.  Teachable moments offer families the chance to discuss the advantages of a sale, savings, and comparative shopping opportunities.  Consider giving your child a task by obtaining a cereal box and finding the price, or setting up a pretend grocery store, using both comparison shopping, money, and counting out bills and change.   Older children can estimate the total cost of the groceries at checkout.

Cooking

Quite possibly, of all the applications for math and science, the most delicious combinations of mathematical algorithms are in a recipe book. After donning your child in his or her apron, agree that you are aiding the chef.  Following step-by-step instructions of no-bake cookies or snack mixes requires an understanding of measuring solids and sometimes liquids, calculating time, and potentially converting a recipe for more or less than a single batch. Baking or cooking provides an enjoyable moment of togetherness that reinforces math concepts through non-threatening hands-on-lessons.    Plus, who doesn’t like math that you can eat?

Traveling  

Long before Google maps and GPSs, the atlas was the best tool for navigating through the country’s highways and back roads. Children can expand their geography while becoming familiar with the orientation of land borders, the symbols for roads, rivers, mountains, and specific landmarks, such as the state capital.  An atlas could aid in teaching children how to estimate the mileage from one city, state, or country, to a destination; fuel costs; and the total miles traveled. Children who enjoy reading maps may want to design their own.  Older children may thoroughly enjoy learning about the placement and names of constellations, or following the sun’s movement by day on a map while traveling from one point to another.

Great Brain Exercises

Practice truly makes perfect or, in terms of a research theory, more reliable.  With daily exposure to the discipline, those who perform well in math have exceptional cognitive abilities regarding visual attention, memory, and decision-making processes, studies from Stanford University discovered.  These abilities are in the same region of the brain that aids students in solving mathematical problems.

Keep thinking outside the box, parents!  Why not encourage creative building projects, designing an obstacle course, or simply reading a chapter book together?  Through math, children are learning how to bridge to other disciplines such as science, reading, history, music, and movement.  Math isn’t just cool; learning is incredible!  Keep the enthusiasm going!  Pretty soon, your children will identify math everywhere and in everything!


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