Kids ask the question all the time: “Why is math important?” This usually comes up while they’re trying to work their way through their math homework. Surprisingly, parents often have a hard time answering this question. They shouldn’t. It only takes a moment to realize that math is all around you, and that you use it every day. And yes – you even use it for fun things.
Take grocery shopping, for example. If you clip coupons to save money (And who doesn’t need to save money?), when you take them to the store you need to compare the price of the item you have a coupon for to the price of similar items to see which is the better deal. That’s math.
Or, maybe grocery shopping doesn’t sound fun to you, but you like to shop for clothes. You can’t tell if that shirt you have your eye on is a good deal or not if you can’t do some quick math to calculate the sales price.
Driving also requires math skills. You need math to read and understand road signs and the speed you’re travelling, to figure out how long it will take you to drive from one place to another, and more. That’s math, too.
Even playing sports takes math skills. Sports are a competition, and the best players know not just the rules of the game, but how to strategize and apply math skills to figure out distances and more. Heck, even keeping score takes math skills. There goes that old myth about “dumb jocks.” Serious, successful players have a good grasp of basic math, physics and more.
So why is math important? The world is changing quickly, and math is a part of all of it. Our reliance on computers and smart phones is only the beginning of what will become a more technically advanced world – a world that doesn’t work without math.