Even though we use math all the time, for many students mathematical concepts are tied to taking tests more than solving problems in the real world. Being able to apply knowledge is an important way to make that knowledge “stick.” If your child understands how mathematical concepts and operations apply outside the classroom, it makes learning in the classroom more rewarding.
Of course, tests are still important because high scores can open up opportunities for students to advance and attend elite schools. When students understand how and why math is used in the real world, they are able to gain a deeper appreciation of math. This can lead to higher test scores because the concepts are more thoroughly understood. Here are a few ways to encourage your child to apply their math knowledge from enrichment classes to real world situations.
From multiplication to estimation and calculating percentages, you probably use math without even thinking about it when you go shopping. If your child is taking enrichment classes, they may be presented with real world problems on paper and you can help reinforce their lessons in the grocery store.
Here are a couple of ideas for your child to tackle while you shop:
Another way to bolster the skills your child will learn in math enrichment programs is to notice how they apply to baking and cooking. Here are some tips for doing just that:
For elementary school or junior high students, math may apply to things like how they spend their allowance, or how long it will take for them to save up for an item they wish to purchase. Students can also apply their math skills to creating a budget for someone based on a given salary or hourly wage to demonstrate how math is used for financial planning.
When your child learns about probability, these concepts can be applied to calculating strategies for playing certain games. Seeing real world situations in which probability reveals useful information and informs decisions can help your child better retain their math skills and ultimately perform better on tests.
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