Tips for answering the question ‘Why do I have to study maths?’

Why do I have to study maths?

At some point, most parents have heard the question ‘Why do I have to study maths?’ This is because many students struggle with this subject. It’s difficult for children to understand how formulas and equations relate to their lives.

It can also be difficult for parents to explain the relevance of maths, particularly if they lack confidence in their own skills. The truth is that maths is crucial and having a solid foundation in this subject will give kids a great head start. 

Here are some tips to help you explain why maths is important.

Everyday life skills 

You can help your child recognise the relevance of maths from a young age by drawing attention to its practical uses in daily life. For example, talk about maths in the kitchen when you’re making recipes. Ask kids about measurements and point out that they learnt about these things through studying maths.  

Another way of relating maths to everyday life is by asking your child to calculate how much petrol you will get when you put in a specific dollar amount. You can also get them to work out how much paint is needed when home decorating or ask them to measure a room to ensure new furniture will fit. 

Encourage kids to use maths when saving up for things they want. Teach them to use basic calculations so they can work out how long they’ll need to save before they can afford the items on their wish list. 

Problem-solving skills 

Maths not only allows us to deal with practical, everyday matters, but it also sharpens thinking skills. Equations are solved by following a logical sequence of steps. This teaches children discipline and problem-solving. 

If they get an incorrect answer, children need to retrace their steps and work out where they went wrong, which helps them develop self-reflection. These are critical skills that they will need in all areas of life.

To help your child understand how maths sharpens their thinking, discuss why people use an exercise bike. Point out that they are not training to win a race but to improve their health so they can enjoy life more. Draw a parallel with strong problem-solving skills which will help your child navigate life more smoothly. 

Career skills 

Nearly every job involves some form of maths. Get your child pondering how maths applies to them by asking what sort of careers they’re interested in when they finish school. 

Together research how maths is required in your student’s career choices. Understanding how this subject will benefit them in the future will motivate kids to put in more effort.

You can also discuss how you use maths in your own job. Seeing how maths is applied in the real world of work will give kids a better understanding of its relevance. Most kids will take on an after-school job at some time, so point out that even these jobs require good maths skills. 

These tips will help your child appreciate the relevance of maths.