Four Ways to Teach Your Kids Math They’re Not Learning in School

4 Things About Math

(That your kids aren’t taught)

1. Taxes

You don’t need to get into the gritty details of your T-4, but it’s amazing how often we come across a Grade 10 student who can’t tell us what 40 per cent of 25 is. Taxes (retail or tax returns) and finances are a perfect way to introduce the concept of percentages.

Two great examples:

a) To calculate how much you need to pay at a 40 per cent off sale, you can either multiply the price by 0.4 and subtract that amount from the price, or simply multiply the price by 0.6.

b) If you earn 3 per cent interest, multiply your starting amount by 1.03 to see how much you’ll have in your savings account. This year, as you’re filing your returns, talk about it with your kids and they’ll be able to apply something outside of a textbook.

Taxes and multiplying: Learn at any age

2. Multiplication

One thing that is never really explained is the process in long multiplication when you place a 0 under the ones’ column when multiplying the tens digit. Explain this to your kids and things will make much more sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Golf

Not everyone watches golf, but with Tiger back, there’s never been a better time to tune in. The leader board (which is shown all throughout the telecast) is comprised of integers – one of the most challenging topics for students. How many birdies does Tiger need to make if he’s at -3 and the leader is -6? The par of the course is 72, if Rickie Fowler shoots 5-under, what was his total score? It seems trivial, but it’s an easy way to incorporate negative numbers which don’t show up too often in real life.

4. Speed

You don’t always need to be calculating figures or doing long division to be practising math. Next time you’re in the car, talk about what the speedometer is doing, how does acceleration work?

Faster? Slower? Learning how to calculate speed can be helpful and fun

Are you speeding up or slowing down (positive vs. negative acceleration)? If you travel 20 km in 10 mins., what was your average speed in km/hr? Easy, simple, and effective. You may even find it a little fun!

It’s easy to feel pressure to incorporate math into conversation, especially for middle school and high-school students, but these examples show that you don’t need to be doing super tough algebra to help improve numeracy.

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