Everyday Lessons in Math

Math is RD’s least favorite subject. He does it, and he can do it, but it’s just not his cup of tea. To make him realize how important math is to everyday life, there are things we do that teaches mathematical principles without him even realizing it. We integrate math in some things we do so he knows that math is not such a bad thing! The amalgamation of math into everyday activities, somehow softens his view of the “difficult” parts of learning this subject. Read on to know how we do this…

  1. Practice using or counting money
    We bought a few sets of play money from the local toy store to do this. RD likes playing “store” and counting money, so this is an enjoyable activity for him. When we’re out and he wants to buy a sundae or something, I usually take out my wallet and let him choose which bills or coins to use to buy what he wants. When we’re out looking for a toy for his birthday or when we need to buy something, we tell him how much money we are prepared to spend so he knows how to stay within a certain budget.
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  2. Shopping
    Shopping can be a fun and practical way to learn math. When we go grocery shopping, RD usually comes along and because we don’t usually have to stay within a budget, he is tasked to choose which ones are good buys (compare expensive products from the ones are cheap but are of good quality at the same time). He loves putting stuff into the cart or onto the counter so he also has that assignment.Another thing we sometimes do is calculate how much we are going to spend by adding up all the stuff we put into our cart on a calculator. Thus, he has an estimate of how much we are going to pay at the counter.
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  3. Banking
    When the kids were still little, we opened bank accounts for them under our names and deposited little amounts into them whenever we could. Since they are already in their early twenty’s, they now have their own bank accounts. When RD turned 10, we decided it was time he should learn how to do bank transactions by himself . So we used the money from his old account to open one under his own name using BPI’s Jumpstart Savings scheme. Now, whenever he receives gifts in the form of money or when we have money to put into his account, we go to the bank and he deposits these into his account, doing the transactions by himself!
  4. Cooking
    Cooking provides an avenue for using math when we have to work with teaspoon and tablespoon measurements, as well as  and conversions. When we have to double a recipe, he learns how to add in terms of fractions. Or when we have to pare down a recipe in half, he learns how to subtract! RD’s love for cooking is a plus here, because he likes to cook every chance he gets.
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  5. Travelling
    We do a lot of travelling because we live in a farm which is quite a ways from the nearest towns and cities. Road travel allows calculating of time and distances. For instance, if we are taking a 4-hour trip to Davao, we can take note of how much time the trip actually took and subtract that from the estimated four hours.If you have a map, you may be able to figure out how many kilometers the trip will take based on the distance scale key usually located on the bottom.
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6. Selling
Encourage your child’s entrepreneurial spirit by assisting him with any plans he/she has of selling.

RD has been growing cactus plants for awhile now. He noticed the other day that his plants have already grown a lot of “babies” and suggested that these “babies” be replanted and sold. When a situation like this present itself, we must be ready to assist him by providing him with the materials like pots and soil, repotting the plants, and then setting up a stand to sell his plants.

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7. Games
A lot of board games, apps and video games teach math concepts or skills. There are board games that also teach about money management. Popular among these are Monopoly, The Game of Life and Cashflow 101 for Kids. Puzzles, dominos and games that use dice are also good games for teaching math. There also are a lot of free websites online that teach math concepts through games.
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There are many ways to teach our kids math concepts. If they’re not that into math, we can provide ways for them to have a better view the subject. As homeschool parents, we need to be on the lookout for ways to teach math other than from their textbook. Sometimes, we just need to be creative and be ready to make everyday a fun teaching moment for our kids.

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