(StatePoint) What do budgeting monthly expenses, being a sports fan and following a recipe have in common? All these activities employ math. Unfortunately, it is common for students to struggle with math classes because they don’t see how the subject will matter in their everyday lives.

Parents can help motivate students by drawing the connections between math and daily life. They can also help ensure children make the grade by equipping them with the tools they need to handle their coursework.

Everyday Connections

The more connections you can make between math and daily life, the better. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• When cooking or baking together, have your child help you double the recipe or convert the measurements from metric to standard.

• The next time you’re paying a bill, ask your child to calculate the tip.

• Personal finance is perhaps one of the most important and practical math lessons you can teach a young person. Demonstrate creating and managing a budget, explaining concepts such as savings and interest as you go.

• On your next road trip, have your child calculate your estimated time of arrival based on your average speed, as well as the estimated fuel costs for the trip.

• Take a run around the neighborhood as a family. Afterward, have everyone calculate their heart rates. Check your pulse and measure the number of beats in 15 seconds. Then multiply that number by four.

Getting Equipped

Ensure kids are equipped to succeed in math classes. For students learning the fundamentals, a basic calculator has all the functions they’ll need. When it comes to more advanced math, such as algebra or statistics, graduate your child to a scientific calculator. Those from Casio can handle decimal, trigonometry, exponential, and statistical functions in addition to hundreds of other math functions. They also offer several models of graphing calculators, all of which feature a natural textbook display to help students more easily visualize mathematical concepts. New models also feature built-in Python programming functionality. To access free math resources and tutorials, visit casioeducation.com.

When it comes to math, parents can help make the subject more fun, interesting and approachable by equipping kids with the right tools, and helping them embrace a positive mindset.

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