Learning to crunch the numbers

Ways to teach children math through today's economy
March 17, 2011 7:44:04 AM PDT
There's nothing wrong with traditional mathematics textbooks, but there are so many additional outlets for educational opportunities for children relating to math simply by teaching them about simple concepts that we take that are commonplace in our daily routines. Through basic math, such as addition and subtraction or multipication and percentages, parents can foster an anxiety-free but relevant way for their children to grasp real-life concepts that they can use their entire lives.

Judy Brown, the mathematics program manager for Sylvan Learning, provides a few tips on how the turbulent economic times can enrich children's understanding of math by presenting several learning opportunities.

  • Have your child track the closing number for the stock market each day and calculate the difference as a number and a percentage.
  • Ask your child to note how the cost of gas varies from station to station in your town. How much less would you pay at station No. 1versus station No. 2 for a full tank of gas?
  • Use the changes in interest rates to pose a math question about how much interest your child would pay if she needed a loan to buy a toy. How much interest would she earn if she placed her money in a savings account?
  • Use coupons to demonstrate subtractions skills. If a store doubles coupon values, have your child calculate the savings. Or, if you use a coupon that takes cents off an item, have him calculate the new price.