What does math really mean? How can you convince your kids that math homework actually helps solve problems in the real world? We look at 5 examples of math in the real world to find out.

It always seems like there’s such a big gap between ‘homework math’ and math in the real world. We all understand that math is important. But it can be hard to explain when introducing the basics of algebra. It’s like math suddenly seems less useful when you’re trying to learn the rules! And story problems certainly don’t help. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a moving train and suddenly had the need to calculate how long it will take to get to Seattle based on the speed of a bird overhead.

But math is important! And it’s the small everyday skills that make adults thankful they decided to finish their algebra homework instead of just going to the mall all those years ago. From balancing the checkbook to trying to place old furniture in a new home after a move, math is everywhere. These five examples are real-world situations in which a bit of math can make a real difference!

- Getting the most pizza for your money

Pi is the worst! It’s not even a number! But did you know that pi can help you save on… pies? If a large pizza is 14” and a medium pizza is 10”, the large is only 40% larger than the medium, right? Wrong! Thanks to pi, we know that the surface area of a 14” pizza is 153 square inches. Just about double the size of medium pizza, at 78 square inches! But large pizzas are rarely double the price of medium. Long story short? Study math, get more pizza!

- Home Runs

If you like baseball, you’d better get used to math! The game is all geometry. It can get pretty complex, working out the mechanical physics of 30oz bat impacting a 5.25 ounce baseball. But math is everywhere in baseball! Teams are assembled based on statistics and averages, weighing various factors to determine which players should be where. Even if you’re not a general manager of a baseball team, a bit of math could make all the difference!

- Getting to school on time

Some people are morning people… some aren’t. Morning people have no problem waking up at the crack of dawn, making breakfast, maybe enjoying a bit of reading before starting their days. Non-morning people have more of a challenge. And when a morning schedule involves catching a school bus, there is little room for error. But the math-apt student can factor all complications, figuring out how to optimize their sleep schedule based on when they need to catch the bus!

- Saving up for that xbox

Perhaps one of the most regular roles of math in adult life is in budgeting— Controlling shopping impulses to hang on to enough money to meet financial goals. When saving up for a $400 Xbox, $2 for soda seems inconsequential. But a math-savvy budget-master realizes that two sodas a day at $2 could buy an xbox in only three months! Long story short, study math, avoid soda, play more!

- Eating healthy

Of course money is not the only thing to budget. Staying healthy means meeting nutritional goals while resisting temptation. And just like a financial budget, it’s the small change that tends to add up in the long run. Keeping track of snacks throughout the day can make the difference between athletes and couch potatoes!

One way to make sure kids are prepared for real world math challenges is through the Learn & Earn App for Math. Learn & Earn is a platform focused on building regular learning habits through real rewards from Amazon or iTunes. Part of demystifying math is making sure that kids can comfortably and confidently work on math problems regularly, without reminders. Learn & Earn for Math features over 500,000 questions, comprehensively structured to target Common Core Grade Standards. Set your expectations, sit back, and watch your child drive her own success!