I had a little debate with my ten year old today about the merits of completing her math lesson. Ironically, I just read an old email from Home School Heartbeat today on this very subject.
Professor Fred Worth shares:
From a purely practical standpoint, the more mathematics you learn, the more you have a chance to use it. There are numerous areas in life where mathematics can be used. Geometry and algebra are very helpful in building projects, and understanding statistics and logic can be helpful when trying to analyze advertising, speeches, polling data, and so on.
And having a strong mathematical background can present people with more diverse career opportunities. Many career paths require mathematical expertise. Our pharmacy and pre-med majors have to take a lot of mathematics. Even in the social sciences, a number of majors require statistics courses.
But, Mike, I think one of the greatest benefits of a good mathematical background is the development of thinking skills. Studies have shown that a good high school geometry course is a great indicator for college success. That’s because, in order to do geometry well, you have to think logically and often deal with multi-step problems. The problem-solving skills developed in order to do word problems are also useful in all kinds of areas. You have to be able to recognize what’s important, how to break it down into parts, have an orderly process for doing it, and all of that is useful, even if we don’t ever do any mathematics ever again.