While sitting in a classroom, learning algebra and geometry, it is hard for many students to imagine how the information will ever be relevant in real life. I was one of those students. Since I finished high school I have been in numerous situations when I was glad that I learned what I did.
Many day to-day activities can be made easier when you know how to use math. Math can be useful in shopping, dining out, cooking or baking, sewing and making home repairs and renovations. When a $50 item is sale priced at 30% off, how much will it cost? Which is a better deal, the larger package of Luvs or the smaller package of Pampers? How much should you leave for a tip if the check is $70? If you are doubling a recipe that requires 1 cups of flour, how much will you need? How much material do you need to buy for 48 inch long curtains with 3 inch hems? How much dry wall do you need to buy for a 12x15 foot room? These questions can all be answered using basic math concepts.
Math skills are also helpful when doing banking. In order to balance a checkbook and avoid lots of bounced checks and fees, you need to be able to do basic addition and subtraction. Knowing a little about percentages is helpful when you are trying to choose the right savings account, and when looking for a good deal for a loan or credit card.
People in many professions not only use math, but depend upon it. Doctors and nurses need it to ensure accurate dosage of medications. Sales people need to determine how much commission they will earn from sales. Business owners need to determine how to price their goods and services and what equipment or supplies they can afford to buy.
One of the best examples I know of math being used in the real world is my husband. Like me and so many others, he failed to see the relevance of math to his real life. After high school, he got a job doing remodeling, and then went into carpentry, and eventually stair building. In all of these jobs, math was essential. He had to measure things to fit, add and subtract fractions and convert fractions to decimals. And finally, the Pythagorean Theorem became his most trusted tool. In order to lay out a stair, he needed to know the formula and how to apply it to the projects he worked on. It is essential in his job every day.
These are just a few examples of how math is used in every day life. Though it is hard to imagine the possibilities when sitting in a classroom, learning math can make life easier later on in your personal life and at work.