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Factoring Math into Your Family Resolutions for 2018

Three ways parents and guardians can foster a math mindset all year long

You probably don’t think about it, but math is integral to almost everything you do. From planning meals to paying bills to budgeting your time—math helps make it all happen.

As an adult, your daily calculations are second nature. You add, subtract, multiply, and divide all day long as naturally as you breathe. Heck, you routinely dabble in fractions too. So, what’s my point? Well, for one thing, you’re probably a lot better at math than you realize. And, more importantly, you have plenty of opportunities throughout the day to give the kids in your life some hands-on help with math.

Teaching kids how to apply math to real-world problems gives them valuable context. And, seeing math in action is more fun than putting pencil to paper and applying formulas without relevance.

Since we usher in every New Year with a countdown, now seems like the perfect time to factor math into your family resolutions for 2018. (Trust us: this is a resolution you can keep.) Here are three ideas for keeping it real with math in the coming year:

  • Kitchen counting: Next time you’re making dinner, ask your kids to measure the ingredients for you. It’s a great way to introduce them to fractions, and get a hand with meal prep. It’s a lot easier to understand that a ½ is less than ¾ when you’re measuring rice or dividing a stick of butter.
  • Answering ‘are we there yet?’: If you spent any time on the road visiting relatives over winter break, chances are you were grilled about your ETA (estimated time of arrival). Next time you hit the highway, why not make it a game? If it’s 37 miles “over the river and through the woods” to grandma’s house, how long will it take you to get there traveling 40 miles per hour? Once they ace that, they can try their hand at estimating fuel usage too.
  • Playing grocery games: From weighing produce to calculating price per unit to using coupons—the grocery store is the perfect place to sneak in a math lesson or two. You can even have your kids estimate the final price at the register, by having them keep a running tally in their head as they go up and down the aisles. (Bonus: they’ll be too busy adding up numbers to ask for sugary treats.)

When you think about it, most New Year’s resolutions involve math anyway. Whether it’s counting calories, spending less and saving more, or making extra time for family—you can’t do it without numbers. So, this year, why not resolve to see the world through math-colored glasses? It’s easier and more fun than you think. Finally, from the DreamBox family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy 2018. Cheers!


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