by STEM Scouts
Has your child ever uttered the phrase “why do I need to know this?” while looking at their math homework? Perhaps you’ve even wondered the same thing. But, believe it or not, math teaches us much more than how to solve an equation – it teaches a logical and methodological approach to solving problems. Such a logical approach can be applied to life problems as well. Here are 10 key life lessons that can be learned in a math class.
- You don’t have to know how to solve a problem before you begin. Most of the time, you can’t predict where you’ll end up. Just go for it—you’ll figure the rest out along the way.
- There’s more than one way to solve a problem. Life rarely gives you black and white choices, and that’s okay. Often, you’ll find yourself having to choose between multiple good options.
- Keep your equations balanced. Whether you’re balancing friends, school, family, sports or volunteering, remember to keep your life balanced. Make time for the things you love and keep adjusting.
- If the problem is too challenging, start smaller. If you’re overwhelmed, just take it a step at a time.
- The little things make all the difference. A forgotten negative sign or a small miscalculation can lead to the completely wrong answer. In life, pay attention to the details.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t always get to the answer on your own. Ask for help! Faced with a trial in life? Lean on your friends and family. The ability to admit what you don’t know is a crucial life skill.
- You’ll make mistakes. Even the greatest mathematicians need to rework problems over and over. Failure isn’t the end. If you get the wrong answer, keep trying. You’ll make mistakes in life, but you’ll learn from them!
- Understand your thought process. Math teachers will almost always require students to “show their work”. How did you draw that conclusion? Why did you make that decision? It’s important to ask yourself these questions in life, too.
- The answer might be simple, but the steps to get there may not be. Some math problems require pages of work to reach a simple answer. Even if you have an end goal in mind, the journey there won’t always be easy.
- It can be challenging. Math can be challenging and occasionally be frustrating, even to the best and brightest. Likewise, life will get tough, but stay patient, be resilient, meet the challenges, and it’ll pay off!
There are plenty of valuable life lessons to be learned from science, math and technology. Are you looking to get your child more involved in STEM education? Find a STEM Scouts lab near you.