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Why Math Equals Success
Volume 118, Program 40
1/31/2013
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What do you say when your student asks you why he needs to learn math? Professor Fred Worth shares how math lessons build important life skills. That’s on today’s Home School Heartbeat with your host Mike Smith.

Mike Smith:
Fred, we’ve been talking this week about how homeschoolers can help their students succeed in math. Tell us about how math will prepare students for life—what’s the payoff for studying math?
 
Fred Worth:
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.

Mike:
Fred, thanks for your valuable insights this week on teaching math in the homeschool. It’s been great to have you on the show. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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Dr. Fred Worth has developed a plan of attack for that formidable math challenge, the story problem! Request our free resource sheet, and conquer the story problems in your math curriculum.

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