Real World Math

Math is one of those subjects that many homeschooling moms find it hard to teach.  While one child may find the concepts easy to grasp, others wonder how math will relate to them in the real world.

For those children, it often helps to present math concepts in a “real world” situation.  Calculating costs, estimating, and measurements take on new meaning when your child can actually see how these things work in life.

Here are some activities will help your child make this connection – bringing math and their world together.

At the grocery store, ask your child to help out with the shopping.  Take a calculator along and show her how to check and compare prices or calculate the cost per ounce.  Or have him keep track of the cost of what you bought.  Check and compare prices, weights, and quantities together.

When you are driving in the car, take the time to point out speed limits.  When the speed limit sign changes, ask your child to calculate the difference between the old speed limit and the newer one.  If you are on a long trip, ask him to calculate the distance between cities and/or towns. Talk about the time it takes to get from one to another when you drive at different speeds.

Working in the garden is also an excellent time to work on math with your child.  Have your child count the number of plants.  She can also measure the distance between the plants and their heights.  An advanced activity would be to calculate the perimeter and/or area of the garden.

Cooking is an excellent way to teach your child real world math skills.  Measuring ingredients, doubling recipes, and checking cooking times and temperatures teach excellent skills, and also some good things to eat!

Above all, encourage your child to play games and activities that involve counting, finding patterns, and solving problems.  Tic-tac-toe, checkers, and chess are all good games for learning math – real world math.


Kelly Ling is a work-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has mentored many homeschooling and work-at-home moms over the past eighteen years. Kelly also owes a home-based web design business. When not doing web design, she is constantly updating some of her homeschooling/work-at-home websites – Homeschool Top Sites, ChristianWAHM.com, WAHM Contests, and others.

avatar Kelly Ling (11 Posts)

Kelly Ling is a work-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has mentored many homeschooling and work-at-home moms over the past fifteen years. Kelly owes a home-based web design business and also helps her husband run the family's mobile DJ service.


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