How to convince your teenager to do their maths homework

‘When am I ever going to need this is real life?’ It’s a familiar complaint from kids protesting their maths homework. But if you have a reluctant numbers student, North Shore Mums member Sarah Carman, founder of the study-aid YouTube channel Sponge TV, has recorded something you should see…

Kids are notorious for questioning the point of things. They’re curious creatures, and while that’s fantastic, it’s can also be exhausting. I don’t get through a week without hearing at least one student say “But Sarah, when am I ever going to use this?”

As a parent, it’s often hard to come up with convincing reasons as to why subjects like mathematics are important. This is especially true when you no longer need or use higher-level mathematics in your own life. You can’t justifiably convince kids that maths means everything to you when you haven’t needed to use long division in twenty years! It just doesn’t add up.

When students suspect that the subject matter they’re studying does not have direct applications in the real world, many lose interest. So we’ve tried to reignite their interest by capturing the experiences of a fashion design student, Madi Hislop, who really did not expect that maths would give her an edge during her degree. But in fact, the spatial awareness and understanding of geometry she gained fro maths classes have made pattern making a breeze! As a result, Madi feels an enormous gratitude towards mathematics for the fortuitous assistance it provides day-to-day. She also encourages students to stick with tough subjects like maths, because you never know when they might come in handy.

So, if you think that maths is important, but you’re struggling to justify it, show your kids this video and perhaps they will realise maths can help people in every career path….and sometimes in very unexpected ways.

Sarah Carman is studying secondary school teaching and is the founder of the YouTube channel SpongeTV which is the home of helpful study tips and tricks for students.

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Sarah Carman is a passionate tutor, science writer, blogger, presenter and health advocate. Sarah is the founder of Sponge, a tuition school in Sydney that helps Higher School Certificate (HSC) students to understand difficult subjects, enjoy learning, ace exams, and maintain balance. She has written for ABC Radio National, The Royal Institution (RiAus) and CSIRO children’s magazines.

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