Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Homeschooled Math and other Home School topics.
Parents often ask whether I think the higher math subjects are valuable. Do my children really need algebra, other than to get into college?
I am a mathematician and I have to admit that other than for math intensive degree fields (such as architecture, engineering, and programming) there is really no practical use for much of upper-level math. However, I have to say that learning just for the sake of learning is always good. I also stress the need to teach trigonometry to all who may enter a trade like carpentry and machining. It is invaluable.
I agree that much, maybe most, higher level math skills have little practical application to the ordinary guy. I struggled all my life with trying to learn and retain algebra and physics skills just to keep my Navy training courses and college grades acceptable. I honestly can't think of a situation I've been in that required that knowledge since then. Trig is a different matter. For some reason I got that and still find it useful in my woodworking shop.