A Mathematical Trip

Are you perhaps doing any car trips this summer?

Do you realize what a great opportunity it is to teach some real-life math to your children? They need to learn how to calculate the cost of a trip, based on the miles driven, the gas mileage of the car, and the price of gasoline.

So today I want to highlight something sent to me by a fellow homeschooling mom, visitor to my site. She uses math a lot within real-life situations, and recently made a geography-math worksheet for her daughter about calculating the length and cost of a trip their grandparents were doing.

She allowed me to share that worksheet WITH YOU... so here it is (MS Word 7) and here (Word 6). Right-click to save.

See also a travel distance calculator to help you figure out distances.

I quote:

"It's funny, but even with all the resources we currently have on hand, I find that we spend more time on real-life math (such as calculating tip when we eat out). In fact, I just created a "worksheet" (not really, it's just a crude Word document) to cover Geography and Math. It is based on a road trip that my mother is currently making to come and visit us. Each day, we add on to the previous day's calculations. ... The math is actually more advanced than my daughter is currently doing in her "normal" classwork, but I have found that by relating the math to something that has a real-life element, she seems to grasp the concept pretty well. In this particular case, I've told her that it's important for us to know how much the entire trip costs (in terms of gas) and how long the trip takes so that we can plan a reciprocal trip (which she would dearly love to do)!

My initial thought on your worksheets (keeping in mind that we haven't actually used any of them yet and I've only looked over a few), is that they ONLY encompass math (though the same can be said of all the math curricula I have reviewed so far). My preference would be to have math "bundled" with other subjects: Science, Literature, History or (like I attempted to do with my worksheet) Geography.

I homeschool, so I love it when I can accomplish several goals at once. Unit studies tend to cover several core subjects including math, but the primary emphasis is on the central topic. I think that it would be really neat to see a curriculum that was BASED on math and then used other subjects to support the concepts. Just a thought...

Lori Nettles
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