Consumer Math is an introduction to the many ways in which math can be used in everyday life. The course gives practical advice on how to handle situations that involve money and math principles. Consumer Math focuses on the basic skills and methods of arithmetic and provides students the opportunity to develop experience with algebraic techniques of evaluating variables and equations, including geometric formulas and interest equations. Students will also be introduced to topics in statistics.
Upon completion of the course, students should be able to do the following:
- Use basic math operations on fractions, decimals, and percentages.
- Interpret graphs and charts.
- Understand sets and basic set theory.
- Calculate simple probabilities.
- Calculate statistical measures of variation.
- Use similarity and right triangle ratios for indirect measurement.
- Calculate taxes, discounts, and interest amounts.
- Apply math to everyday concerns, as well as to the realms of business and government.
The major areas of study in this course are as follows:
Number Skills lessons consist of basic math review. They emphasize non-algebra-related topics, such as decimals, fractions, and percentages, topics that are typically covered before high school.
Statistics lessons are fairly advanced, providing instruction on sets and probability; measures of variation and distribution (such as standard deviation and z-scores); accurate sampling and confidence intervals; data interpretation; and graph creation and interpretation.
Geometry lessons teach about measurement, focusing on applying measurement in the construction/building trades. These lessons cover ratio and proportion; perimeter, area, and volume of two- and three-dimensional figures (including pyramids, cones, cylinders, and spheres); and indirect measurement using similarity and right triangle relationships (including sine, cosine, and tangent).
Consumer Math also offers instruction on personal finance, covering topics like job acquisition, payroll deduction, commissions and tips, buying/leasing/renting goods and equipment, health insurance, asset depreciation, vacation and travel costs, retirement, life insurance, and will and estate planning.
Some lessons address the issue of taxes, discussing federal, state, and local taxes, and also FICA and miscellaneous taxes.
Banks and Financial Instruments
Consumer Math explores the world of banks and financial instruments, covering topics like savings and checking accounts; interest rates; stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; loan financing; credit cards; and mortgages.